There’s a real food movement that’s taken hold and I’m okay with it. What does that mean? Well, we all lead busy lives and we’re constantly searching for ways to feed our families the best we can. We’re hearing much buzz about being “mindful” in all aspects of our lives including what we eat.
Over conversations with friends I’ve brought up the question of meal planning with our families. To be honest, I’m not that good at planning out more than 2 or three days worth of dinners. There’s always scheduling involved with kids’ activities and the social calendar to work around.
How do we make our choices? Is it possible to have real good food fast? For us, it’s about convenience for sure; but for others it’s all about reading every label in the store before buying to be mindful of ingredients, additives and even gluten. So, what options are out there?
Recently, I explored the RealFoodToronto.com delivery service.
What is it? You’ve heard of other online grocery delivery companies, many have been around for a while. The different about RealFoodToronto.com is the access to several local and organic food retailers with home base at The Healthy Butcher – a favourite go-to for many families in the city – with access to over 75 local farms for meats and another 30 for fresh fruits, vegetables and organic organizations.
How does it work? Place your orders online at your convenience. Choose from pantry items, fresh produce, bakery, meats, and prepared foods. Decide when you need the food delivered based on options available. Fee charged for delivery based on the dollar amount spent with a minimum spend of $40. Delivery area is pretty massive from the Lakeshore and up to Richmond Hill and Vaughan.
What I love? Convenience is key for me — from ordering to getting the food on the table fast. I LOVE the tasty prepared entrees, soups and stews that I can easily reheat and serve to my kids FAST, especially on those crazy nights. Knowing that the food is prepared with the best ingredients and with no preservatives is important. By the way, the company promises to endorse each item they represent as they’ve researched the companies and products they carry. So, whether you choose the express food prepared items or want the ingredients to cook at home, it’s good to know that someone else has done most of the legwork and research.
What does the family think? The first delivery was all prepared and ready to eat foods. We devoured everything. The kids enjoyed it all from the soups to the salads and the bbq sausages and artisan cheeses. Our second delivery I chose a few more ingredients for cooking including fresh produce which worked out nicely. This is where I usually worry but the staff that did the selecting did a great job here. The quality of meats is also fabulous naturally, since it comes from the very reputable Healthy Butcher. There were some options that were not available so they were substituted. This is usually where my inner control freak gets a little uncomfortable. We were pleasantly surprised by the substitution of a sold-out soup but I’m still not sure if I would risk a surprise substitution of a main lunch item again especially with kids if you have picky eaters in your family.
Bonus points: During the busy entertaining season, I was able to order a few delicious gourmet items like artisanal cheeses, housemade rilettes and terrines, and tourtieres to have on hand for when we had people over. I was also surprised to see some featured items on sale with prices on par or better than my local grocer. For example, organic kale was $2.49 per bunch. They also offered a full-on themed catering menu so you don’t even have to blink twice to have everything ready!
The kids seem to get excited when the delivery comes to the house in the already recognizable van. I also love that the site also offers mouth-watering recipes that are worth exploring like this week’s Apple Puff Pan cake recipe that I had received and looks easy enough to make for any weeknight dessert….’cause I’m already in that rut of looking for something new to make.