Best Organic Meal Delivery Services

In an effort to grow more fruits and vegetables at a lower cost, many farmers have come to rely on pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals ward off various of bugs and invasive plants that would eat crops or crowd out the intended harvest. The problem is, no one’s certain whether they damage human health. Some weed killers, including glyphosate, have been linked to cancer and found in detectable levels in various food products, including cereal.

Though pesticides and herbicides are pervasive in the food system, some people want to limit their exposure to these chemicals. One way to do so is by choosing organic foods.

[See: 13 Best Fish: High in Omega-3s — and Environment-Friendly.]

What’s Organic Mean?

To be USDA-certified organic, food items must meet regulations established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program. Organic foods must be produced without methods that modify the genetics of organisms or influence their growth and development in ways considered unnatural.

Rebekah Summer, a clinical dietitian with Providence Alaska Medical Center, in Anchorage, says that “there are a few different label variations in the United States” for organic food labels, which correlates to what percentage of the item is organic.” Here’s what the various labels mean:

— 100% organic or USDA-organic seal –these items contain certified 100% organic ingredients.

— Organic or USDA-organic seal — these items are made from at least 95% certified organic ingredients.

— Made with organic (food item) — this indicates that the product has been made with 70% or more organic ingredients.

— Specific organic ingredients — foods with less than 70% organic ingredients may list the specific organic ingredients on the item’s ingredient list.

Susan Berkman, a registered dietitian at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, says that “if a food has a certified organic seal from the USDA, it means the product hasn’t been grown using any toxic or synthetic fertilizer, GMOs, antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones, and it’s free of artificial preservatives, artificial flavors and artificial colors.”

The organic term also extends to livestock and poultry, describing how animals have been raised. This includes:

— Whether the animals were fed organic foods.

— Animal welfare, such as the space an animal has to move and whether it has access to the outdoors.

— The use of antibiotics.

Overuse of antibiotics in meat production has been implicated in the increasing rate of antibiotic resistance among humans. In January 2017, the Food and Drug Administration determined that drugs used for human health can’t be used for growth promotion or feed efficiency in livestock. In other words, farmers and ranchers can’t use the same antibiotics your doctor would prescribe you for an infection to boost the growth of their animals.

More information about the USDA livestock and poultry standards is available on the USDA website. The USDA inspects farms where food is grown and raised to ensure that farmers follow the rules to produce organic food.

Alcohol can also be labeled as organic, provided the grains and other ingredients used to produce the beverage have been grown organically and meet the standards set by the USDA.

[SEE: How to Become a Meal Prep Expert.]

How to Starting Eating Organic

If you’re thinking of switching to eating more organic food items, Summer says, “it might be a good idea to start by asking yourself why you’re looking to switch. Foods labeled as organic do not eliminate the risk of foodborne illness, and they do not provide significantly more nutritional value.”

Nevertheless, if you’re looking to boost your intake of organic items, start with foods where the organic label makes more of a difference. Berkman suggests reviewing the “Dirty Dozen” list compiled by the Environmental Working Group. This is an annually updated list of the foods that tend to have the highest pesticide residue. In 2022, the list included:

1. Strawberries.

2. Spinach.

3. Kale, collard and mustard greens.

4. Nectarines.

5. Apples.

6. Grapes.

7. Bell and hot peppers.

8. Cherries.

9. Peaches.

10. Pears.

11. Celery.

12. Tomatoes.

Another list you may want to review is the EWG’s “Clean 15.” These are the 15 foods that use the least pesticides or where it may not be necessary to choose organic options because the outer husk protects the fruit or vegetable:

1. Avocados.

2. Sweet corn.

3. Pineapple.

4. Onions.

5. Papaya.

6. Sweet peas, frozen.

7. Asparagus.

8. Honeydew melon.

9. Kiwi.

10. Cabbage.

11. Mushrooms.

12. Cantaloupe.

13. Mangoes.

14. Watermelon.

15. Sweet potatoes.

Top Organic Meal Delivery Services

A meal delivery service might make things a little easier if you’re focusing on eating more organic foods. The following companies promote using organic ingredients. Not all of them use the same terminology to describe what proportion of ingredients are organic.

Therefore, if you’re trying to be strict about eating only organic foods, read all the fine print and check with the company about which meals and ingredients are specifically organic.


— USDA-certified organic handler.

— All organic ingredients are clearly labeled.

— Most meals contain between 550 and 800 calories.

— Quick recipes for busy people.

— Recyclable and compostable packaging.

Sunbasket offers a wide range of meal kit options in its subscription-based delivery programs. The company is committed to providing the best organically produced, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats and sustainably-sourced seafood. It also “strives to deliver organic produce 100% of the time. Currently, over 99% of the produce we ship is organic.” If, for some reason, an item can’t be offered as organic, a conventionally produced version will be substituted, along with a note of explanation.

Most meals can be prepared in about 30-60 minutes and require basic cooking skills and utensils. Pre-prepped options reduce prep time with chopped ingredients. The company also recently introduced fully-prepared oven-ready options that can be heated and enjoyed.

Meal kits can be ordered for two to five dinners per week, each serving two or four people. Anywhere from one to 10 prepared meals can be ordered weekly. Meal kits start at $11.49 per serving, and ready-to-eat meals are $9.99 per serving. Shipping is an additional $7.99 per box.

Sample meal: Italian sausages with spicy green harissa and vegetable skewers.

— Calories: 470.

— Prep time: 25 to 40 minutes.

Green Chef

— Not all ingredients used are organic, although all produce and eggs are.

— Fresh pre-measured ingredients will be delivered to your door.

— Step-by-step recipes and instructions.

— Most meals are ready in about 30 minutes.

