Photo of Golden Retriever dog playing in the creek.

The Convenience of Food-Part 3

by Kris Phillips

Home Chef was our third contestant. Overall, the packaging was pretty much the same as the other two. I mean really how many ways can you pack food?

The meal prep was definitely the simplest as well. But the meal creativity left a little to be desired. Our second meal was pork chops with mushrooms & carrots. The recipe didn’t call for any kind of seasoning on the pork at all. As we decided to strictly follow the recipe for a fair assessment, I didn’t even notice until I took a bite of the bland white meat. YUCK!

I also realized that most of the things in the Home Chef meal kit are staples I already have in the kitchen.

Home Chef is perfect for someone new to cooking. But if you’re looking for creative dishes you’ll probably be disappointed.

It wasn’t all boring, our last meal was actually pretty great. Sauteed onions over brussel sprouts & roasted red pepper sauce over chicken breast. YUM!

My overall take-away was:

Green Chef had the most creative, flavorful dishes. Though they took a little more prep than I’d have loved. But if you’re comfortable in the kitchen and looking for some variety the recipes are easy enough to follow.

Home Chef is the easiest, probably best if you just want something healthy to put in your body.  But if you’re looking for creativity, go elsewhere.

SunBasket had to best variety, allowing you to mix and match their various menus. Perfect if you’re someone who doesn’t like restrictions. Though I found their overall tastiness to be wanting.

Budget Conscious:  All of the meal plans fall within a few dollars of each other. And you’ll definitely pay a premium over store bought groceries. $13 per serving for a standard meatloaf didn’t sit right with me. I don’t mind paying a premium for good quality food, but I didn’t find the overall meal quality to justify the difference in price. You’re definitely paying for the convenience. Which, hey, there’s a lot of value in not having to do the things you don’t like in life.

Convenience: It was nice to have all the things for each meal in a single bag. However, if you do the standard 3 meals a week, you still have to go grocery shopping for all your other meals. I kinda feel like it’d be more convenient to use a regular grocery delivery service. Probably more economical too. Also, you still have to cook & clean. Though some services offered breakfast and lunch options as well.

Eco-Friendliness: I will credit each of these three with having responsibly sourced ingredients. Where possible most ingredients were organic and most meat was free range. When I started this experiment I didn’t even think about the carbon footprint. And I will credit each company with using recycled/ recyclable packaging wherever possible. But by the end of my first meal prep I was already feeling guilty about the number of small plastic bags I’d tossed as I unwrapped each individual ingredient. Not to mention the fuel used in delivery of the boxes, wherever they came from. If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly solution, it’s probably better to suck it up and take your reusable shopping bags to your local grocery store or farmers market.


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