Welcome to my writing samples page! If you’ve arrived here, you may be wondering why I chose these articles to showcase my work. The first is my top-performing blog post, which is also on the first Google SERP for the “Imperfect Produce Review” keyword. The second is a political piece I published on Medium. And the third is an example of how I get creative while writing up my 18th very similar blog post on the same topic.
1. Honest Imperfect Produce Delivery Review
If you’ve been on the internet or in grocery stores at all in the past few years, you’ve likely seen the many options out there for food delivery companies. Everything from restaurant meals with UberEats to cooking kits like Hello Fresh to groceries from Instacart. One of my favorites has been community supported agriculture, or CSAs for short.
CSAs provide not only seasonal produce that’s often organic, they also allow you to buy local and support farmers in your area. There are some estimates that the average apple travels 1,500 miles from the time it’s picked to the first bite in the US. That’s a whole lot of non-renewable resources that go into getting an apple into your lunchbox, especially if you live within 100 miles of farms.
One great place to get local fruits, vegetables and more is a farmer’s market. But to be totally honest, I’ve never really made visiting them fit into a busy day of grocery shopping. So, point to the CSA box for the delivery option (or even just the ability to pick up your box at a local grocery store).
Grab Bag CSA Boxes
Now, I’ve tried a CSA box previously. It made me feel very ‘Portland’ and ‘Adult’ and then ‘Stressed Out To All Hell.’ I liked the challenge of figuring out how to use a bunch of random produce in a given week. But when I found myself frantically googling what to do with a metric ton of garlic scapes, I threw in the towel.
Enter: Imperfect Produce
I had a friend send me her referral link since she knew I had struggled with CSAs before but was hoping to come across something I could work with. Imperfect Produce had everything going for it. The only quirk? All the produce was just a little bit too funny looking to sell in stores. Color me intrigued. I wanted to see what all the hype was about with this ugly agriculture.
- Delivery option every week or every other week, could place on hold for vacation
- Variety of box sizes so you don’t have to eat vegetables nonstop to use them up
- Customizable, no garlic scapes if you don’t want them
- Organic and non-organic options
- Largely local produce
So I took the plunge, ordered my first box, and literally jumped up and down like a kid on Christmas morning when it arrived. If you’d like to get $10 off your first order, you can use my referral code here!
The delivery was kind of cool, too. You get a text message alert when they’re about to arrive with your box , which is convenient for apartment complexes. The box itself was cold to the touch, so I knew they didn’t just have my food wilting in a hot vehicle most of the day. Oh, and they arrived in the evening which I had requested.
I had selected the contents of my box earlier in the week, meaning I plan my meals in advance.
We went for apples, peaches & plums for morning snacks and breakfast add-ons. Bell peppers & carrots were perfect for Mr Never Cooks to dip into hummus. The butternut squash & red onions roasted up beautifully for a couple of lunches.
Everything was surprisingly normal-looking, and the flavor was excellent. The carrots were even sweeter than what I was used to!
I’m definitely sticking with this! We easily used up our box of produce in a week, it worked around a busy travel schedule, and the quality was excellent. Plus, the price and convenience just can’t be beat. If I can also help reduce food waste in the process, then I think I’ve found my perfectly Imperfect Produce soulmate.
2. Why I’ll Be Voting for Her (Hint: It’s Because She’s a Woman)
I hopped on Twitter the other day, a habit I’ve recently formed and probably need to break, to find that #WomenRule was trending. Going through the top threads, you can immediately see a familiar narrative that’s played out again and again in American politics and social issues.
- Recognize an imbalance.
- Advocate for a righting of the ship.
- Immediately get dog piled upon for daring to suggest that decisions ever be made to consciously swing the pendulum back to anything resembling parity.
Seeing these angry responses to the idea of voting for a female candidate with the express interest of increasing their representation in the political sphere got me thinking about whether or not there’s a valid case for it.
In the great state of Oregon we get these pamphlets mailed out for every election with blurbs, platforms and talking point submitted by the candidates. I’m not sure you’ve heard, but liberal is perhaps too mild of a term to describe the city of Portland. We love our openly bisexual governor and hate our very own cake baker who also tried to discriminate against LGBTQ+ patrons.
So, when I go to crack open this hundred page explainer to figure out how to fill out my one page bubble sheet, it’s not exactly the most shocking of experiences to realize that there are 17 nearly identical candidates running for county commissioner.
I do what any good citizen does and pull out a brand new sheet of college-ruled paper to make a pros/cons list. And there are so many metrics to base a candidate off of!
- Issues, like homelessness or public transit funding to decrease emissions and traffic.
- Experience in government, which might lead to either lacking the knowledge and follow-through needed to succeed or laziness in breaking the habits of predecessors.
- Background, like time in the military or the public school system.
In the face of this, what does it mean to choose the ‘best candidate?’ And is it unfair to consider gender, race or other characteristics of the candidate in question?
When making my list, I was reminded that in order to start ranking qualities of candidates, I needed to think about things in terms of outcomes. What legislative actions am I hoping they’ll achieve once elected?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about issues specifically affecting women. Is it ‘sexist’ for me to want my elected officials to work toward eliminating the gender wage gap? I certainly hope not.
Congresswomen are more likely to bring legislation affecting women to the floor than their male counterparts. Take a look at Kirsten Gillibrand’s building legacy of women-focused platforms. In a sea of candidates who otherwise look the same, isn’t it statistically prudent to assume that the female politicians might be more likely to advocate for policies that are important to me?
Setting policy aside, there’s also interesting research on the important role of representation in pretty much every area that’s been analyzed. Among people who apply for patents, there’s a strong link between growing up in an area with an unusually high percentage of female inventors and becoming a female inventor yourself.
This pushback that you see against voting for female candidates based on gender fundamentally fails to price in the importance of representation. It posits a system of maximum utility (which is subjective) while ignoring or downplaying the social science behind why having women in power matters.
At the end of the day, there seems to be no valid argument that we can correct our highly imbalanced course without actually taking that final step of choosing to have #WomenRule.
3. Finding a Veterinarian
Alright, so you’ve walked into your home to find an enormous snake on the floor of your living room. Its jaw is wide open and aside from the obvious fangs, there are bubbles coming from its mouth and nose. You panic, but maybe not for the reasons that most people would. This is your pet ball python, William Snakespeare, and he may very well have pneumonia. (You’ll address the part about him escaping his cage later, right now you need to find a veterinarian who can help you and Bill).
See, you got your ball python when you were in college (go sports!) and he’s been with you ever since. Granted, living in a town that has actual snakes pop up from time to time you’ve had your fair share of skeptics among your friends, but Bill is a total sweetheart. Plus, your niece gets such a kick out of petting him when she comes over for dinner every month with your somewhat disapproving brother.
And now that he’s not doing so well health-wise, you’re scrambling to find a skilled veterinarian in Edmond to help you and Bill. That’s where our vet comes in. With his experience in small animal as well as zoo, exotic and wildlife medicine & surgery, he’s the exact person you need to help Billy in his time of need.
Now, it might be a little interesting transporting Liam in the car to the clinic, and you’d definitely have some explaining to do if you’re pulled over for a broken tail light. Once you arrive, though, you can rest assured that your pet is receiving the type of specialized medical care that he needs to live a healthy and happy life. The staff and veterinarian are there to help you through tough times like these.
We hope that something like this never happens to you as a pet owner, but we also know that animals of all shapes, sizes, breeds and species get sick. We hope that you feel you can reach out to us for help when you need help.