17 November 2015

Checking out The Purple Carrot

Last year around this time, I read Mark Bittman’s VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good after hearing him talk about it at last year’s Chicago Humanities Festival. Bittman was promoting the idea of eating vegan, whole foods for breakfast and lunch—and relaxing restrictions at dinner. He explained that he invented the system to deal with his own health issues (creeping weight gain, newly borderline cholesterol, blood pressure, and pre-diabetes conditions) and found it to be eminently doable, effective, and also delicious.

I found his talk inspiring, and his book equally so. The book includes great advice, like prepping vegetables when you bring them home from the grocery store, so it’s less of a chore to cook on a weeknight. For some months I was cooking a lot more at home, but frequent travel would get me out of the habit.

Recently Bittman left the New York Times to join The Purple Carrot, a vegan food delivery service. It’s a business that suits his ideals, encouraging families to eat vegan at least a couple of times a week. He makes the recipes, and the delivery service makes it easy by providing the ingredients you need to cook those recipes, already portioned out.

So I tried it. The recipes are great, but I was underwhelmed by the delivery service. Last Wednesday I got a big heavy box, with ingredients for three recipes. I found all the packaging embarrassing. They make a big deal about how you can recycle the cold packs (slit them open, dump the gel in the trash, and then put the plastic in the recycle), but doing that weekly just seemed an awful waste to me. And I didn’t see the need to get stuff delivered that I normally keep in my pantry (cans of black beans, or cumin). So while I had success with the recipes (even with one for which the packers omitted one of the requisite vegetables), I cancelled.  I thought I’d work with the recipes (which are available to anybody) and do my own shopping.

Today I’m questioning that decision. I’d planned to go to the grocery store, but it’s pouring. And tomorrow I can’t shop, either.


Maybe in the new year I’ll rejoin.

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