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Sustainability and Vegetarianism Go Hand in Hand

Sustainability and Vegetarianism Go Hand in Hand

When I started Cibo Meals in 2016, my goal was to introduce my customers to new ingredients and exciting ethnic, international, and creative flavors. That mission quickly expanded in the months that followed to encompass sustainability and the prudent use of resources.

I believe our world would have a better, more sustainable future if every person ate at least two meat-free dinners each week. Livestock agriculture is a huge source of greenhouse gases, and commercial overfishing threatens to wipe out ecosystems and species.

At Cibo, we want to do our part to stop these trends by transforming dining tables in the Denver Metro area one meal at a time with our delicious, ready-to-eat, vegetarian meals.

Our focus on sustainability is directed inward too. I’ve done my best to make every element of our company as ecologically neutral as possible.

The Cibo Jar

At the core of our sustainability business model is our glass jars. We deliver ready-to-eat meals in reusable 32- and 16-ounce Mason jars. Instead of using the rings and the seals that come with them, we secure the jar with a recyclable, reusable plastic lid that has a far longer lifespan. We give the rings and seals away to local canners and others so they can be used and repurposed.

More than 90% of our business is with repeat customers – ranging from weekly to occasional. When we make our rounds, they place their rinsed, empty jars and caps on the doorstep inside the same Cibo tote bag we delivered them in.

We swap out a new bag containing their fresh meals and take back the used bag and items back to safely use again. It’s kind of like the neighborhood milk delivery service people relied on decades ago that’s still around today!

Returning the jars is based on the honor system, no deposit is required. If a customer chooses to keep one of our jars, we hope they’ll use and reuse it for their own purposes in an environmentally friendly way.

The Cibo Tote Bag

Cibo meal jars are delivered in a bright green, reusable, insulated bag. In warm weather we include a reusable freezer pack. Along with the jars and lids, our customers return the bags and freezer packs to us next time we deliver to them.

The Extra “Stuff”

We don’t load the Cibo tote bag with napkins, plastic utensils, condiments, and random packets like you’d find in a typical fast-food takeout bag. Often our meals come with a side or a topping option and these will be in their own small container that we ask you to recycle if possible.

The Cibo Kitchen

We work out of a shared commercial kitchen space in the Rocky Mountain Commissary in Arvada. On the one hand this reduces our costs so we can keep our prices low. But we think sharing space like this is also the right, sustainable thing to do since we don’t take up any more room than we need and we’re efficiently sharing equipment and utilities.

Cibo Ingredients

We buy our fresh, perishable ingredients for immediate use from local specialty markets, sustainable gardens, and markets – all with minimal packaging. We buy our nonperishable ingredients in bulk, and we store them securely in a large pantry in my home. This, too, minimizes the amount of packaging that needs to be disposed of or recycled.

Good for Planet Earth. Good for You.

It’s interesting to consider that often what’s good for our bodies, like a vegetarian diet, is also good for our global environment. The small steps we take toward a healthier, vegetarian diet parallels the contribution each of us can make to protect our planet and minimize harmful impacts on our environment.

Small steps are actually big steps and sustainability and vegetarianism truly do go hand in hand.

Check out this week’s menu or sign up to be notified about what’s cooking each week!

Our Support for the Vegetarian Lifestyle

Our Support for the Vegetarian Lifestyle

Vegetarian is one of the core pillars of Cibo Meals and it’s also a fundamental element of my personal lifestyle.Vegetarian Mason Jar

The health benefits of vegetarianism noteworthy, including the major ones like the reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. A non-meat diet has also been shown to support mood management and energy levels in many people.

For me, though, the vegetarian journey began at a very young age in the form of a general aversion to meat – the thought, taste, and texture. And over time I’ve also become more and more concerned about the damage to our planet from animal farming and commercial overfishing.

My Vegetarian Journey  

I grew up in Boulder. You may think you know where I’m going with that, but in fact my family wasn’t vegetarian – except for spunky, 8-year-old Emily Green! I don’t recall where or what I heard about the vegetarian alternative at that impressionable age, maybe it was my love of animals in general that made me want to take that step. To her credit and my fortune, my mom was supportive. She always prepared a meatless version of our evening meal just for me.

I’ve remained committed to a vegetarian diet ever since those early days, although I had to take a bit more of a flexitarian approach a decade ago when I was living on the East Coast and then in Tuscany. Now that I’m back in my native Colorado, though, it’s strict vegetarian all the way for me – and for Cibo Meals!

Who Needs Meat Anyways?

Vegetarian Food DeliveryOur entrees are made with the best available vegetables, grains, pastas, herbs, seasonings, and spices. I buy my vegetables from reputable sources like Heinie’s Market in Wheat Ridge and from the sustainable gardens and trusted vendors I’ve gotten to know across the Metro Denver region. Our meals-in-a-Mason jar are prepared and delivered fresh to your door. We offer two different options each week that will always offer all the flavor you want and the protein you need.

Your food won’t leave our kitchen with any meat. To be honest, I’m only an expert in vegetarian cooking. I’ll leave meat protein innovation to other chefs and other food service companies. While I’m certainly willing to suggest a meat protein that our customers can add to their Cibo entree, that certainly isn’t necessary – either for flavor or protein.

We cook on Tuesdays, after I spend Mondays rounding up the fresh ingredients I’ll need. I buy organic when it makes sense, but in my opinion that classification is too often misused by food manufacturers, distributors, and restaurants.

I’m a strict vegetarian, and so is our menu. That means we will use dairy, eggs (sparingly), and honey in our entrees if necessary. I recognize, of course, that other people are even more strict with their diets. More power to you! In most cases, I can customize your entree to be gluten free or vegan upon request.

And I get it. Not everyone is excited about a vegetarian diet or even a unique vegetarian entree experience. That’s why we make vegetarian food fresh and interesting. Our entrees are creative, internationally inspired, and packed with taste and goodness.

So, whether you’re a deeply committed vegetarian, a flexitarian, or you simply want to try some great, meatless meal options two or three days a week, we have convenient, ready-to-eat, tasty dishes for you.

Check out this week’s menu or sign up to be notified about what’s cooking each week!