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Guest Post: Is Real Food Too Expensive?

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Is Real Food Too Expensive?

Please don't claim real food is "too expensive" to eat. What's "too expensive" is unhealthy processed and fast foods.

It is a truism that food is expensive in America. What if we ask, "is real food expensive in America?"
Let's define "real food" as unprocessed or minimally processed: raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, unprocessed meat. Minimally processed would include rolled oats, 100% whole wheat bread, tofu, etc.
Exhibit #1: I recently bought this real food, here in America, for less than $5: 9 oranges, large bag of mustard cabbage, large bag of Shanghai bok choi and a large bag of malabar spinach. It was not in the "half off" bin; I paid the full retail price:
Exhibit #2: all of the above, plus 30 eggs and a hand of bananas: total less than $10:
Each of these vegetables makes 4 to 6 servings, and the 2.5 dozen eggs provides plenty of protein for multiple meals. I could have added some excellent frozen fish for under $2 a pound, and cooked a few ounces per serving--a typical serving in traditional Asian cuisine, where one piece of chicken is thinly sliced and added to vegetables to feed four people.
$10 in fast food might get you two "value meals" of saturated-fat burgers, fries and sugar-water drink. $10 in packaged food will buy an assortment of fake-food: frozen pizzas, snacks, sugar-bomb breakfast bars, etc.
Is real food expensive in America? As a percentage of median household income ($49,777), no. Is processed or fast food expensive? If the "value" is measured in nutrition and well-being, yes, the cost is very high indeed.
Apologists often cite four reasons why people (and more particularly, low-income people) tend to eat so poorly in America. One is the high cost of "real food." This is not quite true, as shown above: if you shop at Asian or Latin markets, you will find prices for fresh produce and other real food is typically much lower than in conventional supermarkets.
The second reason offered is that there are no grocery stores in low-income areas. This is also not quite true, as the aforementioned ethnic markets are typically only found in low-income immigrant-friendly areas.
The third excuse is that low-income people lack a proper stove/oven. The majority of Indian, Chinese and southeast Asian cuisine is prepared in one saucepan or wok that only needs one burner, a cutting board, one knife and a stirring/serving tool. The variety and healthy qualities of these cuisines are well-known. You only need one burner and a single saucepan/wok to make a huge range of healthy meals.
The fourth reason given is that people work long hours and have no time to cook, especially low-income workers with long commutes on public transport.
I routinely prepare a healthy meal with the above vegetables or equivalent (green beans, etc.) and a few ounces of meat in about a half hour. With a pressure cooker (widely available at garage sales, etc.), you can prepare a pot of beans or lentils (dal) in less than an hour.
Compare these modest investments of time with surveys that routinely find Americans of all incomes and ethnicities watch up to four hours of TV or equivalent "entertainment" (web-surfing, videogaming, etc.) a day. Some surveys put the total even higher than four hours.
So the apologists are claiming that people find four hours to watch TV, etc., but they have to stop at fast food outlets for dinner because they have no time to prepare a meal with real food.
None of these excuses hold water. Even more absurdly, some apologists claim that "people don't know how to cook." With dozens of cooking shows being broadcast and thousands of recipes available to anyone with a smartphone or Internet connection, this strains credulity. There are even these useful things called cookbooks that can be borrowed from a public library.
Let's also recall that up to 40% of all food in the U.S. is thrown in the garbage. Do you throw away what is costly? No, you throw away what is cheap.
What it boils down to is convenience, marketing and engineering: processed food and fast-food are engineered to "taste good" (i.e. salty, fatty and sweet), marketing hypes them 24/7 and Americans have been brainwashed to worship convenience above all else.
So please don't claim real food is "too expensive" to eat. What's "too expensive" is unhealthy processed and fast foods.

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Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:28 | 3043386 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Rice is cooked 2 parts water to one part rice with salt and oil for twenty minutes. Bring to a boil and then simmer. Vegetables are chopped and cooked in a wok, in oil, at medium high heat for 5-7 minutes. Add a little soy sauce for flavor. Put on top of rice and serve. 

You can add additional spices, like curry, ginger,garlin, tarragon, etc. 

Put the eggs in with the rice and stir fry as well. 

Will feed two people for ten dollars a day. It's not exciting food, but very healthy.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:41 | 3043436 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

First you never cook rice like that! You use as much water as possible, cook it for 15 to 20 min (from the moment water starts boiling, and of course salt), depends on kind of rice, drain, rinse and you ready. Try.

