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In Amy’s Opinion: The Good and Bad of Food Box Subscriptions

A word from Ben: As I grew up, my mom’s insights often came in the form of written words. In this series, “In Amy’s Opinion,” she shares her love and wisdom with you. The MW team hopes you enjoy her posts and form your own opinions along the way.

By Amy Higgins

Seldom do I rant. My general nature is to consider all sides of an issue before forming a “clear cut” opinion. In fact, I have very few strong opinions; I don’t mind agreeing to disagree. There is one popular opinion going around, however, that I just couldn’t wrap my brain around: food subscription boxes!

Why does everyone find these so amazing? Don’t even get me started on curb-side grocery services… Before you send me hate mail, hear me out. Several friends — my son included — find this meal subscription idea a great option when it comes to preparing a meal at home. And I asked these people:

“What on earth can be so difficult about going to the grocery once a week with a general idea of what you want to prepare?”

Having a box of food dropped on my doorstep that includes items I can purchase on my own at a better value, especially with coupons… What a waste of money! Then something happened this month: I had a change of heart. Two meal boxes from a popular subscription company arrived on my doorstep. And shockingly, the food was high-quality and the instructions were straightforward and included pictures. The meal was well-portioned and quite tasty.

(MW disclaimer: No food delivery services or subscriptions sponsored this post. How’s that for an honest opinion?)

A second turning point came when I cleaned out my refrigerator. As I tossed out shriveled carrots, wilted lettuce, mushy cucumbers. and jars of who-knows-how-old pickles, reality hit me. If I calculated the value of all my food waste and subtracted it from the cost of a monthly meal subscription, it all became a little clearer.

I considered the generation of women and men who claim to have no level of cooking skill. How could this be? Everyone should have a general knowledge of cooking. Most of us would agree reading, writing, and math are skills we all need. We studied and practiced these things. Not everyone is gifted or proficient in these areas, but we have a basic knowledge.

So, what happened? Parents, did we get so busy that we didn’t make time to let our children explore in the kitchen with us? Did home economics classes cost too much for schools? Now we are paying the price. Families are developing in a generation of fast food, carry out, and grab-and-go meals.

We’ve lost the art of appreciating a home-cooked meal.

Okay, back to the food box subscriptions. I realized this concept could be such a great tool for the under-trained (and unmotivated?). Subscription meals may create a newfound desire to prepare a dish from scratch. The subscription removes the burdens — planning, purchasing, and uncertainty — from the process. Now you can relax and enjoy the adventure.

Pour a glass of wine, read the prep cards, and dive in. Have the kids help. Phone a friend and learn together. And if you are at a loss, call Mom. (Answering a question might make her day.) Cooking takes practice, but it can be rewarding. No need for complicated; simple meals are some of the healthiest.

Thanks, food box subscriptions, for recognizing a need and addressing it. I’ve had a change of heart!

Much love, Mom

Are you on the meal-subscription bandwagon? Do you think young adults lack the passion and skills to cook for themselves? 

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Molly
    April 12, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    I am always open to trying new things, and I’ve heard those boxes could be a good option for a single person. My Mother doesn’t enjoy cooking so this would be right up her alley–plus she and my dad are empty nesters, so even better.

    However, every winter I continue my quest to master my grandma’s chicken noodle soup, and those ingredients don’t come in a box. It’s about remembering her and the good memories that ‘stew’ during the process.

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