Okay, I have to say, meal kits have mastered the art of advertising.
They claim to reduce food waste as they create: “Chef-curated recipes and seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients, delivered to your doorstep every week for delicious home-cooked meals” (Hello Fresh) . They tell you to be adventurous with your ingredients, claim that you’ll be less grumpy because you don’t need to go to the grocery store, and promote to millennials by selling convenience and saying you’ll step up your instagram game by posting photos of their meals…
They seem to know what they’re doing, they’ve become a $120-million industry in Canada and deliver more than 11 million meals a month, and they’ve been blowing up my social media.
But here’s the thing… these cute subscription boxes come at a cost, and I’m not just talking about their hefty price tag…. ($73.99 for a vegetarian meal kit that will only feed my husband and I for 3 meals?…We spend that much on a weeks worth of groceries for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner…[see how we do it here]). But the bigger cost is the environmental impact they’re creating.
By buying into these subscription boxes people are increasing emissions on our already fragile planet. Rather than having bulk deliveries to a grocery store, these subscription kits are having deliveries made to their warehouse, where they are then putting the boxes together, and then send out to individual households, aka emissions, emissions, emissions….Also, most of these deliveries only include 3 meals, which means you’ve probably also made a trip to the grocery store…
AND THE PACKAGING!
Honestly, this has to be the most infuriating part about subscription boxes. On many of these kits’ websites, the packaging looks sustainable (cardboard boxes and paper bags), and they rarely show the true packaging of their products or #IRL. The truth is, the food needs to stay fresh, and grouping/portioning ingredients is part of the appeal of these boxes, increasing the use of styrofoam coolers, plastic packaging, and ice packs.
So, while being adventurous with our meals sounds appealing…there are ways we can do this without sacrificing our planet:
Buy a cookbook…
- They’re full of recipes already laid out, tell you the ingredients you need, how to cook them, and even make instagram worthy looking meals! WHO KNEW?!
Take 10-15 minutes to plan out your meals for the week…
- This way when you head to the market for that farm fresh guilt-free produce, you won’t be so grumpy because you won’t be wandering around without an idea of what to buy…AND you’ll save money!
Use reusable bags while shopping and buy fresh, package-free ingredients
- You’ll not only be keeping waste out of our landfills, but you’ll also eat healthier as most processed foods come packaged.
Invest in a compost bin
- If you’re constantly wasting food, you really should consider why this is happening. Are you just buying food to fill the fridge and shelves, or are your purchasing with purpose? A compost is great for the off-cuts of veggies that you won’t use, eggs shells, and even coffee grounds to name a few. And yes, you can compost even if you live in an apartment !
Eat seasonally. Shop locally. Purchase with purpose!