The Environmental Impact of Meal Kits
If you have ever purchased a meal kit, you likely did so for the health and convenience advantages meal kits provide. Compared to frozen meals or fast food, meal kits represent a much healthier, whole-foods option. Plus, having a box of ingredients delivered directly to your door definitely beats fighting the crowds at the grocery store.
However, did you know that meal kits are also better for the environment?
That’s right! According to a study from researchers at the University of Michigan, meal kits represent a significant decrease in environmental impacts compared to grocery shopping (in both the USA and Canada).
According to Brent Heard and his colleges at the University of Michigan, many consumers are concerned about the amount of packaging used in meal kits. Compared to buying groceries in bulk at your local store, meal kits contain much more packaging. Within a meal kit, you are given a recipe-specific amount of each ingredient. While there is more packaging in meal kits, the researchers wanted to analyze the entire process used to create these kits.
By comparing it to the process of buying groceries, the researchers found that this increase in packaging is largely offset by reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and decreased amounts of food waste generated by meal kits.
Let’s look at each item in detail:
Other Meal Kit Advantages
Besides being healthier for the environment, the best meal kits are often better for your personal health. Compared to buying processed food, food from restaurants, or frozen foods, meal kits often contain fresh, whole-food ingredients. Science has shown that nutrients are significantly damaged by commercial food-processing techniques. Meal kits offer a simple and effective way to get fresh ingredients without having to go to the grocery store.
Plus, even if you are a bad cook, meal kits come with easy-to-follow instructions for preparing each meal. Not only can anyone follow these recipes, but each meal kit also comes with all the ingredients you need. This includes small packages of seasonings and other items that you would typically have to buy in bulk at the store. For instance, if smoked paprika is not something you use on a regular basis, a meal kit will provide the perfect amount so none goes to waste. This is a great choice for consumers tired of their seasonings going stale on the shelf.
Try it for yourself! There are deliveries all over Canada! Compared to meal planning, grocery shopping, and trying to use bulk ingredients up, meal kits are an easy choice. There are now dozens of meal kit providers, offering various services. Some are suited to vegan diets, while others specialize in providing local foods at an affordable price. Try one out today to lower your environmental impact and get healthy, fresh ingredients!