Green Chef offers several menu plans, including vegetarian, vegan, keto+paleo, gluten-free, Mediterranean, and fast and fit options.

Green Chef’s meal kits contain organic and non-GMO ingredients that are free of pesticides and antibiotics. Proteins are “raised with high animal welfare standards,” according to the company. Subscribers can choose three or four meals from 30 recipes weekly, each serving two, four or six people. Pricing ranges from $11.99 to $13.49 per serving, depending on the chosen plan. Shipping is an additional $9.99 per box

Sample meal: pesto panko chicken with mozzarella.

— Calories: 630.

— Fat: 23 grams.

— Carbohydrates: 49 grams (5 grams dietary fiber, 5 grams sugar).

— Protein: 57 grams.

— Cholesterol: 125 milligrams.

— Sodium: 800 milligrams.

Fresh n’ Lean

— Ready-made meals, just heat and eat.

— New menus are offered weekly.

— Offers organic, gluten-free and dairy-free meals.

Fresh n’ Lean offers fresh, organic, heat-and-eat meals to suit various dietary preferences. Recipes feature organic, seasonal ingredients and are free from GMOs and gluten. Meals are also free of dairy (except for keto meals). The company pledges to “never add sugar, processed ingredients, artificial flavors or anything unhealthy to your meals.”

Subscribers can choose one to three meals daily, five or seven days per week and each meal costs between $9.99 and $15.49 each. Shipping is free to every state except Alaska and Hawaii, and can also order additional meals and snacks a la carte — pricing varies. Packaging is BPA-free and fully recyclable.

Sample meal: cilantro brown rice with grass-fed beef.

— Calories: 340.

— Fat: 10 grams.

— Carbohydrates: 32 grams (4 grams dietary fiber, 5 grams sugars).

— Protein: 30 grams.

— Cholesterol: 65 milligrams.

— Sodium: 420 milligrams.


— Freshly-made meals, just heat and eat or freeze for later use..

— Choose meals a la carte.

— Dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, low-calorie, soy-free, high-protein and kosher options are available.

— No preservatives.

Aimed at busy people who want to eat healthily, Veestro offers premade organic plant-based and vegan

meals . You can choose to have meals shipped in quantities of 6-15, depending on where you live. Each item costs between $11.03 and $12.82.

Since moving from a frozen meal to a fresh business model, Veestro no longer has as large of a delivery area. Check the website to see if delivery is offered where you live. Shipping is $7.95-$12.95 per delivery. Packaging is 100% recyclable or compostable.

Sample meal: red curry with tofu.

— Calories: 410.

— Fat: 17 grams.

— Carbohydrates: 54 grams (6 grams dietary fiber, 20 grams sugars).

— Protein: 11 grams.

— Cholesterol: 0 milligrams.

— Sodium: 670 milligrams.

Factor (formerly Factor 75)

— Ready-made meals, just heat and eat.

— Choose your meals or have a nutritionist do the thinking for you.

— Subscribers can schedule a free, 20-minute nutritional consultation with one of the company’s nutritionists.

— Bulk order discounts are available.

— The average meal contains 600 calories.

Factor_ (formerly Factor 75) offers paleo, keto and gluten-free diet options that include no processed foods, factory-processed oils or refined sugars. All meals are also free of GMOs, hormones and antibiotics. Its meals feature high-quality organic ingredients, including grass-fed and free-range animal protein. Subscribers can order between six and eighteen meals per week, and meals range in price from $10.99 to $12.99 each. If you’re overwhelmed by the number of choices, the Factor 75 team will select items for you.

Sample meal: pesto salmon.

— Calories: 770.

— Fat: 59 grams.

— Carbohydrate: 18 grams.

— Protein: 48 grams.

— Cholesterol 155 milligrams.

— Sodium: 800 milligrams.

Is Organic Healthier?

There is much debate about whether choosing organic provides any tangible, measurable health benefits to humans. Although more research is needed, some emerging evidence suggests it might:

— In a study of nearly 70,000 French adults, “a high frequency of organic food consumption was associated with a reduced risk of cancer,” according to findings published in the December 2018 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

— A systematic review of studies on organic food and health included nine human studies. Several found a decreased risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy and a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, “the effect of organic food on human health is not convincing enough to recommend widely,” according to the article published in June 2017 in the Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education.

— A 2014 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that organic produce does contain substantially higher levels of antioxidants than conventionally grown produce. However, not all research agrees on this point.

Whether or not the benefits are measurable, the organic label can be a powerful symbol to some people that an item is superior nutritionally. But Berkman notes that organic isn’t a healthier option by default. “The nutritional profile of produce, for instance, doesn’t change much depending on if it’s organic or conventionally grown,” she says. “Just because something is organic doesn’t mean it’s good for you. There are lots of organic snacks that are very high in sugar content and don’t provide many nutrients.”

It’s also important to note that while organic items typically contain lower levels of pesticide residue, these foods “are not guaranteed to be void of pesticide residues,” Summer says.

When it comes to the environment, buying organic is almost certainly the better option. “Organic farming practices preserve the soil fertility and water quality, in addition to adding less toxic fertilizers into the environment,” Berkman says. “Animals raised to be certified organic also generally have better health — from less acidic stomach acid to more (beneficial) microorganisms in their intestines from their pasture-raised diets.”

Though not all organic meat is pasture-raised, some are. And organic meat comes from animals that had access to the outdoors and enough space to live “comfortably,” according to USDA guidelines.

Organic foods can also be more expensive than their conventionally-produced counterparts. This is partly because these items are more labor-intensive for farmers to produce.

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Best Organic Meal Delivery Services originally appeared on

Update 12/23/22: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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