Airline food came to mind this morning when we saw an article from Alaska Airlines about their new food offerings, which we found intriguing from the title, which read, “Alaska Airlines cooks up new vegan & plant-based options for travelers seeking fresh, healthy options.”
We think this announcement may spawn food upgrades from the other airlines flying to Hawaii.
Alaska said it is adding a range of new “vegan, plant-based options.” Frankly, we’re all for choice. The airline says you can now “veg out on board with more gluten-friendly, plant-based and vegan meal options available in all cabins.”
Alaska said guests have asked for more plant-based food options. They responded with one called “Soy Meets World.” It’s done with a company we’d not heard of, Evergreens, which makes gourmet salads.
“Soy Meets World” vegan salad includes roasted broccoli, fresh cucumber slices, scallions, pickled carrots, fried tofu, and brown rice served over a bed of crisp romaine and baby lettuce greens, topped with roasted cashews, fried onions and paired with a Tamari Chili-Lime dressing.
The company has “the industry’s most comprehensive domestic food and beverage program.” That includes three meal choices in first class and up to four fresh options available for purchase in economy.
We like pre-order meals, to be sure.
For some time, Alaska has been offering pre-ordering of meals via its website or app. We have used those frequently and like knowing we’ll get the options we prefer. “Meal orders can be made starting 14 days before your flight and up to 20 hours before departure.”
Last Airline Food Study by Diet Detective | Ranking the airlines
It was just before Covid that the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center reported on airline food. It rated food based on health and nutrition, innovation, safety, and more.
In that study, Alaska and Air Canada shared the top spot as the airlines with the ‘healthiest’ food choices in the sky, with Delta and JetBlue tied for second.
Alaska Airlines. Rating 4.00. Average snack box 464 calories, meal 388. 1st place award for Hawaii goes to Alaska. The company ranked as having the healthiest airline food overall by far.
Delta Airlines. Rating 2.90. Average snack box 560 calories, average meal 495. 2nd place award for Hawaii.
American Airlines. Rating 2.70. Average snack box 471 calories, average meal 585.
United Airlines. Rating 2.70. Average snack box 463, average meal 431. Diet Detective reported that food is improving at United, with calorie and sodium counts heading down.
Hawaiian Airlines. Rating 1.90. Average snack box 515 calories, average meal 898. Diet Detective found Hawaiian Airlines improved some, but also noted that they are the only carrier that does not provide them with complete nutritional info.
Southwest Airlines. Rating 1.7. Average snack calories 106. Diet Detective did not like the airline’s variety or nutrition and is hoping for healthier choices. They also said, “For the first time in 20 years, the people we contacted were not nearly as helpful as they usually are in providing information for the study.”
Beat of Hawaii tips.
Do you realize how many calories are lurking in the airline meal’s salad dressing? It could be hundreds of calories and is likely also made with cheap and unhealthy oils.
Always consider packing at least some of your snacks and meals, whether made at home or locally sourced on trips. When flying, there’s much to be said about controlling the quality, quantity, and timing of food and beverages.
If airline food isn’t your thing, remember we aren’t alone. Renowned chef Gordon Ramsay says he’ll never eat airline food, period.