Meal prepping has become popular in the last several years, particularly among singles and young families that don’t depend on help to get through all their household chores. Cooking meals can take a considerable amount of time if done daily or even a few times every week if you have a full-time job and have extracurricular activities you want to pursue.
Today, more people are adopting vegetarian or vegan food choices, and contrary to popular belief, the amount of time spent on creating, prepping and cooking vegetarian meals is considerable. For example, cooking a vegetarian stir fry requires more prep work with multiple ingredients compared to roasting a chicken thigh and potatoes.
When prepping meals there is also the fact that meats keep better than veg. in the freezer, which means vegetarian food needs regular turnover. You can choose to do away with all the fuss and have vegetarian meals delivered to you regularly if meal prepping doesn’t seem quite your thing right now.
Whatever your food preference and lifestyle, meal prepping has its advantages and as it is with all things there are some drawbacks to consider as well. Let’s take a look at some of them.
· Save Time
Time savings are on top of the list of meal prepping pros and for good reason. Dedicating time each week to methodically plan, shop and prep/cook your meals can go a long way in organising your week. Cooking a single serving of a staple like rice or pasta often takes as much time as a week’s worth and so does the cleaning and washing up.
· Healthier Eating
If you are trying to incorporate a healthier lifestyle and want your meal choices and portion sizes to work for you, then meal prepping can help. Because the week’s food requirement is pre-apportioned there is less chance of overeating or cooking a not-so-healthy packaged meal because you are short of time. Meal prepping can also take into consideration a snack, to fulfil an evening craving with the benefit of a homemade healthier option.
· Nutrient Loss
One of the biggest drawbacks in preparing meals for an entire week is nutrient loss and possible contaminants if not prepped and stored properly. Once a vegetable is peeled and cut it starts to lose nutrients and the longer you keep it in the fridge the lesser nutritional quality it will deliver when it is finally consumed. Besides the loss of nutrients, vegetables and fruit don’t keep too well in the refrigerator and start to shrivel up or get mushy and lose their freshness and colour producing a less than appetizing meal.
· Lack of Variety
The second often discussed drawback is the tendency to sacrifice food variety for convenience. One can get quite tired of eating the same thing for lunch 5 days in a row. Lack of variety coupled with regularly choosing fridge-friendly food that keeps well for longer may mean you are missing out on a range of food types essential for putting together wholesome tasty meals.