Get Real

When I heard about Get Fresh, a new Park Slope storefront that sells locally sourced, organic, washed-chopped-and-portioned “building blocks” for meals you then finish cooking at home in as little as 15 minutes, the DIY idealist in me was put off by the implication that we Brooklynites need spoon-feeding.

Then I lumbered off (I’m expecting a baby in May) to take out the recycling like the righteous, earth-loving type I am, and I had another glimpse of myself. There in clear plastic bags was our reality: MSG-smeared takeout containers, empty ice cream tubs, boxes of macaroni and “cheese” and heat-n-serve Indian food, and a family-size can of baked beans (I’m eating for how many now?).

Get Fresh neatly fills a niche. Costwise, the meals are closer to restaurant fare than groceries, but they’re way fresher and healthier than most takeout. The containers can be returned for recycling, and the place is a well-designed example of green building. There are omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, and, um, kid-friendly options (mac-n-cheese, local ice cream).

I enjoyed tossing fresh spinach and braised beef with mushrooms and barley for a hearty soup on a cold night, and the mac-n-cheese was a far cry from the powdered stuff I’ve been eating behind closed doors. Plus, owner Caroll Lee keeps adding extra-curriculars like movie nights, organic lunchboxes, cooking and nutrition classes with area chefs, gardening classes, bike delivery, and expecting-and new-parent meal packages (hint, hint). I get it now.

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Zoe Singer is a freelance food writer, co-author of The Flexitarian Table and a blogger for fitpregnancy.com. She grew up in Park Slope, lives in Sunset Park and regularly eats her way down Fifth Avenue to Bay Ridge.