Most Commonly Asked Questions About The Best Organic Meal Plans 2019
Meal delivery plans have become increasingly popular in recent years. These services provide convenience and value for many people who are short on time but still want to eat healthy, home-cooked meals rather than fast food or take-out.
Some of these services offer additional menu options, including choices for those who are really health-focused. One of the most popular choices among these options is organic meal plans. Below, we’ll highlight some of the details about the best organic meal plans available today, what they offer, and what sets them apart from “regular” meal plans.
What is an Organic Meal Plan?
An organic meal plan is a type of meal delivery plan that provides you with healthy, fresh food. All meal plans deliver prepared ingredients and associated recipes, in the serving amounts and number of meals you request and choose each week. Organic meal plans go a step further and ensure that as many or all ingredients are organically grown as opposed to processed.
Organic ingredients are considered more sustainable and healthy and are grown without using chemical pesticides or herbicides, as well as meeting several other criteria established by the USDA organics program. The best organic plans take all the convenience of a meal plan and give it an extra-healthy twist by using the organic ingredients.
What are the Benefits of the Best Organic Meal Plans?
The USDA has an organics certification program that is used as the basis to certify ingredients as organic. This means they’ve met the requirements of the program – such as being grown without pesticides or herbicides – and that the produce and other relevant ingredients are of organic quality. It may also include promises of sustainable sourcing, responsible farming policies (such as free-range or ethically-raised) for proteins, and other environmentally-conscious policies.
In general, this kind of organic food plan not only helps people feel better about their food but is generally considered healthier than non-organically grown food. All of the nutrients are kept in the food, and none of the harmful chemical pesticides or herbicides are present. This is more like fruits and vegetables grown in your own backyard garden than the commercial/industrial farming operations common today. Those are some of the key reasons why more and more people choose organic meal plans over other options.
Why Does an Organic Meal Plan Cost More?
Of course, nothing good comes for free, and all that attention to detail, quality, and responsible and ethical policies do make food slightly more expensive. This means that even the best organic meal plans tend to cost a bit more than their non-organic counterparts.
There are a variety of reasons for this, as several factors in the organic growing process add costs to the end product. In fact, in many cases, studies have shown that organically-grown food can cost farmers up to twice as much to produce as opposed to the non-organically-grown equivalents. Some of these cost factors include:
- Many farms that participate in organic growing are smaller, family farms rather than the large industrial operations that are responsible for the lion’s share of the food supply.
- The manual labor needed to raise plants and animals without chemical fertilizers, pesticides/herbicides, hormones, and drugs are much higher, which adds labor costs to the resulting product.
- Organic feed for animals and quality feed for ethically-raised animals is up to twice as expensive as the feed stock used for non-organically-raised animals.
- Organic farmers may not always qualify for the same food subsidies and government aid programs that low-cost, non-organic farmers receive.
How to save money on Organic Meal Plans
Despite a difference in cost, many people swear by organic meal plans. In their eyes, the extra cost to ensure the quality and healthiness of their food is a small price to pay for living a better life.
Environmental and sustainability considerations are also worth a premium for many people, as industrial farming – particularly of proteins – has been implicated as one of the largest contributors to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.
Nevertheless, even the most socially-conscious consumers are always on the lookout for tips on how to save money. No one wants to pay more than they have to, after all! There are lots of ways to save money on organics, just like any other groceries or foodstuffs.
Below, we offer some expert tips and advice on how to save money on organic foods, whether you choose the best organic meal plans for all your meals, or supplement your food supply with your own organic food purchases.
- If you can use a large portion of ingredients up at once, then you may want to buy food in bulk to save money. Meal prep and freezing/canning are popular ways to make this viable.
- Use coupons and promotional deals – often they’re available online or in your local newspapers or circulars that are delivered free to you every week. Shows like Extreme Couponing have shown how much people can save with a little advance planning and clipping work before heading to the store.
- Review weekly circulars from your grocery store(s) and plan your menu for meals based on what’s on promotion or sale.
- If you have multiple grocery stores in your area, make up a list of regular staple ingredients you buy, and compare prices from store to store, to see who has the better deal. Periodically re-evaluate, and the lowest price winner should be your go-to store of choice.
- Always compare prices between different preparations of organic food (fresh, frozen, dried, canned, etc.).
- Many grocery store chains have their own house organic brand, which tends to be less costly than national brands.
- Often, there are local organic food co-ops, community gardens or farms that you can participate in to get some of your own organic produce at low cost. If you have a yard, deck, or sufficient space, and depending on the climate, you can also grow some of your own organic produce at home.