Eating organic can help you enjoy a balanced and nutritious diet. Meal kit companies in all their time-saving glory are increasingly getting on board the organic train by highlighting sustainable farming practices and high standards for ingredients.
There's limited data out there, but we know that organic foods have been linked to possible health benefits like increased nutrients and lower levels of toxic chemicals. But beyond the label, what exactly does organic mean when it comes to your food?
Have you ever paused for a moment to consider the difference between regular products and their "organic" counterparts? According to the USDA, organic farming for products including fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, and protein is held to strict standards: no artificial fertilizers, antibiotics, pesticides or genetic modifications allowed.
Theget their fruits, vegetables and meats from farms that adhere to these standards. This usually goes hand in hand with other promising practices, such as high expectations for animal welfare and a commitment to sustainably sourced ingredients. The problem is, not all meal kits are fully -- or even partially -- organic.
"The best organic meal service would really be hard to find, because they all have some degree of using non-organic produce or animal proteins," nutritionist Mary Sabat says.
Look for meal kit companies that are transparent about their tactics. The best ones (see our picks below) will clearly indicate which ingredients or recipes are organic, and let you know when something needs to be swapped out for its conventionally sourced counterpart.
The best organic meal kits to sign up for in 2023
From recognizable names to meal kits that may be new to you, these are the top choices for organic ingredients in 2023:
- Best overall: Green Chef
- Best vegan deliveries: Daily Harvest
- Best for sustainability: Sunbasket
- Best recipe variety: Blue Apron
- Best prepackaged: Fresh N' Lean
Browse some of the best and most reliable meal kit companies for organic and sustainably sourced ingredients below.
Best overall: Green Chef
Green Chef makes committing to an organic diet easier than ever. This company sits at the top of our recommended list thanks to its own commitment to sending out organically sourced ingredients whenever possible.
"Green Chef is a USDA certified organic meal kit company," says NYC-based dietitian Melissa Darlow. "The meal kits are also plastic and carbon offset. Green Chef is known for its transparency and commitment to local organic ingredients."
While it's not the only USDA certified organic meal kit company highlighted here, Green Chef was the first to earn that distinction in the world of meal prep kits, according to the company.
Green Chef sources fresh, organic produce and eggs for its meal recipes. There are also organic beef and chicken options. The meal kit company sticks to high standards for animal welfare and food quality.
Like many other meal kits out there, Green Chef prices start at $12 per serving. If you're new to the world of meal kits, there's always a good chance you'll stumble on some impressive savings when selecting your first plan -- and Green Chef is no exception. Newbies can save up to $250 on their first order, plus free shipping on that first box -- one more reason to stick with that organic diet!
- Fully transparent and ongoing commitment to organically sourced produce, eggs, and protein.
- Any ingredients that couldn't be organically sourced will be clearly labelled in your delivery.
- Other sustainable practices including recyclable packaging materials and plastic offset program to reduce ocean plastic.
- Subscribers have to deal with a flat $12 shipping fee per box -- that's higher than some competitors.
- Premium meals that cost up to $10 per serving can run up your monthly expenses.
Best vegan deliveries: Daily Harvest
"Daily Harvest is a vegan delivery service and is my all-time favorite," Sabat says. "Every item on their menu from their soups, shakes, bowls, etc. is 100% organic and full of superfoods."
Daily Harvest is another winner in the game of nutritious, health-focused meal kits in our opinion. Everything on the company's weekly menu -- which includes harvest bowls, soups, flatbreads, smoothies, and more -- is plant-based, organic, and sustainably sourced. If you like superfoods, this meal delivery service is the one for you.
We know that ais key to maintaining good health, so it may make sense for you to supercharge your nightly meals with offerings from Daily Harvest.
Unlike other meal kit services, Daily Harvest prices its plans per item instead of per serving. Individual items start at $6 apiece and go up to $12. Plan options include small, medium and large, letting you pick between 9 and 24 items per delivery. Save up to $25 by opting for larger plans -- and don't miss out on $20 off your first box! Use promo code FRUITVEG to save.
- Fully plant-based and sustainably sourced menu.
- Unique options to choose from each week, such as smoothies and lattes.
- Limited menu when it comes to meal variety, especially when compared to other meal kits.
- Pricing structure can be confusing for anyone used to other meal kit subscriptions that list prices per serving.
Best for sustainability: Sunbasket
Another meal kit service that has an established commitment to fresh, organic produce is Sunbasket. With options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as an impressive variety of meals, this is one service that won't get stale after two or three deliveries.
All of Sunbasket's ingredients are sustainably sourced, according to the company. The brand partners with reliable farmers and ranchers to fill your delivery box with proteins free of antibiotics or hormones. The company is fully transparent about its high animal welfare standards, which can be found in Sunbasket's FAQ.