Second, good luck to feed 2 people with it just for a month. Don't give it to the kids though because all those hormons in eggs will cause a lot of growth problems (checked in real life).

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:38 | 3044314 Acet
Acet's picture

There are two different ways to cook rice, both the one with lots of water and the one with two measures of water for each measure of rice (for example two cups of water for one of rice).

In the later your cover the pan and boil for exactly 10 minutes. At the end take the pan out of the fire and let it stand (still closed) for two minutes before serving - this allows the rice to absorb any leftover water. If you did the right measures and times there will be not water left and the rice will not be burned (there's some marging for error). You might want to rinse the rice before adding it to the boiling water in this way if it's cheap rice and you don't want it to be sticky (this removes the loose powder and excess starch).

This later method also allows for doing the rice with things in it, for example rice with peas (just add the peas in the beginning and use the same measures). A very easy way of making seriously tasty rice it to add one or two cubes of stock to the water and just do plain rice or add some peas.


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 20:50 | 3044505 cheetahbaby
cheetahbaby's picture

Third way, rice cooker. Makes fabulous rice. No need to throw out water, no need to watch the pot and it leaves that lovely crust on the sides of the pot.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:14 | 3043526 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

living in NYC and in Montana - Montana while fruits and vegetables on balance higher than NYC  - they are still reasonable in Bozeman multiple places

in NYC : Bell Peppers just in last month $.99 lb - red/ yellow - green $.68-78 / blackberries small box $2.00 / bananas- $.59 lb / iceberg lettuce $.89-99 head/ eggplant $.99 lb /spinach fresh $1.50 box

can eat in NYC fruits and veg - reasonable or cheap !  everything in the article is true - (meat which is also cheap especially chicken $1.99 lb deboned chicken breasts)

i also shopped in Switzerland for a year within the last 5 years and the prices for raw food is astronomical in comparison to usa and people are thin -there is no reason to eat high carb /high fat/high sugar  diet - none - vast majority of americans are lazy diabetic pigs no other reason for obesity


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:30 | 3043146 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

I'm staying in NYC with my sister for the Holidays.  I just bought a 6 pack of Murrays chicken thighs at the C-town on w 116th street for $2.45.  That's about the same it cost me to feed and raise my chickens back home.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:33 | 3043155 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

you should be hitting up the local Popeye's with the bulletproof glass counters yo!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:44 | 3043201 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Why do they need bullet proof glass in NYC if guns are illegal?  I think I saw that homeless guy with no shoes walking on broadway yesterday.  Turns out he has an apartment and the shoeless thing was only a schtick for pity.  After seeing the caliber of people around here, I'm convinced they will die quickly when TSHTF.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:53 | 3043239 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture most laws today....the criminals seem to benefit most from them........go veggy.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:08 | 3043309 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

People will stop to take pictures rather than help a man about to be run down by a train.  There's a complete disconnect with reality.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:10 | 3043704 Ballin D
Ballin D's picture

You open yourself up to liability if you get involved and try to help.  This wont change until a politician loses someone close.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:49 | 3043850 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Most jurisdictions have "Good Samaritan" laws on the books that protect individuals from liability when rendering assistance to a person in danger.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:45 | 3043207 Stock Tips Inve...
Stock Tips Investment's picture

These prices do not seem very real. However, I do believe that esposible eat healthy foods at prices much lower than what we pay for processed foods. Every day, I try to eat healthier foods.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:17 | 3043355 Perpetual Burn
Perpetual Burn's picture

organically grown foods are a scam. They use more pesticides then "non-organic" foods. 


Sucker will be sucker.



Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:50 | 3043472 Marco
Marco's picture

It's a matter of degrees, compared to eating processed/fast food every day it's still a hell of a lot better (also less chance of e-coli food poisoning). Also frozen and canned vegetables retain most of their nutritional value, which allows you to go a little cheaper still.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:11 | 3043079 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Can't give the away here in season.Same for mangos,limes and avocardo.

Just had my last avocardo, a 3lb monster..

The question is more when bought, and where.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:42 | 3043193 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture


Little teeny-weeny Hass avocadoes here go for 97 cents apiece.  And their prices seem inflexible, almost never going on discount or on sale and always around the same price.  (Once I did see them on sale at 77 cents).

We need more avocado producers!  Competititon...!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:45 | 3043205 cifo
cifo's picture

What is avocardo?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:21 | 3043371 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

They are similar to avocados but they are grown in the fertile soil of one's own imagination, ranging in size from three to five pounds.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:44 | 3043642 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Your talking about a different type, from the west Indies.

