I was talking about meal kit delivery services (of which there are many – I've reviewed three so far) with my sister and friend a couple weeks ago, and we narrowed down our dissatisfactions to three things:
- The packaging waste is out of control. Most of these meal kits come wrapped in all sorts of plastic, in a cardboard box, with several freezer packs that no one has fully figured out what to do with. Some meal services say you can slice open the freezer packs, dump out the contents, and recycle the plastic bag part, but only certain municipalities recycle the plastic part and it makes me extremely uncomfortable to dump the blue goo down the drain. So they pile up in your freezer, until you can find the time to drop them off at a meal delivery charity. (Right.)
- It still takes too much time to prep. This complaint was not mine, but my sister and friend's. My sister is getting her PhD and raising a toddler. Chopping vegetables is not her priority. My friend is struggling with an autoimmune-type disease that makes her extremely tired but requires obsessive attention to ingredients. Chopping vegetables is too much. And while I don't have an aversion to chopping vegetables per se – I make myself feel better about the time spent by ascribing to it a sort of edifying, zen activity that makes me a better person – I certainly don't need to chop vegetables.
- They get boring. My sister had this complaint, saying that every meal, while varied in ingredients, takes the exact same type of prep. Chop, cook in pan or oven, serve. There are no deviations, such as chicken pot pie or whole roast chicken. I understand why, of course. It would be very inefficient for a meal kit company to start throwing creative wrenches in the system like that.