When I started this website I did not anticipate covering food items. But as I go on I find there are things that I want to share. So bear with me.
I love dried mango. I used to live in Zanzibar, which is a big mango producer. We tried drying our own in the sun but never quite managed to get it dry enough.
Much of the dried mango in the stores is adulterated with sugar (whose idea was it to add sugar to sweet mango?) and sulphur dioxide (think volcanoes and acid rain…..). The sulphur dioxide preserves and prevents discolouration but it is not something that is on my `must eat’ list. Its use as an additive is regulated: while it is theoretically fine to eat in small quantities, there are known health risks associated with it (see here for a summary). So I prefer my mango straight up.
The problem is that straight-up dried mango is both hard to find and expensive (at least where I live). Not the sort of thing I would be packing in my kids’ lunch boxes everyday.
So when, late one night, I discovered the fantastic Nuts.com site, I was thrilled to see that they sell organic – and pure – dried mango for just $10.99/lb. Except I was sure they would not ship to Canada. But up there at the top of the shipping page I spotted a little red maple leaf and found that they do indeed ship here, at very reasonable cost.
To where I live in Ontario (which I guess is not far from New Jersey where the company is based) shipping costs are $11.82 for 5lbs and $14.43 for 10lbs.
I ordered 10lbs of assorted nuts and fruits so effectively paid less than $1.50/lb in shipping. This still makes the mango cheap relative to what I would pay around here, and the choice of nuts is unrivalled.
Shipments to Canada are bulked up and sent by Purolator twice a week, to keep costs low. Mercifully they also deal with any taxes and duties so no nasty surprises. The most amazing thing is how quickly I received my order. I placed it on a Monday, it was shipped on a Tuesday and arrived on Thursday. Few Canadian companies could rival that.
The organic mango is very good and is one of 250 organic products available on the site, including some pretty off-beat stuff (kelp powder, maca powder, yacon syrup anyone???).
This is a family-owned company that has been around for nearly 80 years. They are very responsive to email questions and helpful with everything.
And though the company does not sell itself on its eco credentials, they do note that they are trying to do their best. They use 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard boxes and starch biodegradable packing peanuts. They have installed energy efficient lighting and motion sensors and selling in bulk has its merits too.
So I am now a late-night fruit and nut shopper…..and my kids do get dried mango in their lunch boxes from time to time. We are all happy!