With the accessibility of prepared meal companies, eating has become more than it used to be. By eating and cooking, people want to be a part of a movement. Whether you’re sharing Instagram photos of adorable brunches with your BFF, or a cute little doughnut to treat yo’self, it’s undeniable that social media has a strong influence on the way we eat. (Hello, rainbow bagels).
With this increase in food accessibility on the internet, eating healthy has also become increasingly popular. From Whole 30 Challenges, to #EatClean hashtags, there’s undoubtedly an abundance of healthy meal-spiration out there. When we post a meal on social media, we feel like we’re contributing to more than just feeding ourselves. We’re providing meal inspiration to others, and also showing our friends, “look how easy this is!”
But for those of us who are not considerably the best cooks, or are limited by a busy schedule, food delivery services such as Blue Apron have successfully opened up the doors for many people to try new ingredients and experiment with their meals. But while Blue Apron advertises farm-fresh ingredients, I can’t help but wonder: Are their meals truly healthy, or is this just really smart marketing?
Upon first glance of their “On the Menu” list, I noticed a few red flags that particularly stood out to me (and should for others looking to eat healthy). Most of their recipes call for lots of cheese, heavy carbs, and loads of sugar. In fact, I had trouble finding a Blue Apron recipe without those ingredients. One recipe in particualr included pretzel buns, ground beef, cheddar cheese, flour, and various spices. While Blue Apron conveniently pre-packages these ingredients to you, I can’t help but notice their website also does not include the calorie count or nutrition label at all. And with their carb-heavy list of ingredients, I can’t imagine that’s a good thing.
Therefore, while Blue Apron may be providing quality, wholesome ingredients, their meals do not appear to be the wisest choice if you’re looking to improve your diet. I believe there’s a good chance people are falling for their “farm-fresh” advertisements, thinking eating their meals will help them eat healthy. And yes, of course, it’s better than heating up that bowl of ramen or ordering take-out. But I must say, if you are truly looking to change your eating habits, there are much better alternatives out there than Blue Apron.
Some of my favorite healthy-eating internet shops are Thrive Market, GreenChef, and Sakara.
Thrive Market promises to offer wholesome products at wholesale prices. Their tagline is that their mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone, and I truly believe they do that. With multiple options to shop by, whether you’re looking to eat gluten free, paleo, raw, or vegan, Thrive Market’s easy-to-use interface does an amazing job at providing healthy ingredients for a great price. I’ve found that many of the items that I order on Thrive can be found at my local Whole Foods, but they are much more cost-effective on Thrive. (Sign me up!)
GreenChef, similarly to Blue Apron, is another service that provides easy-to-prep meals. Don’t be surprised, though, not only are their meals customizable, but they are certified organic, too. Much differently than the one-size-fits-all Blue Apron, what I love about GreenChef is that you can select from 5 different dietary needs (vegetarian, omnivore, carnivore, gluten free, and paleo). Upon looking at their weekly menu, I was extremely happy to see truly affordable, delicious, and healthy meals.
Lastly, I recently stumbled upon a lovely gem, Sakara. Not only is their marketing beautiful, (and I was super skeptical at first), but their ingredients truly are the real deal. The only downside is that their meal-delivery service costs a pretty penny ($255 for 3 days’ worth of organic meals), but I struck gold on their Clean Boutique section. This section of their website features more affordable options, such as healthy cookies (yes, really), healthy salad dressings, and even probiotic chocolate!
In conclusion, there are plenty of healthy-minded websites out there that want to make it easier for you to live a better lifestyle. Whether you’re looking to conveniently order some pre-packaged groceries or get more creative in the kitchen, it’s important to do your research and find the best company that works with your diet and financial situation. Remember to not fall for “farm-fresh” gimmicks, and good luck cooking!
What are your favorite healthy-eating websites?