They don't taste the same, but have their own flavor. Hass is better.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 22:33 | 3044750 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

-1 for "Your talking about ..." (contraction violation, s/b " you are" or " you're " not "your")


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:13 | 3043088 exi1ed0ne
exi1ed0ne's picture

Bingo.  Community Supported Agriculture shares here in the fucking middle of crop country ain't cheap.  If you want grass fed beef or bison you're looking at triple or more the price of hormone and antibiotic laden meat like substance you find in the store.  I'm not discounting the conditioning of mass media, nor the engineered tastes in modern process foods, but eating real stuff is MUCH more expensive then the cost of factory food.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:36 | 3043786 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Yeah - but what percentage of our incomes should be dedicated to obtaining high-quality food?

This article also doesn't touch on the increadible waste of paying what amounts to crunchy water flown or trucked in from 3,000mi away.

Once you embrace eating locally available and seasonal produce, the ability to grow one's own becomes a viable and economic option.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 23:31 | 3044864 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

it is fascinating that the proportion of money spent on health care and that spent on food have nearly switched. organic food with tremendous variety is the best health investment you will ever make. Vitamins are no substitute for the complexity of digesting true food.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:15 | 3043095 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

He's not shopping at Wholefoods.  Add some onions and rice to his shopping list and you can feed a family for a week for under $15.  In these times stay at home dads have to learn to be more frugal.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:29 | 3043393 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

Even better than original post! Are you living in China? If so add some hot peppers to it and you'll be fine for for month for 15$ for family of 6.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:47 | 3043454 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Look at the bright side, as China becomes wealthier, in time they will become lard asses like us and as we become poor we will be healthier like them.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:02 | 3043518 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

That's true to certain point, we need to get rid of our lard asses, not doubt, but at the same time we don't want to have bowed legs, bad teeth and hundreds of other problems arising from malnutrition. I just don't want to go over board with our diets, one way or another, and I know we can survive reducing our expenditures on food drastically, but it has many medical cosequences as well.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:22 | 3043118 SheepHerder
SheepHerder's picture

Oranges $1 each???  A head of lettuce $3??? Where do you live? 

California grown navel oranges are $.79 a pound a five minute walk from where I'm at right now.  I'm not sure how much lettuce is, but broccoli is a $1.49 a pound.  And I regularly buy 60 eggs for less than $9.

This article is spot on.  My food bill has dramatically reduced due to buying more raw fruits and veggies and cutting back on the amount of meat I eat.  Not to mention the obvious health benefits?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:35 | 3043166 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

It's much cheaper cooking from scratch if you find the right places to buy most items in bulk. These days, there isn't anything we wouldn't rather have from scratch, as there are very few processed foods that I still consider food. Even modern wheat is poison, only being invented a little over 50 years ago.

So, in addition to moving away from processed foods, we're going gluten-free. Last night we had pizza from scratch, including an almond flour crust.

We recently found this website, which unlike many GF recipie sites, is focused on healthy alternatives for all ingredients.

I've never felt better (well, as long as I ignore the impending global collapse).

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:43 | 3043195 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

There's also the hidden epidemic of hypothyroidism linked to the use of gluten laden products.  It's a huge problem that doesn't seem to attract a lot of attention.  My family has been moving away from gluten, too.  I smiled when I saw "almond flour" because it's in our pantry, too!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:50 | 3043229 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Thanks to Lew Rockwell introducing me to Mark Sisson, I've now no doubt about my ability to live to 100.

I can eat till I'm stuffed, and the fat falls off, while my muscles are finally healing from a lifetime of poor diet and sitting at this damn PC for twenty years.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:25 | 3043380 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

Thanks for the link!  I'll follow-up on it.  I'm pretty well sold on the idea that gluten is bad and any source that helps us eliminate it from our family's diet will be useful.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:52 | 3043659 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Yes, but avoid the gluten free junk food. Check out the book Wheat Belly for some horrifing details!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:43 | 3043197 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture



You MUST BE in the zero shipping cost zone, and not buying OG.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:19 | 3043571 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

No shipping price for boldface, at least.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:29 | 3043144 Jayda1850
Jayda1850's picture

I'm in the produce business and I can tell you that about 40% of produce prices go just to pay the freight. Wholesale price of lettuce right now is $17 for a 24ct case, out of that $7 goes just to pay the freight from cali to east coast.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:39 | 3043178 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Which is why local sourced is better if you make the effort to find it. I get honey from my closest neighbor. Eggs are less than a mile away, and for produce, there's a store a block from my office with nearly all the produce local and/or organic.

