What To Look For in a Meal Kit Delivery Service
Let's be honest, grocery store trips, meal planning, and figuring out how you're going to use all that spinach in the fridge takes time. Enter: Meal Kit Delivery Services. Here's everything i look for in one.
I'm going to be upfront from the start- no throwing in sponsored at the way, way bottom of this post. Sun Basket did financially support me writing this blog. But to be honest, I've been reaching out to them for a year in hopes of doing this! They're hands-down my favorite meal-kit delivery service, and I'm extremely grateful for Sun Basket's support. So I promise, all nerdy opinions are my own.
The registered-dietitian-to-be in me geeks out a little bit whenever I read about the cool things they're doing, so I wanted to compile a list of things I look for in a meal-kit delivery service. Let's be real, they're a time and food-waste saver.
I've tried a good share of meal-kit services over the past year or two. If you're not familiar with them, here's the basic run-down:
- Order your meals through an online weekly menu
- All ingredients get delivered to your doorstep
- You keep ingredients in the fridge until you're ready to cook
- Find the recipe card to make your meal
- Feel like a Top Chef when you make some fancy-shmancy meal in less than 30 minutes
So this is what I look for in meal-kit delivery services:
1. Sustainably Raised Meat + Poultry
This is big for me. There are more factors when it comes to sourcing animal products than fruits and veggies, so I look for one that has quality meats, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Sunbasket sources antibiotic and hormone-free meats, lambs and turkeys are pasture-raised, all dairy is organic, and eggs are pastured as well. Some recipes even have grass-fed options for beef. Heck yes.
2. Wild-Caught Seafood
You may have seen videos circulating out there of farm-raised fish, but if not, take a look at the color of wild-caught salmon to farm-raised salmon in the grocery store. Wild-caught tends to be a deep red color, while farm-raised option is orange and sometimes even gray. Fish from the wild eat little fish filled with carotenoids (same things to give vegetables rich colors). If they're farmed, they're probably eating pellets of soy, grain, or canola meal. Any fish you'll get with a Sunbasket meal is always wild-caught, and their fisheries are certified by Marine Stewardship Council (a leading authority in sustainable seafood).
3. One that makes Mother Earth proud AF
This is where I get all nerdy. With other meal kit delivery services, the meals may have been tasty, but I felt horrible throwing out a whole trash bag worth of waste from just 3 meals. Sunbasket meals come in a recyclable cardboard box (I ended up using mine as my recycling bin in my kitchen for the week), their ice packs can be drained and composted, and their containers can either be recycled or reused (I re use them for dressings or snacks in my packed lunches).
4. Organic Produce
As you can see in the picture of all the ingredients above, over 99% of Sunbasket's ingredients are certified organic. Their tofu comes from organic soybeans, and they even got that label. OFFICIAL AF.
We're not talking health if we're not talking access, am I right? I get that. As a grad student, I know ordering meal-kit services every week isn't realistic. For me, I like to treat myself (during a finals week or something) to reduce the time spent driving to the store, at the grocery store, and planning recipes. Sunbasket is priced about $2 more a meal than the typical meal-kit service, but their integrity and quality is so worth it for me.
Meals from this week:
Here are some of the meals I made this week! Ttikka masala shrimp over rice, salmon burgers, and green shakshuka. So delish.