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What Meal Kits Tell Us About the Energy Intensity of the Food System

When you get meal-kits delivered to your home, are they a net benefit to the environment? Or are these time savers carbon-heavy?

Since 2012, there’s been a surge in meal-kit delivery options. Online buying and delivery is now the norm. There’s a surge in interest in healthy eating. And we’re all insanely busy. And that’s making Meal-Kits like Home Chef, Blue Apron and HelloFresh a $5 billion business.

But how guilty should you feel unboxing that pre-measured parsley, or berry sauce for that salmon? How does the carbon that got burned to make that packaging and drive that delivery van, compare to buying the ingredients yourself? Has anyone done the math? 

We found someone who can actually answer this question for us: Dr. Isabella Gee, an engineer at the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas. She did her thesis on this exact question — and she spends her time looking at the food system broadly. 

Want to share your opinion about the topic? Let us know on Twitter. Follow @InterchangeShow, @shaylekann & @stphn_lacey and send comments about the show.

The Interchange is sponsored  by Viking Cold Solutions, a leader in thermal storage for refrigerated warehouses, grocery store freezers, and restaurants around the globe. Find out how thermal storage can benefit your facility.

We’re also sponsored by NEXTracker. NEXTracker has more than 30 gigawatts of resilient and intelligent solar tracking systems across six continents. Optimize your solar power plant.

Source: Greentech Media