Of course, there's also my garden. I'm still getting lettuce, spinach and radishes from it.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:44 | 3044022 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Why everyone does not grow their own lettuce is completely beyond my comprehension.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:41 | 3044164 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

That was a +1 from francis_sawyer

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:46 | 3044175 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

How would suggest I grow lettuce in Brooklyn?


If I ever get *my* hydro gear going, I ain't gonna be growing lettuce, yo....

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:26 | 3044284 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Actually, winter greens aren't too hard to grow (actually easier than in the heat of summer because of bolting) - you just need to make sure the temps don't go below freezing with a coldframe.  See Elliot Coleman for details.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:43 | 3044331 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I have a hard time getting the seedlings into the sidewalk, tho.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 22:47 | 3044774 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Goddammit... I don't give a FF if you're in Brooklyn...

Get some of that THICK SHIT plastic insulation wrap (or even some damn transparent plastic containers from your local HD or Wal-Mart) & you can grow ANY green like lettuce, spinach, or mustard green at sub freezing temps even on a Brooklyn rooftop...


Sat, 12/08/2012 - 15:06 | 3045729 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Are you OK francis?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:55 | 3043251 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

So food price increases are mostly due to continued artifically high gas prices due to artificially supressed USD value ? Makes sense. The early-2008 to autumn-2008 run up in oil to 150$ was less harmful as it lasted only a couple of months. Now, we've been having 80-90$ oil for close to 4 years...


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:56 | 3043500 Marco
Marco's picture

Suppressed USD value? Is the US projected to run large trade surplusses any time soon?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:16 | 3043940 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

ZIRP is artificial.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:34 | 3043159 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

I guess we have to define what "food" is. What passes for "food" today would not have been eaten by dogs back in the day. Ask anyone that comes here from another first world country and they will tell you without reservation that our food SUCKS.  It's DISGUSTING.  Which is why I almost never eat at a chain, and then only if it costs what it's worth (you are not getting a "bargain" eating out cheaply, despite what you think).  

Cooking at home is often more expensive than eating out, which should tell you something.  It's not economies of scale, it is because you are buying chemicals and cardboard to eat when you go to a restaurant (or worse).

Americans WANT Walt-Mart type service and goods in everything they do. That's why our stuff (cars, airlines, food, etc. etc. etc. ) is so shitty. The market demands it. The market obliges.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:02 | 3043278 percolator
percolator's picture


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:04 | 3043285 percolator
percolator's picture

Sheepdog, you're getting ripped off!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:30 | 3043395 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

bok choi

mustard cabbage

malabar spinach

all of it is nasty tasting AND not available at my grocery store(which is an overpriced shithole)

i have to drive 22 miles to get to a wegmans(real quality store)

for real veggies i have to leave the burbs and head to wegmans or into the scary neighborhood to the meximart

caveat: that is after the garden is done for the season

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 22:37 | 3044761 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

"  i have to drive 22 miles to get to a ..

Move; I don't want to hear about it ....

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 22:50 | 3044779 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

NO FUCKING SHIT... Wegmans?... WegFUCKINGMans?... I'd rather you fucking STARVE than to give your goddamned pompous ass some useful advice...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:06 | 3043687 overbet
overbet's picture

I go to an organic store in my area, a half price Whole Foods. I calculated what I was spending eating convenient food versus strictly organic vegtables and it was slightly cheaper eating the organic vegtables. If I had to go to Whole Foods though it would have been twice as much. One very key note is however that the difference in how I feel and the energy I have, I would spend 10 times as much now if I had to.

Just a simple change of dropping Starbucks every morning to a green tea with local honey makes a big difference.

Processed foods are made to be taste, look and smell good and lack all nutritional value. If they had more nutritional value you would eat less of them because you wouldnt be hungry shortly after a meal. People eating less is not a good thing if your goal is to sell as much as possible.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:07 | 3043694 lostintheflood
lostintheflood's picture

to quote joel salatin, "if you think organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?"


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:14 | 3043932 Random_Robert
Random_Robert's picture

Your point is hollow and ineffectual unless you define where "here" is.... 


In my neck of the woods (Southwestern US), fresh food prices are inline with CHS's observations

At some local farmer's markets- price are even cheaper.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:13 | 3043064 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

It's worth the money to pay EXTRA for Frito Lay products because this woman here personally inspects every single chip that comes off the line...


