Did someone call on my queen Beybey? Earlier in 2019, Beyonce had adopted a healthier and more eco-friendly lifestyle with the help of her trainer Marco Borges and her meal plan had gained a lot of traction leading up to her Homecoming performance that year. Recently, Marco Borges launched 22Days that is designed to help people like you and I move towards a plant-based lifestyle. 22Days comes from the idea that it takes 21 days to build a habit, and thus, by the twenty second day, you would have a new lifestyle. 22Days is an affordable, simple, flavourful and customizable service to make healthy and sustainable eating more convenient. Or atleast, that’s what they say.
I think 22Days is going in the right direction towards shifting diets to be greener and healthier, however, it seems to be driven by the wrong intentions. I would love for them to be more transparent and either brand themselves as green-driven or health-driven. Being more environmentally friendly is inherently part of their product and it seems like they have leveraged it to reach more people rather than letting it fuel their company’s products and services. And it can’t be that hard to be more transparent right? All it takes is 21 days of consistent work after all.
If you’re a common Voiz frequenter, first of all: thank you and props to you. But you’ll also notice that most reviews start with reviewing what it’s made of but I thought that it would be more worthwhile to start with how it’s made to mimic what it’s like to go through the purchase process. Similar to many other meal delivery services, 22Days operates on a subscription fee where you pay a certain amount each week to have a personalized meal plan created for you each day with plant-based recipes developed by food experts and nutritionists. You can select anywhere from 1 to 3 meals created each day. When you first sign up, it will ask for your cooking habits, dietary needs, allergies, household size and goals. What makes it different from other meal kits is the guidance it provides towards meeting your personal goals. 22Days reduces the barrier of time and planning that most people have when it comes to switching to a more plant-based diet. And diet plays a big role in reducing our world’s carbon footprint. The crux of the problem that we face today is meeting the growing population while reducing the amount of agriculture land. The diet shift is an imperative solution considering that beef takes up 60% of our world’s agricultural land while only contributing to 2% of the calories. Plant-based diet needs to be adopted more than ever and 22Days is bridging an attitude gap, making strides in the right direction.
All meals are plant based with a variety of beans, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and herbs and spices - which all have low ecological footprints. And I know, we all need more fruits and vegetables in our diets, especially in America where only 8% of our diet is made out of any kind of produce. If you’re interested in investigating more about worldwide diets, I definitely recommend checking out: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/what-the-world-eats/. Furthermore, 22Days also eliminates any processed foods like soy burgers, fake “meats”, chips and any other junk food that you can think of. This may not be good news for your cravings but transporting, packaging and disposing processed foods uses more energy than non-discretionary foods. A typical meal plan might look like this:
Breakfast: Quinoa pudding with berries
Lunch: Green salad with vegetables, hemp seed, and approved dressing (from the 22 Days cookbook)
Snack: Hemp hummus and vegetables
Dinner: Baked sweet potato with coconut oil, black beans and side salad.
Dessert: Raw brownie bites
I know that the first concern that most people, including myself, have when it comes to switching to plant-based diets is whether we would be able to get enough nutrients or proteins. Their website half heartedly addresses this concern by mentioning that a lot of foods provide protein even though they aren’t meat, however, it ends with suggesting to purchase their protein powder. The problem I have with this is that the protein powder isn’t FDA approved but otherwise, protein powder seems to be the most efficient at delivering protein with the smallest environmental cost. There aren’t any blaring environmental problems with 22Days however 22Days should make their protein options more evident to address the hesitancy that’s present in many of us. How are they ensuring that we are eating our necessary nutrients that comes from protein? What alternatives would we be presented with if we didn’t purchase protein powder? The 22Days service costs around $1.90 a week but the money definitely adds up when we include the cost of groceries, especially for the rarer and lesser-known ingredients in their recipes. I think 22Days is advancing an extremely important movement and in order to accelerate it to the rate it should be at, it needs to make a couple of changes. Their recipes should be more accessible to different income levels by providing more common ingredients as well as address the discrepancy in protein and B-12 nutrient intake.
Meal plans are developed by fitness trainers as well as nutritionists. There isn’t any information on their website about their work conditions or environment nor is there anything on the internet. Compared to other meal kit delivery services, 22Days seems to lacks transparency about their efforts to create a more sustainable and ethical workplace. There are no statistics or facts provided about their company or the kind of impact they are creating. The only one that I was able to find was that 91% of people reported it was easier to be vegan with 22Days, however, I have no information on the pool of people this was taken from. I would like to see more information of the income level distribution of their market as well as people’s ability to sustain the plant-based diet after their 21 days. The duration of the diet is extremely important because we need long-term commitment to a diet for there to be changes in agriculture. Being vegan or vegetarian shouldn’t be a fad and if 22Days is as dedicated as they are to switching people to healthier and greener lifestyles, they should have more information about their success rates and strive to improve them every year. I love what 22Days is doing but perhaps, the intention isn’t as aligned with being green as it is in fulfilling Borges philosophy that veganism is the optimal wellness lifestyle. This is even more evident by the kind of companies they partner with to deliver same-day groceries needed for the meals. While I don’t know much about Peapod, their other partners https://voiz-xao3377.quip.com/uzQrAmTuyUvx and Amazon Fresh are both corporations that give little concern for their worker’s conditions and their carbon footprint. To me, it feels like 22Days is trying to expand their market from health conscious individuals to people that are concerned with their diet’s environmental footprint. And that makes me feel disappointed because 22Days could have mislead well-intentioned green consumers. Most importantly, 22Days is missing out on truly serving a greater purpose when it has the resources and platform to do so.