VegMeUp: An introduction

Why a plant-based food-box service?

When I came up with the idea to start a food-box delivery service in Melbourne, I knew straight away that it had to be plant-based. I had read multiple books and seen a couple of documentaries about the state of our planet and came to the conclusion that we are not doing so well in looking after our planet, to put it mildly.

We should all familiarise ourselves with these facts, some of which I will quote below, in order to understand why we cannot continue like this. Cutting back on our meat and dairy intake can help to significantly reduce greenhouse gases and carbon emissions.

Did you know that animal husbandry creates more carbon emissions than the entire transportation sector?

Besides the environmental benefits of cutting back on animal products, there is also a great benefit to gain from a health perspective. I was amazed to read Michael Greger’s How Not to Die — I already knew a lot about food and nutrition but scientific evidence about how a plant-based diet can prevent or reverse disease was eye-opening for me. This is when I knew for sure: I had to start a plant-based food business. Not long after that VegMeUp was born.

4 quick facts on the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet

  1. If we eliminate meat and milk from our diets, we would save 50% of our freshwater usage
  2. Livestock production is responsible for an estimated 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions
  3. Almost a third of arable land worldwide is used for animal agriculture
  4. 9,400 litres of fresh drinking water are needed to grow 500 grams of beef

4 quick facts on the health benefits of a plant-based diet

A plant-based diet can:

  1. Lower your blood pressure
  2. Help you lose weight
  3. Reduce your risk of cancer
  4. Improve your cholesterol 

Cooking with plants

Some people might not know how to cook with plants, I understand it can be overwhelming going in a new direction with food, even if it is only for a couple of nights a week. Luckily, VegMeUp made it part of its mission to show people how easy and fun it is to cook with vegetables and plants

There are so many ways to cook delicious, nutritious plant-based meals. And don’t worry if you like to eat a burger with chips, or a rich creamy pasta. At VegMeUp we always make sure there is something indulging on our menu too.

With easy-to-follow steps and all your measured ingredients packed in a paper bag, it is a breeze to cook a delicious plant-based meal 2, 3 or 4 nights a week! Even if you have not much experience with cooking at all.

Who is Jimmy?

So, my name is Jimmy. I am a Dutchman who moved to Melbourne around 5 years ago. I worked as a chef in the Netherlands for 17 years in multiple high-profile restaurants and hotels. I have always loved working with food and have a great interest in everything to do with food and nutrition. It was a delight for me to encounter Melbourne’s amazing food scene, with cultures from all over the world contributing to its infinite range of amazing, tasty food!

Funnily enough, for quite some time I only admired Melbourne’s cuisine from a customer’s perspective. I needed a break from my career as a chef when I arrived in Melbourne in 2015. I had 2 young kids who I wanted to spend more time with. I needed a break for the kitchen. During this time I held several jobs all over the place; from renting out campervans to polishing marble and a little career in logistics, however, I never really found what I wanted.

Then Covid happened…

In hindsight, this was a blessing for me. I lost my job (which I did not really enjoy anyway) and it gave me time to think about what I really wanted to do, to re-ignite my creative passion and sense of purpose. A moment to reflect and take a good look at myself. All the while supporting my kids with their distance learning.

I started to cook a lot again, studied food and the environment, and began to investigate possibilities for me to follow my passion. After looking into a couple of business concepts it became pretty clear to me that a plant-based food-box service was the way I wanted to go.

I became absolutely convinced about the benefits of a plant-based diet and how this can contribute to better health and a better world. We all should incorporate a plant-based diet for at least a couple of days a week to make sure that we leave the planet in a better place for our children and grandchildren.

I’ll be honest with you that while my own personal diet is largely based on plants, it isn’t yet exclusively plant-based. Having said that, we need to start somewhere, and everyone is on their own journey, without judgement.

One of the goals I am trying to reach with VegMeUp is to show evidence as to why we all should cut back on meat, dairy and fish. I understand not everyone can, or wants to, go vegan overnight. However, creating awareness and understanding, combined with the excellent options that VegMeUp provides, will make a little difference to this world. I am definitely on my own journey, and I hope you will join me.

With love,

Jimmy van der Linden