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:08 | 3043066 imaginalis
imaginalis's picture

Whole Frauds is over priced but my local farmers market sells a fair prices

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:18 | 3043104 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

Local "farmers" markets in Atlanta are sky high. The state farmers market used to be amazingly cheap, until a bunch of sellers out of FL got busted for running drugs in the veggie semis.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:43 | 3043186 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

One here started accepting food stamps (with a dollar for dollar matching credit from some gov org). Now only the rich and the poor can afford to shop there.


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:09 | 3043072 Jason T
Jason T's picture

"if you shop at Asian or Latin markets, you will find prices for fresh produce and other real food is typically much lower than in conventional supermarkets."

that is so true.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:25 | 3043135 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

Where I live, you are taking your life in your own hands to go to an Asian market. Rough crowds in rough areas. One of the larger ones had to put a mini prison tower type security booth  in the parking lot due to shoppers being robbed.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:41 | 3043182 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



There's a lot of complaining right now about how poorly people who get food stamps eat (in other words they want more of YOUR money). 


Here's what Cory Booker bought for $29

Sacerdote says. "You can find specials on fruit at the end of a week. Also, if you go to ethnic stores, you can get better deals. Chinese markets, for instance, will generally have better deals on bags of rice.


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:13 | 3043338 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture

I recommend getting real food at Trader Joe's and Wegmans if you are on the east coast. Wegmans is the tits!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:48 | 3043462 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

true that

wegmans is the bomb

great local produce, and the prices are really fair and mostly the lowest outside of an ethnic market

closest oriental market here has 50lb bags of rice for 15 bucks


get the yellow watermellon at trader joes(which is seriously overpriced)

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:47 | 3043202 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I was looking at dried fruit last night at Natural Grocers. It went anywhere from $7-$16 /lb.

Going to both an Asian and a Halal store today.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:10 | 3043073 Investor Wizard
Investor Wizard's picture

I used to compromise with a spinach wrapped twinkie but Hostess and its union screwed that up

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:18 | 3043105 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Another way to stretch your food dollar is by by going to 'All You Can Eat TACE Bars'


You'll find them in all 57 states...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:10 | 3043074 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Eating healthy actually requires people to do something for themselves when it is so much easier tossing a pot pie in the microwave. That's the American way baby for a country on the go!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:13 | 3043083 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Chicken pot pies are the recyling bin of chicken part remnants...but a fresh made pie....mmmmm


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:46 | 3043213 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

We did that on Monday. My wife still protests the whole chicken experience, but I'm not buying any more of that toxic Tyson crap.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:02 | 3044034 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Chicken pot pie is so much better when you hate that particular chicken for always shitting on your saddle rack.  Who says revenge is a dish best served cold?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:44 | 3044167 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

LOL... Reminds me of this scene in 'Cold Mountain'...


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:14 | 3043090 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Just drink a couple '5 Hour Energy's' the new leading food for americans working 5 part time jobs and we're all set!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:03 | 3043284 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Drink enough of that shit & you'll soon be losin' it like this motherf*****...


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:37 | 3043173 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Can't have meal preparation or a sit-down dinner get in the way of hanging out in the 'hood trash talking the freaks across the street.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:31 | 3043397 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Theyz be waitin for deir free ObamaStove...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:17 | 3043077 Umh
Umh's picture

One of the reasons that many people are poor is that they make bad decisions. I've watched friends, family and strangers make some really bad choices over the years, but it is their choices. I may give advice, but I don't push it on the unwilling. They frequently even know what they are doing is silly. So I don't see any reason they would make smarter  decisions about food.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:41 | 3043190 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Exactly. 50% of Americans, by definition, have below average intelligence.

They do few things well. Why would we expect them to eat well?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:37 | 3043621 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Made me laugh. Ah, 'americans'...

Maybe because eating well might not rely on high IQ?

What next? Why people cant no walk well?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:47 | 3044032 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

because the put melamine in their milk products?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:12 | 3043080 CunnyFunt
CunnyFunt's picture

Get a deep freezer or build a smoke house and take up hunting.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:13 | 3043089 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Check and check.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:19 | 3043109 exi1ed0ne
exi1ed0ne's picture

Gun, gear, license is bad enough entry cost, but you are obviously not paying property tax on that "recreational use" land.  It would take a lot of punds of meat to break even on the cost + taxes of a 40 here in the middle of cropland.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:53 | 3043237 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture

Cabela's; Marlin 795 .22 rifle $148.

