Standard Insulated Shipping: $9.95 (Automatically waived in checkout on orders of $150 or more)
Foam: 1" thick
Ice Packs: Variable based on quantity of items
Details: Ideal for moderate shipping temperatures and/or shorter delivery distances (1-4 days)
Premium Insulated Shipping: $35.00
Foam: 4" thick
Ice Packs: Variable based on quantity of items
Details: Ideal for hot temperatures and longer delivery distances (3-7 days)
Due to the live nature of the Raw Cultured Vegetables we recommend insulated shipping (styrofoam and ice packs) depending on the transit time and temperatures. Orders of raw cultured vegetables that do not include insulation will not be shipped automatically. We will need to communicate by phone or email for the order to be released for shipping.
Feel free to use the following links to the weather forecast and transit time maps as well as the information below to determine transit weather and time to help you decide if you want to insulate your order.
If you are unclear on which shipping method is appropriate for your region feel free to contact customer service.
We are available 9-5 PST Monday-Friday. If we are assisting other customers and cannot pickup do leave a message clearly stating your name and phone number and we will return your call as soon as possible.
Customer Service Manager, Emily Labarre
The culturing or fermentation process that occurs with Raw Cultured Vegetables is a natural method of food preservation. This means that they can be safely unrefrigerated for a short period of time (such as 1-7 days in transit) which will vary depending on the temperatures to which they are subjected. As the temperature rises, the probiotics in the Raw Cultured Vegetables become more active and begin consuming the starch in the vegetables at a faster rate. They release effervescence as part of their metabolic process (this is the zing you sometimes you feel on your tongue when eating Raw Cultured Vegetables). The effervescence can push the juice up causing it to leak out of the jar, it can make the lid puffy and it can even make the vegetables expand out of the jar when you open it. We call this process "expansion," and it does result in Raw Cultured Vegetables that are more potent with probiotics, but may have a shorter shelf life. They are still beneficial to eat until the probiotics have consumed all the available starch in the veggies at which point they will no longer taste palatable. The amount of shelf life lost will depend on transit time and temperature.
Requesting insulated packaging is a simple way to protect your Raw Cultured Vegetables from heat-related changes that may occur while in transit during hot weather. For orders totaling less than $150 an additional fee will apply (either $9.95 or $35 depending on which type you select, as described above).
If you are prepared for the potential expansion and leakage, a simple way to reduce shipping cost is to look at the projected weather temperatures for the states between California and the state where you will receive your order, and opt for non-insulated packaging when temperatures are expected to be under 70˚, especially if the transit time is less than three days. Our labels state that Raw Cultured Vegetables should be refrigerated unless in transit for less than 9 days at less than 74˚ (or 77˚ depending on which flavor you have).
When unopened jars are refrigerated, they may be safely consumed and enjoyed after many months. We would usually expect unopened jars to be good to eat for at least a month after their sell-by date. After experiencing expansion during a warm transit that expectation may be shortened by several months, though the natural method of preservation will usually still allow for a multi-month shelf life when Raw Cultured Vegetables are refrigerated at 33° or 34° upon receipt and then stored at this temperature. Slightly warmer refrigerated temperatures (35˚- 38°) may also be effective, though if you notice leakage try lowering your refrigerator temperature. While colder temperatures will prolong shelf life, be careful not to let it freeze as that may damage the probiotic activity.
Once you open a jar we usually recommend you eat it within about 4-6 weeks (or until you notice a dull/browning color and/or a rancid or alcohol taste). After experiencing expansion during a warm transit it may need to be eaten within 1-3 weeks after opening.
Expansion will subside upon refrigerating to the coldest non-frozen temperature around 34 degrees Fahrenheit, because the probiotics are relatively dormant at cold temperatures. So regardless of whether you receive your Raw Cultured Vegetables via insulated or non-insulated shipping method, we recommend that you cool them down to 33˚ or 34˚ before opening. This will minimize the chance of your Raw Cultured Vegetables expanding beyond the jar when opened.
Please use the links above to the FedEx and UPS Ground service transit time maps and weather maps to get an idea of the transit times and temperatures that your Raw Cultured Vegetables would likely experience if you choose the $7 flat rate shipping option.
Expedited shipping is also available. You will be provided with the options and cost quotes for expedited shipping in Step 4 of the checkout process. With all shipping options you never count the first day out as part of the transit time, you start counting on the following day. For example, if it is a four day transit time and it leaves on a Monday it will arrive that Friday. Also keep in mind that you do not count Saturday and Sunday, even with expedited shipping.
We ship orders Monday through Thursday, with no shipping on Fridays. We recommend avoiding weekends if possible to minimize transit time and expansion, so feel free to request that your order be held for a Monday in the optional "Order Instructions / Comments" box in Step 5 of the checkout process. If we feel strongly that your order should go out on a Monday, or be held for any other reason, we reserve the right to use our discretion and ship it at the next best opportunity such that you receive it in the best possible condition. Please note that for all transit times of five days (most states on the East Coast are a five day transit time with Ground service) it is not possible to avoid the weekend, and your order will take exactly one week to arrive after it ships out. So if it goes out on a Monday it will arrive the following Monday.