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Delivered to your door: how meal kits can help you eat well right now

From convenience to culinary variety, we all know the perks of meal kits - particularly in times like these. But what about the downsides?

Delivered to your door: how meal kits can help you eat well right now
Photo: Hello Fresh

Meal kits bring you all the ready-to-cook ingredients you need straight to the door. In uncertain times such as the present – with empty supermarket shelves and governments encouraging quarantines – the value of meal kits is clearer than ever.

However, from expats to locals alike, there are plenty of us out there who have reservations about meal kits. Aren’t they expensive? Don’t they produce loads of food waste – and not to mention all of the packaging?

And then there’s the necessary cooking skills. What about those of us who haven’t spent the last decade diligently watching each and every cooking show with a pad and pen, who somehow seem to mess up everything in the kitchen – even a piece of toast?

Together with our partners Hello Fresh, The Local have dished up some tasty facts on meal kits.

Click here for discount offers from Hello Fresh in Switzerland

From giving you the low down on just how it works to smashing some persistent myths this is everything you need to know about the modern meal kit.

What is a meal kit and why do I want them in my life?

First things first, what even are meal kits? Perfect for people who want to avoid shopping expeditions or ordering takeaway, meal kits get you everything you need to prepare a top-class meal in your own kitchen.

In many parts of Europe, shopping has been a difficult affair lately – with empty supermarket shelves and panic buying unfortunately commonplace since the outbreak of the coronavirus. 

One of Hello Fresh's meal kits. Photo: Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh work directly with suppliers, giving you peace of mind in ensuring everything you need will be delivered straight to your door.

Not only do meal kits make shopping easier, they get you the ingredients you need without feeling like you need to send in a search party to do so.

Every expat who has spent a little time living in a foreign country will have stories of searching high and low to find the right ingredient, only to find it’s unavailable – or unrecognisable – in their adopted country.

(Journalists from The Local Germany have told us of their travails trying to find self-raising flour and golden syrup in German supermarkets only to be told “Das gibt es nicht/there is no such thing”.)

Meal kits produce too much waste

One major consumer complaint about meal kits has been the amount of food and packaging waste they produce.

While there was a time when this may have been true, these days are over.

Meal kits are designed to avoid food waste, with just the right amount of each ingredient included.

Find out how Hello Fresh can help you avoid food waste 

Not only is this great for anyone on a diet – i.e. portion control – it means that once you’ve prepared the food you’re not left with anything left over.

The average person in Germany and Austria throws away 82 kilos of food per year – that’s more than the weight of the average person and costs roughly 240 euros.

Less waste, more deliciousness. Photo: Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh ensures that there is also less waste further up the food chain by ordering direct from suppliers, resulting in a 95 percent food waste reduction.

For the environmentally conscious among us, meal kits actually reduce CO2 by 33 percent due to less storage time in supermarkets and less transportation.

As for packaging, through undertaking 41 new waste-reduction initiatives – including using paper insulation and reducing plastic – Hello Fresh Germany achieved 87 percent recyclable packaging in 2019.  

The end-2020 goal is 100 percent recyclable packaging – something which the company is on track to achieve.

In fact, in Germany and Austria, each delivery contains detailed information about the materials in the packaging, its recyclability and how much waste will be produced.

Meal kits are expensive

When looking the end product, it’s perhaps understandable that people think that they’re expensive. But when compared to food in a restaurant, take-out or even supermarket food, meal kits come out on top.

The cost will depend on the amount of people you order for and how many portions you order, while there are also variations from country to country. But take for example the Classic Box.

Always busy? Hello Fresh could help save you time and money 

Serving two people three dishes – i.e. six portions – Germany’s Classic Box works out to be under six euros per meal. With meals like steak with mashed potatoes or the Mediterranean beef burger, you’d be hard pressed to find the same quality ingredients for the same price in a supermarket – and that’s before you take into account the time it takes to shop as well as to research recipes.

And don’t forget that when buying from a supermarket, you’ll never be able to get the same portions… which brings us to…

But I lack grill skills and cooking credentials…

The naked truth about meal kits is that you don’t need to be the Naked Chef to cook up a storm. Meal kits are great for anyone who has trouble following recipes, because there’s literally no chance you can put more or less of anything in.

Just be sure to follow the recipe – always available in English – and you’ll be impressing your friends with your grill skills in no time.  

Did someone say Masterchef? Photo: Hello Fresh

Then there’s the array of recipes, which change from week to week and are developed by specialist chefs.

With a focus on wholesome, nutritious food, the meals are perfect for the health conscious – while losing nothing in the way of taste.

With a menu that changes more often than most restaurants, you’re dining table will be the hottest ticket in town.

Like what you see or want some more information? Click the following link – complete with discounts and free shipping – to find out more about Hello Fresh in Switzerland

 

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HEALTH

Can children be vaccinated without parental consent in Switzerland?

A vaccine-skeptic parent in Aargau was forced by a court to vaccinate her child. Whether for Covid or otherwise, what are the rules in Switzerland?

Can children be vaccinated without parental consent in Switzerland?

In late February, a Swiss court handed down an order requiring a mother to vaccinate her child against several childhood diseases including diphtheria. tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and pneumococci.

The mother, a vaccination sceptic who believed all forms of vaccination constitute bodily harm, was engaged in a dispute with the child’s father, who wanted the child vaccinated. 

On the basis of consultations with the child’s doctor, the Chamber for the Protection of Children and Adults in the Aargau Supreme Court dismissed the mother’s complaint.

Child vaccinations could only be avoided on doctor’s advice, the court held, saying the studies and arguments the mother produced “lacked evidence”. 

The court held she faced up to CHF10,000 in fines if she refused to have her child vaccinated. 

What are the rules in Switzerland?  

Do parents need to consent for their children to be vaccinated?

No. In the midst of the Covid pandemic, Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset confirmed to parliament that parental consent is not required in order for children to be vaccinated, whether for Covid or otherwise. 

While some parents, particularly those who are sceptical about vaccines, may be dismayed by the decision, the position is valid in Swiss law.

READ MORE: How to register for the coronavirus vaccine in your Swiss canton

Children aged 12 and over can decide whether they want to be vaccinated, while parents can be compelled with fines to vaccinate their children under that age. 

Berset said minors from the age of 12 and up were “largely capable of judgement” and therefore can make their own decisions with regard to vaccinations, provided they are mentally healthy and conscious.

Where a child from the age of 12 satisfies this standard “no parental or legal guardian consent is required”.

Parents are only allowed to have a say on whether their child gets vaccinated if the child is incapacitated or otherwise unable to make the decision.

“Only if a child or a young person is incapable of judgment do the owners of parental authority have to give consent to the vaccination,” concludes Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health.

 

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