Convenience or landfill?

23 December, 2020

The pros and cons of dinner kits

We all want dinner to be easy, especially when we’re busy, it’s hot, you’ve had a long day and your friends and family are circling the kitchen like hungry wolves. For many busy households, the explosion of dinner kits on the market has been a saviour. These are fabulous for the time poor but do they come at an environmental cost? Let’s explore the pros and cons of the convenience cooking trend. 

 Pro: Meal kits save time 

There’s no denying it, knowing that your dinner will take 30 minutes to create, from start to finish, removes a layer of stress on those evenings when work has been hectic and the family has things to do. Meal kits come with everything you need to make a healthy meal; your protein is portioned, as are your herbs, spices, vegetables and carbs.

 Pro: Meal kits decrease food wastage

If you’ve ever had to clean the juice from a ‘too old’ zucchini, tomato or sleeve of basil from the bottom of your fridge drawers, you’ll be thrilled to learn that a meal kit goes a long way to solving this problem. You choose your preferred meals from an extensive list and the box arrives on your doorstep with exactly what you need – nothing more, nothing less. No more waste and no more messy, soggy vegetables giving you the guilts.

Con: Meal kits create landfill

Whilst having food measured into portions that enable quick assembly can make cooking dinner a breeze, they often create an unpalatable amount of waste. One meal could mean that you have thrown eight plastic bags into landfill: one sachet each for rice, stock powder, a number of different spices, meat or protein, and an assortment of vegetables.

Con: Meal kits are not cheap

Anyone on a tight budget knows that they are far better off to shop in bulk than buy small amounts of groceries. With meal kits, you’re not only paying for the items you’ll eat but you’re paying for the convenience. This convenience includes paying staff who plan, purchase and package your meals, as well as all the admin that’s involved in running a company. 

What’s the alternative?

A little bit of planning on your part could save you heaps and your meal times can be just as easy. 

Each week, plan your menus and coordinate your shopping list. Set aside some time to portion out your food and meal prep. You can even chop your vegetables and put them in water in plastic storage containers from Woolworths or Zap Variety to keep them fresh. Reusable ziplock bags (just hand wash them!) are also available at Woollies and make portioning and meal prepping super easy, while preventing plastic landfill waste. Grab some baskets for your fridge and kitchen and organise your food once a week.  

If you do need a kickstart to learn how to meal plan and create your own meal prepping routine, a few weeks of a meal kit service may be all you need to get into a better purchasing rhythm. Give it a go.