Humans evolved, so I’ve read, as foragers. Eating a predominantly fruit, vegetable, nuts and seeds diet, our ancestors ate little and often. Whether they turned to meat because we couldn’t find sufficient edible flora or simply by watching and learning from predators, it’s clear that the ratio of meat to non-meat we eat has steadily increased over the millenia, especially in recent decades. And, in the majority of cultures, we’ve fallen into a pattern of 3 main meals a day rather than small, regular grazing.
Of course, fewer larger meals fits in much more easily into our modern lives, segmented as they are into work, play and chores. But I often come across suggestions that some of us might benefit from a shift back towards the little-and-often pattern of those long-ago ancestors. Certainly, it might alleviate those after-meal crashes where one’s body feels lethargic and bloated as it struggles to digest a large volume.
What is Graze?
All this was loosely in my mind when I started reading blog posts from friends who signed up with Graze to receive regular deliveries of fresh and dried fruit, nuts and seeds packed into handy boxes posted directly to their work or home addresses.
I’d been meaning to investigate and try them out myself for quite some time when a twitter friend posted a free trial code that finally prompted me to check our their site.
A single graze box costs £2.99 including delivery and usually contains one large portion of fresh fruit plus one medium and one small pack of dried fruits, nuts, seeds or mixes. The box is sized to fit through a standard letter box and the packaging is recyclable.
Although you can’t specify the contents of each box, you are encouraged to spend a few moments browsing through the various categories (including fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, savoury snacks, olives and mixes) to rate each option as either bin, try, like or love. The first means you’ll never receive the item, the next that you’re not sure but are happy to try it and the other two indicate how much you like the item and hence how often you’d like to receive it. The idea is that, as you graze your way through each box, you pop back onto the site to update your ratings resulting in boxes that match your personal tastes ever more closely. (Clicking on an item produces a pop up with further information on the contents).
Some Grazers use their boxes to achieve a steady level of energy through the day, replacing lunch with all-day nibbling. Others use the natural snacks to restore energy when they’re flagging. Me? I’ve geared my boxes towards the more decadent options such as frosted cashews, lemon salted pistachios, dried mangoes, seaweed peanut crackers… and simply enjoy the contents of my boxes as a tasty treat!
Pros and Cons
So the pros are tasty, natural treats conveniently delivered to one’s door.
What are the cons?
Cost is probably the first one. Whilst the price is not unreasonable for a variety of nibbles in handy packets, delivered directly to your door it’s also true that one could assemble one’s own packs for significantly cheaper.
The second is the reliance on Royal Mail for delivery. My first box (for which I was re-credited) was due on a Friday but didn’t arrive till the following Tuesday, by which time the fresh fruit was rotting. The second box was hit by the postal strike but arrived only one day late – however Graze had cleverly re-designed the box in advance to exclude the large portion of fresh fruit and replace it with an extra medium and small pack of the longer life dried items.
What I’d love to see is the option to deliberately choose the dried goods only configuration, regardless of whether a postal strike is expected. This would make the boxes more flexible for me, as most of the dried packs have use by dates a few months in the future.
Free Trial Code
If you’d like to try Graze for yourself, enter code 21Q63KF to get your first box absolutely free. (Each time the code is used, I also get a £1 back, just so you know!)
If any of you do go ahead and try Graze, I’d love to hear about your experiences and opinions. Happy munching!