Vegetable and Butcher

A local Washington D.C. based food service offers fresh meals to those in the area

One+of+the+many+meals+Vegetable+and+Butcher+offers%2C+a+spring+root+vegetable+hash+with+creamy+dill+sauce.+They+include+all+ingredients+on+the+label+so+you+know+exactly+what+you%27re+consuming.+

Janhvi Spahr

One of the many meals Vegetable and Butcher offers, a spring root vegetable hash with creamy dill sauce. They include all ingredients on the label so you know exactly what you’re consuming.

It only takes a few clicks on your phone for delivery services like Uber Eats or Grubhub to put pizza and wings on your doorstep. Other services who provide more healthy foods such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, send the ingredients and recipes the meal requires to your doorstep. But what if you crave a healthy meal and don’t have the time to make it yourself?

A local Washington D.C. based service, Vegetable and Butcher, is a meal delivery service that brings fresh and ready meals to your front door. The service provides a variety of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and tonic to its members. All of their meals are gluten and dairy-free, but they can also be made vegan. They also have paleo-friendly options. A day can start with chai latte overnight oats for breakfast, taco salad with Baja dressing for lunch, and for dinner a coconut ginger dal with caramelized apples. 

“It’s really interesting,” Ms. Abrianna Nelson, a Vegetable and Butcher member, said. “I don’t typically make a lot of salads on my own, and I just kind of discovered how much I love these dressings and unique ingredients.”

All of the meals are made with nutrient-dense, fresh ingredients. There are no refined sugars or artificial ingredients in their food, and it’s never frozen. On their webpage, the ingredients, calories and nutrient counts for all the meals are easily transcribable. New meals are continuously added, and the seasons help dictate what is being offered. There is always something new in-store.

“I love that it is fresh and healthy food,” Ms. Nelson said. “So often when you go to the grocery store and pick up a quick lunch or a sandwich or a salad or something, it doesn’t necessarily come with all these healthy ingredients. But  [with Vegetable and Butcher] I’ve had a salad order that has had blackberries, butternut squash, and tandoori chicken, and everything [was] cooked perfectly, and the dressings are amazing.”

Vegetable and Butcher also offers tonics and snacks that are available to buy. Their snacks consist of items like cashew vanilla apricot energy bites and cold brew coffee. Their tonics are packed with nutrients and vitamins.

“I love that the food quality is so high, especially for what you are paying for,” Ms. Nelson said. “It’s really the same price as Sweetgreen and getting a salad there.”

While using meal service delivery can often result in a lot of trash and waste being produced, Vegetable and Butcher use composting and recycling to help limit their waste. The coolers they send the meals in are reusable. The meal containers and sleeves are compostable, and the labels are recyclable.

“A lot of the meal delivery services use a lot of waste,” Ms. Nelson said. “But because of the compostable materials and the coolers, there’s no waste in terms of the delivery itself.”

 If you can’t compost, they offer a compost program, where they will send a bag for the customer’s containers and labels, provided the customer sends it back by the end of the week.

“But now we kind of have this big waste problem on our hand,” senior Laura Jayne, sustainability advocate, said. “And if we can cut off the source of that waste, we can deal with the waste that we do have. They’ve got to turn off the tap before huddling the stuff out of the flowing sink.”

Vegetable and Butcher partners with farms and companies that share the same values. Some of them include Lancaster Farm Fresh, World Centric, and Little Wild Things Farm which is in the district. 

“I’m a huge fan of local growers, because you are supporting local businesses,” Jayne said. “You can also be sure that people who have to rely on their own land [are] responsible for it, instead of having this giant corporate backbone behind them that is just going to keep on throwing money at depleted land.”

To order a meal plan, customers have to log into their account, choose their subscription (what days, how many meals, etc), pick what meals they want, and click submit request.

“I would recommend this to teachers who are looking for a way to save some time,” Ms. Nelson said. “Sometimes in the past when we were able to deliver things to the school, it would be tempting to be like, ‘Oh, I can just Grubhub or something, instead of making my lunch.’ And now that I can’t just Grubhub something, I can have a service to rely on that easily.”

In the “Washington City Paper,” Vegetable and Butcher won best delivery service in 2020. 

“While much of this problem is in the hands of the government and corporations, we need to realize that an individual’s actions really can make a difference,” senior Ally Obenberger, IB Environmental Systems student said. “Small everyday habits add up.”

Vegetable and Butcher Website: https://vegetableandbutcher.com/