It’s changing your social life, it’s changing how you shop, and now the Internet is even changing how you eat. Here are the 3 ways our food habits are being altered by the web.
1) Food is now curated.
With Ruth Reichl at its helm, Gilt Taste is becoming a premiere destination for foodies (and no doubt spawning plenty of competitors). While the site lets you buy chef-worthy artisan products and ingredients, the editorial staff (all jaw-dropping names in the food-writing biz) demystify rare ingredients and offer new recipes to help you become a Michael Pollan-approved, sustainability-friendly, organic-shopping version of yourself. Plus, there are personal essays and reported features to keep you thinking about food long after you’re full.
BEST FOR: The Cooking Enthusiast Looking To Spice Up Her Repertoire
2) Home-cooked meals are delivered right to your door.
For those of you who can’t labor over a Moroccan leg of lamb made from scratch, there’s a recently launched members-only grocery service that does most of the work for you. For about $30 per serving, members of 19 Charles Street can choose from four new recipes a week. Then the fresh, locally-sourced, and organic ingredients are delivered to your doorstep along with easy-to-follow instructions. You get all the trappings of a gourmet home-made dinner without the hassle of grocery shopping or recipe hunting. The service is filling a necessary niche: 3,500 members signed up since their soft launch this February, according to founder Brandon Davis. Plus, they now offer liter bottles of iced-coffee concentrate that can be diluted to taste.
BEST FOR: The Time-Scrapped Cook Ready To Embrace Her Inner Chef
3) Eating Is Social Again
Preparing meals isn’t the only way the web has changed the eating experience. Grubwithus is a new site whose only mission is to “eat with awesome people.” Combining online dating/networking with fine dining, the start-up offers unique restaurant meals for a group of strangers for around $25 each. Users can browse through a list of fellow diners with quirky one-line descriptions that aim to unite people with their love of food. The company coordinates a restaurant-week-type menu usually consisting of multiple courses (you can view the details of each meal on the site). The need to make eating less lonely is apparently huge: more than 10,000 people have registered with the site since organizing meals last August, according to the Times.
BEST FOR: The Stove-Shy Eater Who Prefers To Let The Professionals Do Their Thing