#1 round bought and fired during the Great Depression... .22.

.22 rifle deadly @ 400yrds, not particularly accurate however.

Buy 2 and 3300 rounds for $390... TODAY.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:05 | 3043293 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

or you could just go the bait & tackle route...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:39 | 3043427 exi1ed0ne
exi1ed0ne's picture

40 acres of hunting land = $92,000*, cash purchase to make the math easier.

Average deer = 50 lbs meat, $75 per to process, freeze and wrap

30 year payback and 2 deer a year with bonus tags = approx $32 per pound


* source:

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:29 | 3043765 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Learn to process yourself. You'll get more meat, and better quality for less price.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:19 | 3043360 CunnyFunt
CunnyFunt's picture

You don't need to buy land to hunt

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:43 | 3043448 exi1ed0ne
exi1ed0ne's picture

No, you don't.  Good luck getting a spot on county/state/federal land that doesn't completely suck or get you shot.  If you are using a buddy's land remember those costs are still being paid, just not by you.  County land here is blaze orange as far as the eye can see during gun season.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:12 | 3043550 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Ever heard of a place called the West?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:58 | 3043671 exi1ed0ne
exi1ed0ne's picture

Well, then add in the cost of a plane ticket and out of state license, hotel, etc. 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:49 | 3043866 CunnyFunt
CunnyFunt's picture

I'm glad I don't live where you live. It sounds lame, with scrawny deer.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:13 | 3043082 PUD
PUD's picture

Online..Bobs Red Mill...25lbs of the best tasting multi grain organic cereal for pennies per serving...Nuts dot com...25lbs of organic trail mix for snacks...etc etc...I eat a nearly perfect diet that tastes great, is sugar and corn syrup free, low cal, low fat, high protein and sets the atomic clock in Greenwich when I take a shit. All for cheap. I make a weeks worth of breakfast on Sunday night and two dinners at a time so I only cook every other day. Fat fuck America has no excuses. None.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:22 | 3043121 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

"Atomic Clock..."  I'm going to use that line...I don't know when, or where, but I'm gonna use it.


My anecdotal two cents is that people are lazy and buy boxed meals to save on prep time in the kitchen.  Happily, my wife and I have been moving away from that.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:54 | 3043242 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture

Look on

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:23 | 3043581 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Yeah, but apparently it made you into a CAPITAL LETTER dick.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:15 | 3043097 The Axe
The Axe's picture

I am Brained washed   White Castle  has 0 nutrional value and usually results in a painful shit later.....but I love them!!!!      And this guy is way off on his prices  BS


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:35 | 3043163 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Man, you have exposed my dirty little secret.  I am a White Castle lover.  Nothing like their bacon cheeseburgers.

I justify it by giving White Castle its own food group.

I miss the old style restaurants.  Nothing better than dining in the Aluminum Room at the Porcelain Palace.


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:35 | 3043164 francis_sawyer
Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:33 | 3043776 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Remember to add some cabbage to the steamed onions. 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:47 | 3044178 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Not sure... Does that INCREASE or DECREASE the stinkyness of your farts?...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:15 | 3043099 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

When I am buying groceries I notice what other people are buying.  Frequently (because there are so fucking many of them) I am in line behind an EBT user.  I have notice that EBT users eat the worst possible food the grocery store sells.  And, not surprising, they are fat.

My cart is full of fresh veggies and fruit.  No bread. No sweets. No pop.  Lean meat.   Dairy products.  Nothing is canned.  Nothing is packaged.

Those fat fuckers on EBT cards are buying the exact opposite of what I buy.

And the money used to fund those EBT cards?  Mine.  I work my ass off so those lazy fucks can make their asses fatter.

What an unbelievably fucked up world we live in huh?  I cant wait until it breaks and we return to reality.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:09 | 3043312 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Nice story... But when TS really hits TF, what you'll REALLY want is some lard & bacon grease... Fat is 9 calories per gram... You're not going to make it very long doing real work for 12 hours a day by eating grass...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:26 | 3043384 Louie the Dog
Louie the Dog's picture

No bread


I'm eating bread whether it trims 3 months off my life or not.  And there is some good stuff in cans.  Eat a candy bar once in a while and enjoy life.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:36 | 3043400 spooz
spooz's picture

I asked the two grocery store cashiers that I know personally if they notice any difference between purchases by SNAP card users and other customers.  They tell me they see no difference.  But I guess you think we should set up a food police bureau to make sure they only buy the healthiest of foods. As it is, they aren't able to use SNAP to buy hot food or food that will be eaten in the store.