If you prefer (or need to) stick to a particular diet, you're in luck: Sunbasket has plans that cater to vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian, and Mediterranean diets. There are also carb-conscious, diabetes-friendly, and "lean and clean" (under 600 calories) diets available. Plan prices start at $10 per serving for fresh and ready meals, which can be ready in minutes, or $12 per serving for meal kits you cook yourself. First time users can also enjoy $90 in savings spread across their first four boxes, plus free shipping.
- Detailed and transparent commitment to ingredients that are sustainably sourced, fresh and organic.
- A variety of plan options to suit multiple dietary restrictions and preferences.
- More than 20 nutritious and appealing meals to choose from each week.
- Total costs for each delivery are higher than other meal kits, thanks to a flat $10 shipping fee and meals that can range from $10 to $15 per serving.
- Not available to households in Montana, Alaska or Hawaii.
Best recipe variety: Blue Apron
Up next, we have one of the most recognizable names in the world of meal kit deliveries. Blue Apron belongs on our list thanks to a number of ingredient standards that determine what makes it to each and every delivery box.
While not fully organic, Blue Apron sticks by the statement that some of its ingredients are USDA-certified organic. This meal kit company supports farmers that stick to sustainable farming practices -- which means no pesticides, hormones, or other unwanted chemicals in your veggies.
Blue Apron also has a detailed animal welfare policy. This backs up the claim that you're getting fresh, high quality proteins alongside organic vegetables when cooking with Blue Apron. Check out more of the meal kit company's high standards, including those surrounding seafood and egg producing farmers, on its FAQ.
Prices start at $12 per serving. First timers once again win out: Save $200 over the course of your first six deliveries plus free shipping on that first box by signing up below.
- Lots to choose from each week with dozens of new and interesting recipes to choose from.
- Some interesting, chef-approved recipes that are a cut above your average meal-kit offering.
- Commitment to sustainably sourced ingredients.
- Not yet USDA-certified, like some other meal kit delivery services on our list.
Best prepackaged: Fresh N' Lean
If you want prepackaged meals that cut out prep entirely, Fresh n' Lean would be the perfect addition to your weekly routine. This meal kit company specializes in meals that are fresh, never frozen, and made from quality ingredients.
"[Fresh n' Lean] prioritizes high-quality ingredients, including organic produce, lean proteins, and healthy fats, while avoiding harmful additives and preservatives," Sabat says. "Each meal is carefully portioned to provide balanced nutrition and promote portion control.
"Customization options cater to various dietary preferences, ensuring that individuals can adhere to their chosen lifestyles. The meals are free from artificial additives and preservatives, and the fresh and vacuum-sealed packaging maintains their freshness without compromising flavor."
While not USDA-certified, this company does aim to ship organic ingredients whenever possible. In the event that an ingredient doesn't meet the brand's quality standards, it may be replaced with conventional ingredients. Once Fresh N' Lean successfully certifies certain menu items made up of at least 95% organic ingredients (an ongoing efforts according to the company's FAQ), the company might climb higher on our list.
Fresh N' Lean is more budget friendly than other meal kits, with prices starting at $9 per serving. Shipping can tack on up to $10 per order, but it's worth noting that orders costing more than $100 come with free shipping.
First time subscribers can save $20 off their first weekly order after signing up via email.
- Prepackaged meals make for a super quick and convenient experience at lunch or dinnertime.
- Affordable prices, especially for larger orders.
- These nutrition-forward meals are prepackaged only -- if you want meal kits to cook yourself, consider some of the other companies listed above.
- Limited details around the meal kit company's commitment to organic ingredients beyond the stated goal of working towards USDA certification for select menu items.
How to shop for meal kits when organic meals are your biggest priority
"Look for meal kits that prioritize high-quality ingredients," says Sabat. "Some people prefer organic or locally sourced ingredients, so check if the meal delivery service offers these options."
Delve into the fine print. Look for recipes with listed ingredients and check for labels or categories that show organic vegetables.
With most meal kit companies, your best bet is to browse the FAQ page. Here is where you'll find information on how companies source their food items, as well as what sort of standards they have for quality assurance.
If a meal kit is USDA-certified organic, that means ingredients are coming from trusted farmers and producers that abide by national organic regulations.
How we ranked the best organic meal kits of 2023
To provide an honest and helpful look at some of the best organic meal kits available, we considered the following:
- Sustainability: We looked for meal kits that showed a clear and detailed commitment to sustainably sourced ingredients in addition to organic fruits and vegetables.
- Fresh ingredients: We picked meal kit companies that built a reputation for shipping out organically sourced, farm-fresh ingredients to their customers with every delivery.
- Menu substitutions: The ability to easily swap out certain meals (or individual ingredients) is great for meeting customers where they're at. We sided with meal kit companies that keep it simple when it comes to building your ideal meal plan.
- High quality recipes: Let's be honest: you want healthy meals that are also delicious. We stuck to our guns and kept our standards high by picking meal kit companies that serve up unique and tasty recipes on a regular basis.
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