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The easiest way to make home-cooked dinners exciting again

Meal decision fatigue is real. Here’s how to unlock it.

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Hungry Harvest
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Note: This article is a paid placement and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Billy Penn at WHYY.


There’s a reason kids beg for what they want. They know, instinctively, that after the thousandth request for just one more jellybean, their parents will probably acquiesce.

These baby geniuses are capitalizing on “decision fatigue,” a psychological term that’s become buzzy of late. The gist: Humans have to make a billion decisions a day (rough estimate) and that is exhausting (actual fact). This starts the second we wake up — sweats or jeans? Peloton or pilates? Eggs or Eggos? — and by nighttime, our capacity and ability to make sound decisions diminishes. We probably think of this as “being weak” or “giving in.” The truth is, we’re just plain tired.

What else happens at the end of the day? Dinner. Which means by the time it rolls around, your desire to choose a healthy meal is nearly zero. Pasta and sauce, frozen chicken tenders, any kind of takeout — these all offer relief to your weary mind, but doing them over and over can leave you feeling both uninspired and unhealthy.

One way to break the cycle: Having quality ingredients on hand. That’s the concept behind Hungry Harvest.

For the past six years, the company has worked directly with farmers to curate boxes filled with a variety of farm fresh, straight-from-the-land fruits and vegetables. (Basically, they taste really good.) Having them arrive at your doorstep means less meal planning, shopping and prepping, with the added benefit of shaking up your nightly repertoire. It’s not outlandish to think you’ll love cooking again.

The easy-to-use Hungry Harvest website guides you through the options, which are suited to many budgets and preferences. Boxes start at $15, which is perfect for one or two people, and go up to $42 for larger families. (If you’re thinking that’s a pretty good deal for lots of fresh produce, you are right. Take a look at your last supermarket bill and compare. Cutting out the middle step = extra savings.)

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Hungry Harvest

Harvest boxes are curated each week to provide a new mix of options. You can also opt for just veggies (no fruit) or customize your selection to match your personal preferences. Your order can arrive weekly or less frequently, depending on how much cooking you do. And, Hungry Harvest has pantry selections you can add on — think eggs, milk, sauces, gluten-free foods — to level up the convenience factor.

There’s an added benefit to shopping and thinking about food this way. Every delivery saves at least 10 lbs. of produce from going to waste and helps support the work of local hunger-solving organizations including Philabundance, as well as Hungry Harvest’s own food access initiatives, which include stocking community markets and pandemic relief programs.

You might occasionally get a fruit that looks “ugly” or less than perfect — but still tastes wonderful. It normally would have been tossed out not being attractive enough for supermarket displays or it simply could have just been surplus produce without a home. These are the first steps we’ll all need to take to recalibrate how we consume and distribute food, which will help ensure farmers receive a fair wage for their full harvest, combat climate change and make a dent in world hunger.

Interested? Here’s an extra bonus: Billy Penn readers can get 50% off your first Harvest when you sign up with code BILLY50. 

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