There are countless meal delivery services out there these days, and with Amazon getting into the game, meal kits are sure to become the norm. But, what are the environmental impacts of these kits? Copious packaging, nationwide shipping, and factory-farmed meats all add up to some pretty serious carbon (and methane) emissions. But that doesn't mean you have to bow out of the meal kit fun: meet Just Add Cooking - an actually sustainable alternative.
Why to Choose Just Add Cooking
Just Add Cooking is a Boston-based meal kit startup that focuses on locally-sourced, organic, non-GMO ingredients. They are committed to sustainability and their local approach basically lends itself to this philosophy. By sourcing from local vendors whenever possible, Just Add Cooking is nourishing both customers and the communities they serve by supporting local food economies. They're also cutting down on food miles and allowing people to eat locally sourced food more conveniently.
But are They Really More Sustainable?
Because they're local, there's no central regional warehouse or air shipping. Ingredients are packed in the Boston area and delivered same-day, by car or bike depending on location. This results in fewer emissions, but also enables them to use less packing material. You may not know this if you've never ordered from a national company but there are typically about 10 lbs of packing material included in most meal kits, much of which requires special recycling procedures like sending it back to the company. Alternatively, Just Add Cooking uses around 2 lbs, most of it reusable, municipally recyclable or compostable.
Ordering Just Add Cooking is pretty simple - and awesome because they have a great discount for first-timers. After placing an order and refining your meal selection online (vegetarian and gluten-free options available), the meal ingredients and recipe cards are then delivered directly to your door. Keep an eye out for information on the locally sourced ingredients in your box and the farms they come from!
My first recipe was for quinoa fried rice - a quick-to-cook vegetarian meal. All it took was a little chopping, mixing, and stir frying, and I ended up with a seriously drool-worthy dish. The recipe was so good (and quick + healthy) that I've used it at home again multiple times. If all of Just Add Cooking's recipes are like this, I'll have a whole new (planet-friendly) culinary repertoire in no time!