Purple Carrot Review: Eco-Friendly Plant-Based Meal Kits
Eating healthy doesn't have to be hard, and it doesn't have to be boring. Meal delivery services have made it easier to serve up delicious, nutritious meals at home. And Purple Carrot makes it easy to eat a plant-based diet while helping the environment at the same time.
How We Review Meal Delivery Services
When evaluating each meal delivery service, we based our review on their food options, ingredient sourcing, packaging, and customer reviews to ensure that they are both good for you and for the environment.
- Dietary options - We considered both the quality and variety of the recipes and whether they offered vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options.
- Ingredients - We looked to see how they sourced their ingredients, whether they were organic, non-GMO, and locally grown. We looked for important eco-friendly labels from authorities like the USDA, Non-GMO Project, and the Marine Stewardship Council.
- Packaging - A very important component was also the packaging for each meal. We wanted to know how much was recyclable or biodegradable, and whether the brand used recycled materials in their packaging.
- Customer reviews - Finally, we looked at customer reviews to see what users liked or didn't like about each service.
Purple Carrot Overview
Many people want to eat better, but they don't know where to start or how to properly prepare the variety of produce available. Purple Carrot takes the lead by providing all of the ingredients along with step-by-step directions to cook a meal packed with flavor but no meat. The Purple Carrot philosophy is not anti-animal, but rather pro-plant, choosing to focus on the potential of the vast array of edible plants available – which total more than 20,000 around the world. They make it easy for anyone to enjoy vegan meals with simple-to-follow recipe cards and ingredients.
Many of the products used in their weekly menu, from chickpeas, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and arugula to tofu and vegan cheeses, are organic and non-GMO whenever possible. Using all-natural ingredients is important and provides greater nutrition in addition to being better for the earth. All meals are vegan, and there are also gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, low-carb, and high-protein options to fit a variety of lifestyles and dietary restrictions.
Eating a plant-based, vegan diet is good for overall health. Consuming more plants and plant-based foods can help reduce risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Many processed foods are packed with preservatives and artificial colors and flavors; Purple Carrot sources natural ingredients so you know exactly what you are eating. Plus, with a meal delivery kit, you'll have all the ingredients you need which can help reduce food waste.
Purple Carrot's Focus on Sustainability
Ordering from a meal kit delivery service like Purple Carrot, Sunbasket, Hello Fresh, or Blue Apron can be more eco-friendly than purchasing a meal from the grocery store because it typically has a smaller carbon footprint. But Purple Carrot does even more. By emphasizing the use of plants as the foundation for each meal, is saving water. While producing one pound of vegetables requires about 40 gallons of water, producing one pound of beef requires about 47 times more water. And cutting out just one burger a week can save around 320 miles in carbon emissions, according to their site.
Products are sourced from farmers and vendors across the country and organic, non-GMO products are used whenever possible, but not everything they use is certified organic. Their meal options do not include any animal-products. The company adheres to Proposition 65 requirements in California and provides detailed nutritional information for each recipe. Consumers are informed about any potential risk to uphold the utmost commitment to safety.
Recycling Purple Carrot Packaging
In an effort to further reduce its environmental impact, Purple Carrot strives to use recycled and recyclable packaging. Some recycling may be limited by the type of plastics or products specific communities accept.
- Boxes: Their boxes are made of corrugated cardboard and can be broken down and easily recycled, or they can be reused and repurposed around the home.
- Cooling Packs: The cooling packs contain 100% non-toxic gel that can be safely disposed of in the trash can, and the plastic bag can be recycled. In addition, these ice packs can also be refrozen and reused.
- Liners: Both plastic and bubble liners are recyclable in communities that accept #4 and #7 products. The insulation inside the liner is compostable and can be safely thrown in the trash.
- Plastics: Ingredients come in a variety of packing including jars, bottles, and bags that include #1, #4, #5, and #6 recyclables. These containers can also be cleaned and reused for other purposes.
- Food waste: If you happen to have any food scraps such as banana peels or carrot shavings, they can be tossed in a compost bin where they'll help create nutrient-rich soil.
Purple Carrot is always looking for ways to provide more sustainable, eco-friendly packing and solutions.
Purple Carrot Meal Plan Pricing Options
When it comes to ordering, there are two main options available:
- Two Serving Plans: This is ideal for individuals or couples. Choose from a three- or four-dinner option with meals priced at $11.99 per serving and free shipping.
- Four Serving Plans: This is a great option for small families and priced at just $9.99 per serving. Shipping is free, and there are two-dinner or three-dinner vegetarian options available.
- Extras: There is also a variety of breakfast and lunch options, as well as plant-based snacks that you can add on to any package. These let you enjoy even more healthy vegan food before dinner time.
Choose from a wide range of vegan recipes and veggies to suit your taste. Spice things up with Roasted Red Pepper Shakshuka, enjoy a classic with Eggplant Florentine, or curb your craving for Mexican with Mexican Molletes with refried beans and Pico de Gallo. A popular breakfast option is the Loaded Avocado Toast. And plant-based snacks don't have to be dull either – choose from items like mushroom jerky, peanut butter cup truffle pouches, or sugar cookies.
Meal packages are customizable to fit your needs and interests. If it is going to be a busy week with less time for meal prep, you might add more breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, while lighter weeks might just be dinner. All of the ingredients are pre-portioned, and everything you need (with the exception of a few pantry staples such as salt, pepper, and olive oil) is included in your box. You also receive step-by-step directions for how to prepare each dish, leading to a stunning and tasty result.
Purple Carrot Pros and Cons
We love how easy Purple Carrot makes it to eat a plant-based diet, especially for those who are new to a no-meat lifestyle. Their recipes go way beyond new spins on salad, and could help customers learn fun and creative ways to introduce more vegetables into their daily lives. They also do a good job of explaining the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
There are two primary drawbacks to Purple Carrot, however. First, they do use a a lot of plastic in their packaging. You'll need to make certain that your local recycling program accepts all of the different types they include; otherwise you will wind up with a lot of waste. Second, while they do say that organic and non-GMO produce is used whenever possible, not all of their ingredients are certified organic. If you want to eat 100% organic, Purple Carrot may not be the best choice.
The primary benefit of choosing Purple Carrot for the environment is the chance to reduce your meat consumption and enjoy the eco-friendly aspects of a plant-based diet.
Enjoy Plant-Based Meal Kits Good for You and the Environment
Purple Carrot is the way to go if you want to integrate more plant-based meals into your diet. Even cutting out meat one or two times a week can be beneficial. Purple Carrot recipes are full of flavor and a variety of colors. If you're looking to "eat the rainbow," this meal delivery service can be a great place to start. Their subscription service makes it easy to skip a week or change up your order using their convenient ordering system. Each week, you get to choose the meals and extras you want, and the menu is always changing and adding new options.
Get out of your recipe rut and try some of the delicious vegan options available through Purple Carrot. Plus, you'll know you're helping the planet at the same time.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. His writing on natural health, nutrition, and supplements has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.