Vegans and Environmentally Concerned Ought to Reconsider Blue Apron

by Jennifer

I am often supportive of my friends transitioning from takeout to cooking in their home, as cooking makes one more aware and in control of what one is putting in his/her body.

However, I have a bone to pick… with Blue Apron because for a company that has generated more than $193 million funding, they do not do enough to encourage environmentally and animal friendly eating.

The packaging is wasteful…the carbon footprint is high considering everything ships from only two distribution centers…food is not local… and of course the lack of vegan options signals a lack of care for animal lives…

My gripes with Blue Apron

Blue Apron is a weekly meal plan that delivers 5 million meals a month to customers across the nation.

For a company so dead set on offering “sustainable seafood, meat with no added hormones or sub therapeutic antibiotics, and non-GMO ingredients why doesn’t Blue Apron offer a vegan plan or vegetarian option Family Plan?
Considering the negative environmental and health impacts of consuming meat and dairy, and the affordability of supplying vegetables and other plant-base ingredients, Blue Apron could easily add such options and even choose to source them locally. It need not be under the same company, but could be an animal-friendly and eco-friendly branch that the brand offers.

Blue Apron Fish Options

On Blue Apron’s site, they site stats such as, “According to a 2015 World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) report, marine vertebrate populations have plummeted over the last fifty years, largely due to overfishing and destructive aquaculture (or fish farming). It’s a scary statistic…”

Add to this that,

Blue Apron got approval to operate a food processing facility from the California Department of Public Health for the first time last month, despite having been packing and shipping boxes of fresh produce and raw fish, poultry, and meat in the state for over three years.

You know Blue Apron is well aware of the negative effects it has on the environment and on animals, as well as in providing food that adheres to safety regulations for humans.

When I wrote to Blue Apron about whether they had vegan options or whether they planned to roll this out, I received the following response:

“Hi there,

Thanks for inquiring about a vegan option with Blue Apron. I’m so sorry to say that we don’t currently offer a vegan recipe plan. I will relay your concern to our team so that this may be considered for the future. We do offer a vegetarian option on our 2-Person Plan….

Brianna G.
Blue Apron Customer Experience Team
www.blueapron.com

Beyond a lack of consideration for the vegan population or for becoming a greater proponent of the environment and animal rights, Blue Apron also creates an enormous amount of waste and large carbon footprint.

Just a small portion of the waste generated from a week of Blue Apron

Waste

  • Buzz Read recently reviewed the amount of waste created by 3 2-person meals from Blue Apron:

“…this is what remained, after cooking:

Nine plastic baggies of varying sizes

four clamshells, also plastic

a pair of tiny containers that had held about a tablespoon…

a sheaf of recipes, instructions, and promotions printed on thick cardstock

the foil bag from a few tablespoons of tomato paste

three paper bags, now soggy and damp from refrigeration and condensation

a cardboard box stamped with cheerful, cartoonified cooking implements

three thick plastic meat packages

two gel-filled icepacks

a foil bag not unlike the ones marathoners wear to keep warm.”

All that waste for just three meals! Considering that 5 million meals are delivered per month, that is a lot of waste!!!

While some of the packaging material is said to be recyclable, much of this cannot be processed by most of the country’s recycling centers.

Carbon Footprint

“It delivers to 85% of the country from two distribution centers nationwide — meaning that before it makes it to your doorstep.”

Alternative Options

The Purple Carrot, is completely vegan and comparable in price to Blue Apron.

One taste tester wrote, “Founder Andrew Levitt is a pharmaceutical industry vet who, after being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and watching the documentary Forks Over Knviesoverhauled his eating habits for a plant-based, whole foods diet. But he and his wife struggled to whip up easy, healthy dinners…

The ingredients: The Purple Carrot has relationships with farms in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and they “try to use organic whenever possible.” The produce you receive won’t necessarily be super local, just yet. If you’re in New York City, for example, you might get veggies from the same Massachusetts farm as someone in Connecticut. But it is super fresh, shipped within 24 to 48 hours from when it’s picked, says Levitt. And as the company grows, the produce will become more localized.”

Or cook at home. 

Recipes are easy to find online, and easily spell out the ingredients you need.

Use reusable bags to avoid added packaging.

Try to buy ingredients that are package-less or that contain packaging that is completely recyclable.

& Save Money! A single serving of one meal at Blue Apron @ $10 costs more than I spend all day on food!

Eat well. Eat ethically. & Do your best to reduce your carbon footprint.

 XO NY Nomads
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