BREAKING NEWS: A first-of-its-kind scientific study shows that meal kits are better for the environment than the grocery store. In fact, they're a LOT better. Meals prepared from store-bought groceries are responsible for 33% more greenhouse gas emissions than an equivalent dish from a meal kit, according to a PhD lead study published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling journal.1
The meal kit industry has been booming lately, offering customers the ability to cook home-made meals without the hassle of buying groceries, budgeting, recipe planning, or even ingredient prepping. Take one of the most popular meal kits in Canada, HelloFresh, for example. For as little as $10.83 per meal, HelloFresh delivers a delicious box each week to customer's doors that includes everything they need for dinner: from easy-to-follow recipe cards with cooking instructions to fresh produce and ingredients that have been pre-prepped. This saves the average customer about 87 minutes of driving around and grocery shopping -- talk about efficient! Customers can choose between 17 delicious recipes every week, most of which can be cooked up in 30 minutes or less! With HelloFresh, there is something for everyone: from vegetarian plans and options under 500 calories like Mediterranean Baked Veggies for the health-conscious consumer to larger family plans and hearty steak dinners. No wonder millions of people are trusting HelloFresh with dinner!
Yet, many incorrectly that meal kits used more packaging than grocery stores and are a poor choice for environmentally-friendly consumers. Despite rising meal kit popularity, the phenomenon has been understudied until now. The recent studies make it clear: meals from meal kits are much better for the environment than meals prepared using groceries. Why? Meal kits, like HelloFresh, send customers the exact ingredients needed to cook up their delicious meals. No more and no less - eliminating unused ingredients spoiling in the fridge and ultimately being thrown away. In fact, people using HelloFresh saved on average about 36% in household food waste compared to those cooking similar meals with ingredients purchased from grocery stores. That's amazing!
Turns out, food waste is a way bigger problem than you might think. "We waste somewhere between 30% to 40% of the food that we produce, which is just a mind-boggling number," the study's lead author Brent Heard, a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan's School for Environment and Sustainability, told Time.2 Plus, most people may not realize that grocery stores themselves are responsible for a huge amount of food waste. Stores toss out tons of food each year and the packaging used for common grocery store purchased items are often less recyclable than the packaging used by HelloFresh. In the end, the production of all that wasted food creates a much larger carbon footprint than the relatively minimal amounts of recyclable packaging used to keep meal kit ingredients safe and fresh!
If you've had any doubts about meal kits, consider this: with a subscription to HelloFresh, you're not just putting delicious, quality home cooked meals on the table with minimal effort, you're helping protect the environment.
Update: The folks at HelloFresh are extending a special offer to our readers! Follow this link to get $40 off your first box!