What Are You Willing To Pay?

Money-On-PlateOne of our “friends” on Facebook recently re-posted a quote that simply says:

“Please don’t write another article on obesity in America until you explain why salads are $7 and a burger is $1.”

I’m not entirely sure who the quote is directed towards, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s put out there for the policy makers.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking about what it says, and although you can pay seven dollars for a salad (or much more if you’re in a fancy/smancy restaurant), fast food burger joints are not that far behind in price. (I’m still wondering where this guy is getting the one dollar burger!)

According to HuMuch.com the average global price for a Burger King Whopper Meal is listed at $6.99 CAD and consists of a Whopper hamburger, medium fries, and medium drink. The Big Mac meal from McDonald’s is listed at $7.10 CAD and also comes with fries and a drink. You can of course get the burger by itself, but when you compare the cost of the burger alone, it’s not much more for the whole Meal Deal.
Besides, you still need something to wash the burger down with right?

So, when we look at the price of a healthier food choice (salad) compared to a less healthier choice (burger, fries, and a drink) what are we really willing to pay?

Convenience Is Not Cheap

Processed, packaged, and fast-foods are not cheap. According to The New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman, “The “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes. I frequently read confident statements like, “when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli …” or “it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home.”

This is just plain wrong. In fact it isn’t cheaper to eat highly processed food: a typical order for a family of four – for example, two Big Macs, a cheeseburger, six chicken McNuggets, two medium and two small fries, and two medium and two small sodas – costs, at the McDonald’s a hundred steps from where I write, about $28. (Judicious ordering of “Happy Meals” can reduce that to about $23 – and you get a few apple slices in addition to the fries!)

In general, despite extensive government subsidies, hyperprocessed food remains more expensive than food cooked at home. You can serve a roasted chicken with vegetables along with a simple salad and milk for about $14, and feed four or even six people. If that’s too much money, substitute a meal of rice and canned beans with bacon, green peppers and onions; it’s easily enough for four people and costs about $9. (Omitting the bacon, using dried beans, which are also lower in sodium, or substituting carrots for the peppers reduces the price further, of course.)”

The point is, preparing meals at home with wholesome fresh ingredients can be far less expensive than dining on highly processed foods. Not only can it be cheaper than eating out, we have more control over what we are eating and how much fat, sodium, and calories we’re consuming.

One way to cut down on food costs, is by cutting down on meat. Eggs and beans are inexpensive and provide a healthy alternative to meat.

Buying locally can save you money as well. Seek out locally grown food that you can verify has been grown naturally. You may be surprised to find out that by going directly to the source you can get amazingly healthy, fresh food for less money than you can find at your supermarket. To find these types of real foods, grown by real farmers visit sites such as Farmers’ Markets Ontario®, Buy From The Farm or search for your local farmers markets. (We’re very fortunate to live in an area that has hundreds of greenhouses, fields of vegetables, and numerous orchards. When we go for our sightseeing drive we stop at roadside stands and get our fresh veggies and fruit. Deliciously fresh and we can’t get over the cheap prices!)

Supplements Can Save You Money!

BarleyLife-Juice

Including whole food concentrates like AIM BarleyLife® into your daily routine can help keep your food costs down as well. When we give our body the nutrition it needs, we help eliminate cravings for less healthy processed foods. A typical 4-gram serving of BarleyLife costs about 53 cents (AIM Member price not including taxes or shipping). That’s less than a cup of coffee, a small juice, or even bottled water!

BarleyLife is an incredibly complete source of nutrition containing a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and enzymes. One of the most fundamental benefits of green barley grass juice is its profound alkalizing effect. Barley grass juice has a neutral pH of 7.0 and contains alkaline minerals that buffer or neutralize acidic materials. Something our body desperately needs if we consume packaged and processed foods.

Preparing meals at home, limiting (or eliminating) trips to the fast-food joints, and munching on fresh veggies and fruit for snacks will help keep us healthy and keep our food costs down. With a little effort and common sense, healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive.

“Fast food is popular because it’s convenient, it’s cheap, and it tastes good. But the real cost of eating fast food never appears on the menu.”
~ Eric Schlosser

For more information about the many benefits of AIM BarleyLife®, please visit our AIM Store Website where you can read more, download a data sheet, watch a video, and make your purchase. As with any supplement it is always recommended to read the literature thoroughly to find out if this product is right for you, and consult a health care practitioner if you have any medical conditions or concerns.

*Money On Plate image courtesy of phasinphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

BarleyLife-Shopping-Bag

Author: Joanne Jackson, CHN

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