This week I took delivery of a meal box from Vegan Masters, a home delivery service where you receive several pre-prepared freshly cooked vegan dishes which you only need to reheat yourself.
Established in 2019, Vegan Masters is still a very new company only appearing in my newsfeeds the last few weeks. Starting with the Netherlands their aim is to ‘veganise’ the world by offering tasty plant-based convenience foods for both vegans and meat-eaters. The founder has employed several vegan-friendly chefs to create dishes especially for the company, these chefs are their so-called ‘Vegan Masters’. Chefs include vegan caterers as well as the founders of Nono Cakes and of Oma’s Soep. Aside from encouraging more people to eat vegan, the company also believes in sustainability. Their website has a whole section explaining in detail how their meals compare to similar dishes containing meat, dairy or other animal- based products.
The website currently only works in Dutch but the ordering process was very easy. I ordered the introduction box of 5 meals for €27.95 plus a €4.15 delivery charge.
If you order before 10am your products can be delivered the same day, otherwise on another chosen weekday between 1700-2200 hours. Mine came on the day specified around 6pm as per the information I received from the delivery company. The driver took away the box, coolers and packaging for reuse which is great for the environment of course but actually slightly inconvenient to unpack it all in a hurry!
How were the meals?
My opinion of the meals differed. I really liked the Yolo Bolo (vegan bolognese) and Pink Heart (rice with curry) but was very unimpressed by Asian Twist (a bokchoi mash with a very small side of miso mushrooms in chilli and sesame). I still have to try the pizza. Perhaps it is because I am used to my own home cooking, but some of the meals such as the mash left me hungry. For me the purpose of a ready-meal is that I only need to heat up that one dish rather than having to prepare something else to accompany it.
I was also slightly confused about how to dispose of the packaging. The clear plastic top was easy to wash and add to my plastic recycling but I was less convinced by the actual food cartons. It says to place them in plastic recycling. But if Vegan Masters are considering sustainability then I don’t understand why the inside of their packaging is black. This colour plastic can’t easily be recycled and usually ends up as waste. Read the following by Greenpeace for more detail.
I recently contacted the waste disposal authorities in Amsterdam to ask about what happens to black plastic here but they have not yet got back to me.
So Vegan Masters – will I order again?
It was nice to have some different meals in my fridge but I doubt that I will order through Vegan Masters regularly. I like cooking and my lifestyle allows me the time to shop for ingredients and then cook them myself. I generally avoid plastic packaging and the meals I make can be easily transported in reusable Tupperware-style containers and eaten either hot or cold. I prefer eating out occasionally to having food delivered to at home. In other words I’m very far from being the target customer for this type of service. Perhaps I might order again on my return from a holiday or when recovering from being sick. At any rate it is great there is a vegan meal delivery option out there even if the reality did not appeal to me personally.