You sound like a stoopid fuck.  As if the McJobs employees that don't earn a living wage and need to use SNAP to survive don't work their asses off in their mindnumbingly dull jobs.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:40 | 3043801 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

This problem would be easily solved if people had to buy their own food.  In other words, I wouldnt give a shit what people put in their pie holes if it was their own money buying it.

What I do care about is poor people using my money to buy shitty food which makes them very unhealthy so they then use even more of my money via medicaid to treat all the health issues that arise from making stupid food choices and stupid life style choices.

Since poor people with McJobs have such a tender spot in your heart, why dont we get together and you can reimburse me for all the money I am forced to spend on them, since I dont want my money wasted on them, and you love them?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 22:34 | 3044752 spooz
spooz's picture

Who was it that said its better to give than receive?  Too bad you'll never know the depth of that.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:37 | 3044000 Umh
Umh's picture

It's obvious to me they buy a lot of junk food. I have eyes can see for myself. Don't you go shopping. I'm also old enough to remember food stamps and they were also used to buy way to much junk food.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:22 | 3043101 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture



Wife just bought some "orange juice" - Tropicana 50 .... 1/2 the calories, same price as the regular. Its just juice with water added and it tastes like crap. It is about the dumbest (or the smartest) thing I ever saw.




Funny part is I told her that it is just juice with water added and don’t buy it again. What did she do? She bought it again for the second time; if she does it again I’m filing for a divorce.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:32 | 3043153 duo
duo's picture

That means the dumbing down of America is almost complete.  When no one can figure out that adding equal amounts of orange juice and water does the same!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:45 | 3043206 BigJim
BigJim's picture

They've been doing it with skim milk for years

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:01 | 3043887 SmallerGovNow2
SmallerGovNow2's picture

they actually remove fat from the milk and use that fat for other dairy products...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:13 | 3043336 pods
pods's picture

You can use that 50/50 OJ to wash down a "100 calorie" pack snack.


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:36 | 3043788 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

It's not just water. They add sucralose (splenda) to make it sweet, so it's even worse. I suggest just punching her in the liver several times, for the same effect. I drink the 50/50 to wash down some SWEET SWEET candy corn Oreo's, right before I jump on my Rascal.

Sun, 12/09/2012 - 01:29 | 3046502 Incubus
Incubus's picture the fuck does it work?!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 21:41 | 3044604 Traprock
Traprock's picture


the missus might like this?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:17 | 3043102 chistletoe
chistletoe's picture

All of the grocery outlets near me do the same thing with pricing:


They price essential basic foods at cost, but they mark up the frills and unnecessary things

and make their profit off of them....

with care, I can still buy turkey for $0.70 per pound, or $10.00 for enough to feed a family of 6 ....

while rice or noodles are also still less than $1/pound.

But then they think I'm going to pay $5.00 or more for a few ground-up sprigs of Oregano, when I can grow them in my garden?????

Potatoe chips are off the charts, and paper towels cost more than washing my rags every week,

Kleenex cost far more than buying and reusing cloth handkerchiefs which are a lot more stylish,

Any kind of food which has been prepared, premixed, precooked, is priced outrageously.

and so forth and so on .....

of course, most poor folk also flunked math, and so they pay dearly for their ignorance ....

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:23 | 3043123 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

How stylish is a used handkerchief after toting it around all day?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:34 | 3043158 Blankman
Blankman's picture

always know where your towel is.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:39 | 3043177 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:50 | 3043226 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

While a towel "is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have" a handkercheif is no towel.  One cannot wrap it around their body or lay on it beneath the stars or on a sandy beach.

If you can make it through these times and still know where your towel is though that says enough about you.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:35 | 3043165 duo
duo's picture

use it for a pocket square, like the old days.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:11 | 3043325 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I never understood why a 'pocket square', looked like a triangle...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:39 | 3043179 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

The paper towles I buy have shrunk by half but are supposedly "more absorbent"....yeah right.  Also, a turkey today shrinks like hell post-oven.  That's becuase all the meat we use is fake-growthed to artificially fatten up and get to slaughter asap.


Our food supply is putrid.  All about the $$$.  

