Since January my personal Facebook feed has been FULL of promotions from Montreal based Goodfood and Toronto based HelloFresh, online meal delivery kits that enable households to order curated recipes and the measured ingredients delivered to your door.
I decided to try out one of these promotions and ordered two family meals, curious about what I would get.
We got two meals, one pizza and salad, and one chicken, rice and broccoli. The meals were easy to prepare and were tasty enough. The kids of course didn’t like the things about the meals that were “different” ie. Sesame seeds on the roasted chicken.
And while it made dinner prep easier on those nights, it also was not worth repeating for the following reasons:
- The Packaging – individually packaged herbs, spices, rice, veg, mustard, maple syrup, the frozen ice packs, the thermal cardboard box. If this is the environmental impact of two meals for my family, then the impact of this $120 million industry that is expected to grow to $1 billion in the next 5 years is creating a huge environmental problem! Yes, they tell me this can be recycled, but this amount of production from resources and recycling take energy and resources that are not necessary for two meals. In good conscience I could not order again, just on environmental impact alone. See the Globe article here.
- The lack of flexibility for food preferences and allergies – we have one child with celiac, all of us cannot eat dairy and one with an egg allergy. These meal boxes do not enable the customization for these realities. As such I had meals for only part of my family.
- The ownership model – Goodfood (not to be confused with us, goodfood2u, yes they named themselves after we did) is a publicly traded company, and publicly traded companies are required to maximize return to their investors. As a consumer I then question the labour and environmental conditions this food was produced in. Factory farmed? Conventional? Likely. HelloFresh is German owned. Wait, really? Yes really. So the two most prominent meal box companies in Canada are either publically traded or foreign owned. As someone who cares about love food systems and local economies this doesn’t sit well with me.
The conclusion, as a working mother of 4 children, is that I love the concept. Meals coordinated on my behalf, that arrive at my door, that someone in my home simply has to prepare and serve. Thumbs up!
So with this we at goodfood2u have decided to re-launch our Meal Box concept, to provide Ottawa area consumers with the ingredients (vegetables, meat, pulses, grains), with limited packaging (no ice packs required because our distribution is direct, limited plastic, and assuming you have a pantry to staples so you don’t need a small package of herbs), dietary restriction friendly, all delivered to your door with a recipe. We are an Ottawa owned family business, the money you spend on these meal kits will stay in your community.
Last weeks meals:
Italian Sausage and Vegetable Slaw (Kale, Cabbage and Brussel Sprouts) with roasted potatoes (Gluten Free, Dairy and Egg Free)
Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Salad (Paleo, Gluten free, Dairy and Egg Free)
Swiss Chard and Chickpea Curry with Short Grain Brown Rice (Vegan)
To place an order visit the store