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Cooking can become a chore that no one feels excited about. If you’re caught in this transition as back-to-school season begins, switching to a nutritionally-balanced, delicious meal kit delivery service may help. We test and retest meal kits throughout the year to help you pick the service that’s right for you. Some work better for specific diets, and some are better for the environment than others in terms of ingredients and packaging. Here are sustainable meal kits you can shop right now.
1. Hello Fresh
HelloFresh prides itself on producing less food waste than grocery stores by precisely portioning the ingredients that go into each recipe. The meals are organized in paper bags within the larger, recyclable cardboard box for easy access and clarity when it comes time to cook. This packaging is an eco-friendly improvement over other companies’ plastic bags.
Meat and fish are kept cold using cold packs filled with water soluble gel so that when you’re ready to dispose of them, simply defrost, empty the pack’s contents down the drain, and recycle the plastic package. Meals are $8.99 per serving for two people ordering at least three meals a week, and $7.49 per serving for four people ordering at least three meals a week.
2. Green Chef
Green Chef earned its certified organic badge through its sourcing practices: all ingredients are free of GMOs, pesticides, and antibiotics. Similar to Hello Fresh, Green Chef claims to produce less food waste than big box stores through its pre-portioned ingredients, which means you’ll use up everything you receive in the package.
The packaging is relatively eco-friendly, as both the cardboard and plastic (#4 plastic film) components can be recycled. Taste-wise, our tester was satisfied with all the meals she tried. She also made note of the large serving portions that left her with leftovers for the next day.
Sunbasket is one of the top-rated meal kits we’ve tested, thanks to its customer-friendly recipes, short prep time, and wide variety of meatless meals for vegetarian and vegan eaters. Sunbasket prides itself on its approach to making sure its business model has a reduced impact on the environment. For instance, all of its packaging is recyclable or reusable, including the plastic bags and films for packing meat and fresh produce.
4. Home Chef
As one of the best meal kit delivery services we’ve tried, Home Chef has a lot to offer to its hungry customers. During testing we were impressed with its freshly-sourced ingredients, easy recipes, and a wide selection of meals, which now also include oven-ready options that came with cooking trays. Plus, most of Home Chef’s packaging is recyclable.
5. Daily Harvest
If you’re too busy with work and can’t be bothered to turn on the stove, Daily Harvest is a great solution for getting the necessary nutrients into your diet. Unlike a traditional meal kit that sends ingredients for you to cook, Daily Harvest does the cooking for you. You’ll receive a cup packed with delicious cooked ingredients and you’ll puree or blend them into a meal. Nearly all of the ingredients are organic and Daily Harvest takes eco-friendly packaging very seriously, so everything is either biodegradable or recyclable.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.