Instead of dealing with pseudo healthy items from a vending machine, would if you could find fresh salads and healthy snacks … from a vending machine?
Farmer's Fridge has those fresh salads with homemade dressing in a clear plastic jar. They also have healthy snacks such as sliced vegetables with hummus, sliced apples, and cauliflower fried rice.
You can also get protein salads and breakfast: Greek yogurt and berries.
When you see the food in vending machine on a Tuesday (as an example), the food was put in there on that Tuesday, and new food is put in the next day on Wednesday. Any extra food at the end of the day is donated to a local food pantry.
If you are working in the office past 6 pm, and wonder what you will have for dinner, the salads are $1 cheaper after 6 pm.
Right now, the Farmer's Fridge is just in Chicago, but if the idea takes off, you could see options in other cities.
Unlike regular vending machines, where somewhat healthy snacks go up against chips and cookies, all the choices are at similar healthy levels.
In testing Farmer's Fridge, I could have ordered something really obnoxiously healthy. My eye was drawn to The Cheater.
The Cheater isn't that cheating — Romaine lettuce, turkey bacon, white cheddar, hard-boiled egg, sunflower seeds, local corn, carrot, organic cucumber, grape tomatoes & honey mustard dressing. All under 400 calories. This is "cheating."
I did swap out the honey mustard dressing for blue cheese dressing I brought from home, so I cheated on The Cheater. But this was the kind of salad that non-salad people can get behind. The salad has 16 grams of protein, not bad for its size ad for being a salad. And it tasted good.
You also get a nice jar to reuse for salads. You can recycle the jar with on-site recycling at the kiosk.
We recently explored healthy food in a vending machine with machines serving raw milk in Europe. Vending machines allow for lower overall costs, which can be transferred to using better ingredients.
When we look for food solutions, we can often overlook the instruments of delivery. Vending machines aren't evil or bad; what's in them might be. But vending machines have a certain comfort. Farmer's Fridge is designed to look like a different kind of vending machine.
But it's still a vending machine, even if what's inside won't remind you of a typical vending machine. After all, what's inside is what really counts.
Hope this is a Good Friday for you, whether you celebrate or not. And a Happy Passover for those who observe.
photos credit: me