I love to cook, though some days get a little hectic. The subscription meal-delivery kits? They look delicious, to be honest. And yes, there's a lot of packaging. And yes, it's sort of lazy, but I make my own laundry soap and hair gel and can I please just have this one shortcut?
Except I can't, because, well, gluten. It's everywhere.
Then I see Sun Basket, a San Fransisco-based meal-delivery service promising gluten-free dinners. I swoon and can't order fast enough to try them out.
Naturally, I delight in visiting the website and clicking "start gluten-free plan." After typing in my address and credit card, I'm directed to a page of meals. They all look delicious, so I choose three.
My order arrives. It's refrigerated. The veggies are fresh. I make meal one. It's delicious. I consider the other two meals and notice the ricotta pancakes have wheat flour. I've been sent — I think — the wrong meal.
I email Sun Basket, a step you have to take to cancel, which I was doing anyway since I wanted to try before committing. I'm told it's "outside the window" to send a replacement meal or refund a portion of my charge. The company offers me a credit on my account, but I'd rather have my money back, because "outside the window?" Really? It's been less than 24 hours since I found your box on my doorstep.
I mention this. I also mention that I can't eat the meal they sent because I have celiac.
"I'm sorry that you selected the wrong meal," comes the email response from Kyle.
Is... is Sun Basket being passive aggressive with me? I reply with something along the lines of:
I did not pick the wrong meal. I clicked on "start gluten-free plan" and was directed to a page where this was one of the choices.
I cancel the plan. In the back-and-forth over this, however, it's too late to stop the next shipment, which includes a scrumptious-looking recipe for meatloaf with — you guessed it — bread crumbs.
I email Sun Basket again, mentioning the passive-aggressive email and that I'm following the proper prompts to exclusively order GF options. That's when I realize there are, in small print under each picture and recipe, tags indicating if a recipe is gluten-, dairy- or soy-free, or vegan. And no matter which meal plan I click — gluten-free, Mediterranean, vegan — I land on the same page.
I point this out to Teresa, a much-nicer customer service rep, and ask what else in the meatloaf has gluten in it — does the barbecue sauce? — so I can replace the gluten-containing products with my own GF ingredients. The rep says the company will process a $20 refund, but adds in this gem: these meals are not suitable for people with a severe gluten intolerance.
To be clear, I've finally found a gluten-free meal-delivery kit, but it isn't actually intended for people who have a real issue with gluten. Awesome. Now it's back to the drawing board. Any ideas?