grocery shopping

Interview with Scott Reich, Co-Founder of OurHarvest

scott reich ourharvest

Tired of constantly questioning the origin and safety of your food supply? Us too. Which is why we sat down with Scott Reich, co-founder of OurHarvest. OurHarvest brings top quality meat, poultry, fish, and produce from local farms to NYC markets for us city dwellers to enjoy. The way it works is simple: first, you fill your online grocery cart with delicious local foods. Second, you select a time and convenient location to pick up your order. Oh - and if the total of your order is more than $25, OurHarvest donates a meal to a local food pantry. Now that's something we support! 

If you are interested  in receiving groceries through OurHarvest, be sure to use the code TOVITA when checking out to receive 25% of your first order! 

1. Tell us about OurHarvest and how the idea came about.

The idea for OurHarvest came about when my business partner, Mike Winik, and I recognized three major issues in the food system: 1) the grocery shopping experience isn't great for consumers; 2) local farms are struggling; and 3) way too many people go hungry. In an effort to address these issues, we thought strategically about how we could come up with a better model for each of these constituencies, and the result was OurHarvest. 

local produce

At OH, we do the opposite of what most grocery stores do: we give full transparency of where our products come from; we actually offer fresh products; we truly source locally and from a curated list of top-quality suppliers; and there are no hormones, antibiotics, preservatives or ingredients you can't pronounce. We do this by getting rid of brick-and-mortar stores and cutting out unnecessary middlemen, which enables us to offer these amazing products for affordable prices. Customers visit our site, select whatever products they want, and then they get home delivery (if in NYC) or they pick it up (on Long Island). By shopping with OH, customers get a better experience with fresh, affordable, all-natural food - and you know exactly where it comes from. Plus, for every order above $25, we donate a meal to a local food pantry to help fight hunger. Consumers win. Local farmers win. And we help our neighbors in need!

2. Why is it better to buy meat/poultry/produce directly through farmers rather than from a supermarket?

It's better to buy products that come straight from the farm for many reasons! The first and most obvious benefit is that if you get the product faster (i.e., right from the farm), it tastes better. Second, fresher products contain more of their nutritional value, which makes them healthier. And third, when you cut out all the middlemen from the supply chain, you can get better products for less money. That means consumers win all around!

3. What farm practices/standards lead to the highest quality produce? What do you look for when deciding whether to source from a particular farm?

Generally, it's better to work with farms that do not put unnatural ingredients in their products. At OurHarvest, we spend a lot of time and focus on making sure that our suppliers meet very high standards. When deciding to source from a particular farm, we spend time getting to know the farmer and ask lots of questions about their farming practices so we understand exactly what they do. This enables us to be very selective in choosing the suppliers with whom we work, and because we value transparency, we proudly disclose the supplier of every product we offer so customers know exactly where their food comes from.

Thanks, Scott!

Tovita's Top 5 Trader Joe's Treasures

One of our favorite activities is grocery shopping (yes, we're health nerds). Whether it's for ourselves or for our clients, it's always fun to see what new health foods debut in the aisles, and subsequently decide whether we support them. We're BIG fans of Trader Joe's and we generally trust their brand. This is why we get especially excited when we discover a new snack, dressing, dip, or beverage that we can confidently give the Tovita stamp of approval. Here is a list of our top 5 TJ's foods that we're #thankful for. 

1. Trader Joe's Cowboy Caviar: Rather than serving traditional salsa at gatherings, spice things up with this corn, black bean, and pepper salsa. Just 2 tablespoons has 25 calories. 

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2. Trader Giotto's Bruschetta: Don't have time to make bruschetta from scratch? We hear you. TJ's has crafted a delicious blend of tomatoes, garlic, onions, basil, and spices. 2 tablespoons has 25 calories and only 2 grams of sugar.   

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3. Trader Joe's Freeze Dried Blueberries: Looking for a healthy snack that also satisfies your sweet tooth? 1 entire bag of TJ's freeze dried blueberries contains 7 grams of fiber! The best part? The only ingredient is freeze dried blueberries, meaning no additives, no preservatives, and no ingredients you can't pronounce.  

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4. Trader Joe's Island Soyaki Sauce: Sometimes your stir fry just needs a little flavor, and we're sympathetic to that. 1 tablespoon of the Island Soyaki has just 25 calories and gives your meal that teriyaki kick. In addition to veggies, this sauce pairs nicely with fish, tofu, or poultry.  

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5. Trader Joe's Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip: When it comes to diet disasters, the spinach dip is a viable culprit (we've all been there). This spinach and kale Greek yogurt dip is both a healthier and delicious option. 2 tablespoons contains just 30 calories. There you go, game day feels a bit more guilt-free, doesn't it?