How Green is GreenChef? What makes Green Chef meal kits sustainable?

June 29, 2022
How Green is GreenChef? What makes Green Chef meal kits sustainable?

Those who have used meal kit delivery services in the past will know that they’re a great time saver and fantastic at reducing stress in the kitchen. However, the jury is still out for a number of them on how ‘green’ they are and if they are environmentally friendly. While market-leading recipe box companies similar to HelloFresh claim to use ethical and sustainable practices, can that really be true?
For example, many of the reviews for alternatives to HelloFresh often complain about the large amount of single-use plastic there is. However, there is one HelloFresh alternative that is bucking the unenvironmentally friendly trend and that’s** Green Chef UK**. 

What is Green Chef UK doing about sustainability?

With so many of us looking to reduce our carbon footprint, we are increasingly demanding ways to ensure that our food consumption does not cause unnecessary damage to our environment. Green Chef is a good way to help your household’s overall environmental impact and here’s how:

Portion sizes

Green Chef pre measures all their ingredients when including them for a specific recipe in their boxes. As a result, the food waste, usually produced as a byproduct of cooking at home, is significantly reduced. Food doesn’t go off before a customer gets the chance to use all of it. Plus, there are no leftovers that are lurking in the fridge which will turn mouldy to then throw out.

Offsetting carbon emissions

Green Chef still includes plastic in some of its packaging. That’s a problem which is difficult to get around and eradicate completely at the moment - even for a high achieving company like GreenChef. There are laws that require certain foods to be packaged in certain ways for user safety. However, the company has cleverly offset 100% of its operational and distribution-related carbon emissions and in-box plastics. That means that it donates to funds dedicated to planting trees or carbon-reducing practices.

Reducing plastic

While there is still plastic included in many Green Chef boxes, Green Chef still strives to reduce plastic usage by replacing them with more sustainable materials. That means using cardboard or getting clever with packaging like its innovative insulation to help keep food cool.
Some companies similar to HelloFresh and Green Chef do try to do this - but there is a discernible difference with Green Chef’s packaging. While plastic is sadly included, the majority of their packaging is recyclable. The boxes, cardboard containers, and recipe cards are all produced on recyclable paper that can go straight to a user’s paper bin. The paper or card is also FSC certified - so it’s grown and cut down employing environmentally friendly practices.

Choosing local

One way to minimise carbon emissions is to reduce the number of ingredients that are imported from abroad or to use suppliers that use more sustainable production methods. Green Chef proactively seeks out such suppliers and tries to choose local producers wherever possible. For instance, all their fresh meat is from Britain. They have a strict set of values that they like all suppliers to meet - so when it comes to meat producers, they need to follow high welfare procedures, which is better for livestock and the environment too. The fish they use are always caught in sustainable ways too.
Importantly, the company also puts a big emphasis on offering vegan food and recipes. Vegan food, or plant-based options, can be better for the environment as, relatively speaking, they reduce the amount of carbon emissions produced.

Other advantages to Green Chef

We’re big fans of Green Chef, especially when comparing it to the vast number of **alternatives to HelloFresh. **Here’s why:

Recipe choices

Looking at the recipe choices on the Green Chef weekly menu is salivating inducing stuff. All the food is delicious and will pique the interest of even the most picky eaters. As a result, you can look forward to eating well every single night that you have a recipe box to create from. Importantly, you can also be happy in the knowledge that your food will be well-balanced and nutritious as all recipes are created with the help of a chef and food experts.
Green Chef takes its food inspiration from all around the world, so the types of food you can eat are varied too. You can expect to choose between Italian, French, Spanish and South East Asian cuisines, all within the same week.

Dietary breakdowns

There are a vast array of different dietary lifestyles these days, which means it can be difficult for those with specific restrictions to be catered for. However, Green Chef offers lots of different recipes for many types of dietary requirements. So if you are Vegan, Pescatarian, Vegetarian or following a Keto style, low carb diet, you’ll find that very easy to maintain with the Green Chef weekly menu.
Plus, with those all important wide range of options, even with a strict diet, you’ll find that you are eating exciting and innovative food week in week out.

Cost

Meal kit delivery companies will never be cheaper than the traditional supermarket shop. However, Green Chef comes in at a price per serving that is extremely attractive. Plus, when you couple that with the time saving and the massive reduction in stress that comes with a Green Chef box, the value that a user derives is far greater than the usual way of food shopping.
Additionally, with factors such as food waste being eradicated with a Green Chef box, you’ll not be spending that much more money over the course of a 6 month or yearly period as you will not be throwing out food that you have to rebuy again. Instead, you are only ever given how much you need for each specific recipe.
That cuts down on the vast amount of store cupboard ‘staples’ that we purchase to use on a one off basis for a specific recipe. Green Chef only delivers exactly what you need, so you get a tablespoon of something as opposed to a huge, expensive jar.

Is** Green Chef UK** organic?

Many potential customers of Green Chef may assume that the company supplies organic food only - particularly given its name. However, the company does not claim to be 100% organic. While some of its ingredients may be organic, not all of its ingredients are.
That does not necessarily mean that it is less ‘green’ than companies that only ever do use organic ingredients. The whole picture of a company has to be taken into account before determining its environmental impact on the planet. Organic farmers may not use intensive farming techniques that require pesticides, but they may still use machinery that is energy intensive and requires a lot of electricity or petrol to power.

So, what is the most sustainable food delivery service?

It is currently very difficult to outright say what the most sustainable food delivery service is. Companies similar to HelloFresh and Green Chef will all be trying different ways to employ environmentally friendly practices or reduce their carbon emissions. Those processes and methods may be difficult to directly compare and many have side effects that are positive or negative in the overall strategy to be as sustainable as possible.
For example, one Green Chef or **HelloFresh alternative **may use a farmer in Scotland whose salmon is caught completely wild thus having a very low carbon footprint at that point in time. However, by the time that salmon is delivered to the company’s warehouse and packed off to a customer, it may have travelled the length of the country a couple of times. A producer far closer to the warehouse, in comparison, may not have quite as low carbon emissions when supplying salmon, but its delivery emissions would be lower.
What’s great about Green Chef UK therefore, as a sustainable HelloFresh alternative, is that customers already know that it has offset all of its carbon emissions so that it is net zero. That’s a big comfort to users as it means there is an easy comparison point. So while it may actually produce more carbon emissions than another company, the fact that it offsets them means that its overall impact on the planet is ultimately lower.

Picking Green Chef

Green Chef is one of the best **alternatives to HelloFresh **- the longstanding market leader in food delivery boxes. What’s great to see is that Green Chef is not just trying to copy what HelloFresh does, but also differentiates itself in key ways. Ensuring that it is carbon neutral is just one way that it achieves that, but its diet plans are another key differentiating factor. They make following stricter diets far easier and, importantly, far more pleasurable too.

Rachel Lee
Having worked at Morgan Stanley and BNYMellon for over 10 years in pensions and investments, Rachel now works as a full-time business and financial writer.