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:31 | 3043608 viahj
viahj's picture

then it's injected with saline to keep it juicy and add weight/thickness to the cuts.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:19 | 3044262 groundedkiwi
groundedkiwi's picture

there is nothing more revolting than seeing someone pull a used hankerchief out of their pocket to blow their nose.You either have to carry a dozen if you have a cold, or use disposable kleenex for health reasons.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:19 | 3043108 astoriajoe
astoriajoe's picture

I agree with much of what was written, but this paragraph made me laugh.

"Even more absurdly, some apologists claim that "people don't know how to cook." With dozens of cooking shows being broadcast and thousands of recipes available to anyone with a smartphone or Internet connection, this strains credulity. There are even these useful things called cookbooks that can be borrowed from a public library."

Just because the information is out there, doesn't mean that anyone uses it. You can also get books on quantum physics and differential equations at the library, but...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:50 | 3043225 Tortfeasor
Tortfeasor's picture

Cause making a goddamn ham sandwich takes a fucking scientific calculator?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:00 | 3043256 astoriajoe
astoriajoe's picture

no agrument from me, but have you looked at kids today?

I suspect that if a public school offered a home economics class they'd be sued by the aclu for enforcing a suppressive patriarchal paradigm.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:21 | 3043115 q99x2
q99x2's picture

The only marathon that I'd be running with that food is back and forth to the grocery store.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:34 | 3043119 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

Most Americans spend every cent they have on mortgages, cars, gas, cable bill, iPhone bill, IPad bill, IPod bill, video-on-demand movies, restaurants, vacations, alcohol, the motor home, medical and college, credit card payments and taxes.

And then they borrow more that they don't have.

After that, they think food is expensive.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:36 | 3043413 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I dunno where you live, but "most Americans" don't have the income for a lot of that stuff.

Cars and cable, for sure.  The rest?  Not so much.  We earn about $27K a year--houses and motorhomes are fantasies.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:31 | 3043771 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

Agreed...change it to "MANY Americans..."

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:23 | 3043131 msjimmied
msjimmied's picture

Looks good, but most peeps wouldn't know how to cook it. I doubt you would find a recipe in a Betty Crocker cook book. Asians are wizards with greens, Indians with lentils...every culture has gems in it.  If you're shopping in an ethnic store, ask the other shoppers for suggestions as to which brand to buy etc etc. Learn to cook, otherwise you are going to be eating burgers, cos you don't know what else to do.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:24 | 3043132 UTICA CLUB XX PURE

Join a CSA next summer. I will really change your life.


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:15 | 3043341 astoriajoe
astoriajoe's picture

you're quite confident Utica:)

" I will really change your life."

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:26 | 3043133 The Master
The Master's picture

"Everything in moderation"

It's perfectly fine to occasionally indulge in buffalo wings, cheesecake and beer.  Just go to the gym for fuck's sake.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:08 | 3043696 Manthong
Manthong's picture

A diet balanced across the five major food groups; pizza, cheeseburgers, fries, beer, and Viagra is essential for maintaining good health..

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:26 | 3043138 905ozs
905ozs's picture

I happily (err) work for for walmart in africa...At senior level, I feel like a counterrevolutionary :)

i could tell you guys what is going on here supply chain wise, but it would be thesis u wouldnt read. Rothschild inc facilitated the purchase of Massmart by Walmart last year...enough said.

Just stack & prep people, look after those u love

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:55 | 3043869 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

West or South?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:54 | 3044186 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

up or down?

Sat, 12/08/2012 - 09:54 | 3045310 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Massmart's HQ is in RSA but they have been expanding into West Africa inrecent years

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:27 | 3043139 SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

artful instruction, the state thanks you

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:29 | 3043145 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

9 oranges, large bag of mustard cabbage, large bag of Shanghai bok choi and a large bag of malabar spinach.


Maybe Hedgeless Horseman can fix up something delightful with that shit but the rest of us.......not so much.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:30 | 3043147 exartizo
exartizo's picture

Bottom line:

Americans are too fat and lazy to cook real food.

If they cooked real food they wouldn't be fat and lazy.

Yes, that is a Catch-22.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:03 | 3043283 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Why, with so many out of work , area people not cooking at home more? What are they doing with that time? We cook nearly all our food and both work full time. I don't get it.


Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:32 | 3043156 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

To me the problem is that the fruits and veggies sold in the groceries are generally so tasteless--picked under ripe then gassed and put in cold storage for days. Costco seems to be the only mainstream source for decent fresh produce.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:33 | 3043157 rosethorn
rosethorn's picture

Excellent analysis.

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