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Thistle Food is a meal delivery service that offers premade meals in the United States. The company’s primary focus is plant-based foods, but it also offers vegan plans and plans that include meat.
This article discusses the Thistle Food brand, how it works, and nutrition information. It also suggests some alternative brands and provides more information about plant-based diets.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tested any of these products. All information presented here is purely research-based.
Thistle Food launched in 2014. The company says that its mission is to improve health and wellness for its customers while reducing its environmental footprint.
The company claims that organic foods are its priority, and it uses organic ingredients wherever possible. All its meals are free from gluten and dairy, and they center around plant foods.
Thistle Food also claims that it has a community approach and partners with local organizations and farms.
It says that it reduces its energy, water, and waste footprints as much as possible and even donates the byproducts from its meals and juices to farmers for composting.
Thistle Food has an average customer rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. At the time of writing this article, about half of the reviews award the company 5 stars, and only one of the 178 reviews rates it 1 star.
Positive reviews mention the quality of the food and the range of meals available. Negative reviews mention delivery issues and ingredients not tasting fresh.
The company provides two different services depending on where a person lives.
Thistle Food offers local hand delivery in certain areas and allows a person to completely customize their meals. This may be beneficial for those who want to accommodate allergies or substitutions.
Thistle Food’s other delivery option is shipping, which it offers in a few areas around the U.S.
Shipping customers cannot customize their plans and can only purchase fixed vegan or meat plans. Shipping does not cost extra.
The Thistle Food chefs create weekly menus of foods that are all gluten- and dairy-free. The company provides breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, juices, and wellness shots.
After a person has signed up, they can choose the frequency of the delivery if they are within the local delivery area. Local delivery customers can also customize and swap their meals.
Meanwhile, shipping customers can receive a preset plan of six meals per week.
For local delivery, the company puts food into bags containing ice packs to keep it fresh. It packs shipping deliveries in a refrigerated box.
Here is an example of a day’s meals in a Thistle Food package:
- Breakfast: This may be steel cut oats with strawberry rhubarb compote.
- Lunch: This may be a cherry, mint, and pistachio salad. Meat plan customers can add lemon pepper chicken, and vegan plan customers can add lemon and mint beluga lentils for extra protein.
- Dinner: This may be Korean veggie and rice noodles. Meat plan customers can add Togarashi ground chicken, and vegan plan customers can add Togarashi Adashah (a lentil-based product) for extra protein.
- Snack: This may be peanut butter ganache bars.
Thistle Food’s website says that the company’s goal is to reconnect people to nature and real foods while providing the correct amounts of nutrients.
All of Thistle Food’s meals are plant-based, even the meat options. The company uses organic ingredients where possible, gluten-free plant protein rather than carbohydrates, plenty of superfoods, bold flavors, and no dairy.
Instead of dairy products, Thistle Food uses substitutes that contain healthy fats and provide a person with the right amount of energy and vitamins.
Thistle Food claims that its foods benefit a person’s health by providing:
- more protein-rich ingredients and low glycemic carbs
- high fiber and low salt foods
- healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids
- foods low in sugar and rich in antioxidants
The company claims that its lunches and dinners provide an average of 400–550 calories.
Even though Thistle Food’s meals do not contain gluten, the company does not currently have a gluten-free certification. It also does not recommend its products to those who have severe allergies to soy, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, shellfish, or pork.
Here are a few alternative meal services that also use organic ingredients:
- Sun Basket: Sun Basket uses organic products and offers various plans to cater to different diets. One of its plans is a vegetarian package that offers many vegan meals. Learn more about Sun Basket here.
- Green Chef: This company also makes its meals with organic ingredients and offers a plant-powered meal plan. Learn more about Green Chef here.
- Fresh n’ Lean: This is another delivery service that provides oven-heatable and microwavable organic meals. The company also donates any unused food to local charities.
- Sakara: This is another organic, plant-based ready meal delivery service that also provides beauty and wellness products. Customers can also buy detox and probiotic products.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that plant-based diets can be healthy, be nutritionally adequate, and help protect against certain conditions — as long as people plan them appropriately.
Although following a plant-based diet does not mean that a person has to give up meat, meat is not usually the main focus of a meal. It also likely means that people may eat less meat when following this diet.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), eating less meat reduces the risk of:
One 2015 study investigated the effects of eating a plant-based diet during pregnancy. The researchers found that this had a variety of benefits, including reducing the risk of gestation-related issues such as preeclampsia.
However, the researchers note that if a pregnant person’s plant-based diet is not well-balanced, they might develop deficiencies in minerals such as iron and vitamin B12. This could affect the health of the baby.
Thistle Food makes and delivers ready made meals containing plant-based, organic ingredients directly to customers who live within its delivery areas. The company does not currently ship to all states.
The service allows customers to choose between a meat and a vegan package and customize or swap their meals if they live within the local delivery zone.
A person may also want to consider some alternative companies to find the best service for their needs.