Food

CrossFit jumps on the meal-kit bandwagon with grass-fed meat box

CrossFit, the high-intensity fitness regimen known for its Strongman-style exercises, has just released its first branded food product: a box full of organic meat.

In partnership with Strass Brands, CrossFit's box features a selection of meaty snacks like beef sticks, as well as raw proteins like grass-fed burgers, different cuts of steak and free-range chicken.

Strauss Brands / Getty Images

The box is now being sold online through Free Raised Direct and will be popping up in select grocery retailers across country later this year.

After the initial success of the meal-kit delivery service Blue Apron, other brands have been trying to capitalize on the pre-prepped, curated recipe trend that creates a middle ground between takeout and full-blown cooking from scratch. More recently, healthy lifestyle brands like Weight Watchers and Whole30 have launched their own meal kits as a way to target consumers seeking to follow their programs with less hassle in the kitchen.

But the CrossFit Box, which sells for $215, is one of the more expensive pre-packaged deals on the market. However, its contents can be frozen if you're not planning to use them right away. It includes five packages of cage free chicken breasts, three pounds of grass-fed ground beef, a selection of grass-fed steaks including lean tenderloin, ribeye, strip and sirloin, plus a package of ready-to-eat grass-fed beef sticks. It can be delivered in one to three month intervals.

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Watch this 78-year-old grandfather kill it during a CrossFit workout

Play Video - 2:30

Watch this 78-year-old grandfather kill it during a CrossFit workout

Play Video - 2:30

Unlike traditional meal kits which are centered on ingredients needed to make a specific dish, this kit is aimed at home cooks who really just want to stock up on protein.

"Our community believes athletes must take a 360 degree approach to a healthy lifestyle," Bruce Edwards, CrossFit's COO, said in a statement. "Due to the physical intensity of our workouts, a critical component of a complementary diet is protein — it provides energy and fuels performance." CrossFit has over 14,000 certified gym locations around the world, but this is their first expansion into the food market.

"When selecting clean protein, athletes need to go beyond labels and inform themselves on the health of the animal it is sourced from," Randy Strauss, CEO and third-generation co-owner of Strauss Brands, said. "Our cattle are raised as nature intended — free of antibiotics and growth-promoting hormones on open pastures for the duration of their lives."

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But is a box of meat the best option for home cooks looking to jump start a healthier lifestyle?

"With paleo and keto diets trending, these [high protein] products will most likely be hot as well," Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of "Read it Before You Eat It - Taking You from Label to Table," told TODAY Food. "But they also mention that they select 'clean protein,' and it should be pointed out that not only is clean not a defined term, but there are lots of protein foods that could be considered to be clean that might be easier to obtain ... and perhaps do less cleaning of your wallet, as well."

Organic eggs, nut butters, fresh fish, free-range poultry and even grass-fed meats can be found at most local supermarkets today, and you can buy exactly what you want or need. "As with any food, it’s important that you read food labels and learn as much as you can about where your food comes from," said Taub-Dix.

The nutritionist added that whether you’re an athlete or just trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, balance in your diet is key, so it's not advisable to load up only on one macronutrient like fats, carbs and protein — even if that food is being branded as more fitness-friendly.

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