Just to say up-front, I don’t know anyone at the Thrive Market (though they seem like very nice, thoughtful people), and I’m not getting anything in return for writing about them. I sure do intend, however, to pay up for a full membership when my trial period ends in three days, (which also happens to be New Year’s Eve). So that’s my disclaimer, which really doesn’t claim or dis anything. Maybe it’s a resolution.
Now begins the blog post:
I get most of my food , vitamins, and supplements delivered. From local stores, from big-name whole food chains, from the almighty Amazon (not going to insult your intelligence by providing a link for that one), from stupendous places such as Swanson‘s.
And the lovely men and women from the local stores are usually kind enough to carry the groceries up one flight of stairs, which is sometimes an absolute blessing on days when my legs are not working well. As the the rest, the selection is great and the prices are good. My shopping criteria have “price” and “primal” skipping together like Jack and Jill.
No complaints on any front. In fact, I’m thinking that 20 years ago, I’d have told you you were delusional to predict the choice and quality of food available now just by typing and waiting for a truck to show up. I’d go straight to the food district in any big city and stock up on hard-to-get stuff (and I mean stuff like asafoetida and garam masala, and mushroom fettuccine). That sounds ridiculous now, as practically every supermarket has at least ten different kinds or ethnicities of curry, and garam masala will be one of them. Back then, I cherished my Indian cookbook that taught me how to toast spices and make my own blends.
I have noticed the trend lately in healthy snack-box delivery services that look great, but most of which I’ve seen are too “snacky,” and none of them I’ve seen so far can guarantee that they are gluten- or grain- free. Forget low-carb. (You must understand I speak from a perspective of a person that thinks Brussels sprouts with pomegranate molasses is a perfectly acceptable late-night snack. Pomegranate arils added are a bonus.)
I like to keep something on hand for the occasional weakness, at work at home, at anywhere. “Weakness,” you might correctly assume, is a euphemism for “lazy.” I used to really like a coconut-cashew bar that was quite good, but unfortunately, highly processed. I work in a place with a cafeteria in the basement, where I can go to get . . . . erm. Eggs. Before 11am, bacon and eggs. after then hard-boiled eggs. Everything else is likely to be cross-contaminated, and there was once a pretty spectacular serving of salmonella at the salad bar.
Usually I choose to go hungry at work on the rare occasions my bulletproof coffee lets me down before late afternoon. I like to have a few options in my desk drawer. I should also explain I actually do know how to boil eggs myself, and unlike the ones downstairs, they don’t have green rings around the yolks.
Yes, foresight would be a wonderful thing, but really, hard-boiled eggs are not the best desk-drawer -snack strategy. I can’t predict when I’ll be hungry. I need a little help here.
Recently, I’ve found a brand of protein bar made out of, well, protein from sources that have feet and faces. This might gross you out, but they usually list a critter, a fruit, salt, spices and rarely any other ingredients on the label. That, I define as a clean food.
Downside: they can cost in excess of five bucks a bar, or fifty bucks for a box of 12. Twice as much as the other low-carb, paleo, (or more easily found NOT low-carb) fruit and nut options.
Out of this holiday-season blitz of marketing, came one offer from a company called Thrive Market.
I thought they were a snack-box place.
They are not.
They are a membership club where you can buy a lot of the things I normally use: critter-based (and other) protein bars. Coconut oil; Dr. Bronner’s products; healthy toothpaste; low-carb pizza sauce; live cultures!!; gluten-free beauty products; grass-fed gelatin; hemp powder; healthy oils . . and I haven’t even clicked on all of the categories yet. You can also filter your searching by your lifestyle: vegan, paleo, raw, gluten-free, and so on.
In my first rather modest trial order, I saved about 90% of what the membership fee will be for the year. The stuff I’m messing around with in my current cart will finish saving enough for this year’s and next year’s too and by then, I’ll be a full member (that’s IMPORTANT: read on.)
So, a good deal, with say, said critter-bars being half the price I can get them anywhere else and most of the other products are at least 30% off from even that almighty place we all shop, even taking subscribe-and-save into account.
Does Thrive have everything? No. It couldn’t be your go-to day-to-day grocery store, it’s more like a specialty store, but wow, the prices. And, wow, a promise to carry, as best they can (based on label information) NO GMO products.
And DOUBLE-wow, check out this quote from their website:
Expanding access to healthy living isn’t just our business model – it’s our mission. And it couldn’t be a more urgent one. Every year, 49 million Americans experience food insecurity while 80 percent of low-income families resort to buying food they know isn’t healthy just to make ends meet. Meanwhile, more than 23 million Americans today still live in “food deserts” – low-income neighborhoods where healthy natural food is nowhere to be seen.
Thrive Market can help change this. That’s why we’ve committed to giving a free membership to a low-income family for every paid member who joins Thrive.
And while I’m at it, I’m going to add an image from their site:
Check them out. Next month, I’m going to have a membership for me, and much more importantly, for someone who needs it much more than I do.I hope they love it and thrive! Happy New Year!