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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 - 13:41 | Link to Comment alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

BS. I eat plenty of veggies, fruits and meats (beef, poultry, fish) otherwise known as 'paleo diet' that I mostly prepare myself.

Pre-QE2, 2010 my monthly expenses were 250-300$ for food. Now it's more like 400-450$. Sure, my habits may have changed, but that can't account for ALL of it.

This is from the guy who thinks the BMI is an actual reliable metric.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:36 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

You will always find the poverty pimps with hundreds of reasons why "the poor" are not responsible for any reckless, wasteful or self defeating behavior of their own choices.

Generally they all boil down to 'society's' (you) failure to 'empower' them. The mental anguish is so severe that they must dissolve their 'disenfranchisement' in a double cheeseburger on a krispy creme donut bun washed down with a 64oz. big gulp.

It's your fault. Live with it.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:40 | Link to Comment williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I shop at one of the many "wet markets" in Hong Kong and I would be hard pressed to match the prices in the second picture. If you have ever been in one of these wet markets...they are very reasonable. 

A favorite dish here is spicy oranges and bananas with bokchoi omlettes.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:44 | Link to Comment Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

You can match those prices at an asian market in San Francisco.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:54 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

My wife and I tend to shop for quality and minimal environmental impacts. We buy a lot of organic, and local-grown.

But we're not averse to loading up cheaply, espeically on fruits. The cheapest food to be had around my part of the woods is at the "flea market" which is packed with vendors out of Mexico. At the end of the day you can get small bags of oranges (5 or 6) and small mangos (4 or 5) for $1. Quality is not good of course, since they fill the bag. A flat of eggs, maybe $3. But don't know where any of this stuff comes from. Nothing organic of course, unless the grower is too poor to buy pesticides.

But it's pretty shocking how much food you can come away with if you are not too particular. The place is full of women buying for their familes.

However, that resource will vanish if things ever go badly. Say if fuel becomes really expensive or hard to get. The trucks will never leave Mexico, and if they do they won't get past hungry San Diego and Los Angeles.

The cheap vegitables will then be grown in the back yard, and the hens will lay the eggs. Fruits will have to come from any front yard trees anyone hasn't already cut down to put in lawn.

Not a pretty picture. Not at all.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:15 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Hard to get any produce into the State of California [from any direction] due to the fear of fruit fly infestations...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:39 | Link to Comment Rainman
Rainman's picture

Mrs. Rainman and daughters eat like parakeets...petrified to eat anything but celery stalks and microwaved popcorn on the run. None can cook. Consequently, Mr. Rainman is forced to forage on his own....bird hunting, fishing and preparing and cooking all kills. Family meals are not even close to what I remember seeing on Leave it to Beaver. 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:01 | Link to Comment dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

soon they'll move onto vodak and chocolate with a side of pills.. time to make them eat a sandwich

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:20 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

did you know that if you cut the bottom inch off of just about any celery stalk bunch that you buy in the store & put it in water [or plant it in the ground] you'll grow a new stalk... It usually works... I got about a dozen stalks growing that way [in the present] moment & they do better than the celery I start from seed... The Bok Choi do just about the same thing (as well as garlic, potatoes, & other things)...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:11 | Link to Comment groundedkiwi
groundedkiwi's picture

Onions as well.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:39 | Link to Comment shanearthur
shanearthur's picture

Everyone should grow their own food. It's addicting as hell (and saves a ton of money) The book Mini Farming is the best book I've read. I'm still eating potatoes I planted back in April.

Also, I was shocked to learn recently how much food is all around us; stuff we would never think of as food. Check out all 130+ videos on YouTube under the eattheweeds channel

It's all about self sufficiency. Learn something, have fun with the family, and get in shape doing so.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:41 | Link to Comment Michelle
Michelle's picture

Convenience = Lazy or Lack of time?

If it's a lack of time then maybe people need to ask why they don't have time to prepare nutritious foods and readjust their lifestyles. 

If it's laziness I feel sorry for their children and that's just poor parenting.

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:01 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Kids have to be taught to cook. My mother and her mother (from Texas) both cook up a storm. I do at home (my wife less so, she's from NY) and both our children can cook. They've helped in the kitchen since they were babies, with knives and everything. My daughter can cook a full steak dinner in 20 minutes. My son (12 yo) makes pies and soups. They can probably walk into any household, check what's in the frig and on the shelves, and have you a warm, hearty sit-down mean in under an hour. You might not know what to call it, but it will be food and it will taste great.

That right there is the best I could have hoped for as a parent. They can feed themselves, and a group of friends, from nearly nothing.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:45 | Link to Comment fuu
fuu's picture

Your annecdotes are so full of shit Charles.

I just went through all the ads in FeatureVision for my entire region and cannot find prices like you claim.

Week of: 12/2/12

Minneapolis/St Paul:

Cub Foods:

California Clementines $1.50/lb ON SALE minimum 3 lbs.

California Navel Oranges: $0.87/lb ON SALE minimum 4 lbs.

Texas Rio Star Grapefruit: $0.70/lb ON SALE minimum 5 lbs.

Vine on Beefstreak Tomatoes: $1.98/lb ON SALE

Rainbow Foods:

Yellow Onions $0.83/lb ON SALE minimum 3 lbs.

Roundy's Carrots: $0.99/lb ON SALE minimum 3 lbs.

California Celery: $1.49/lb ON SALE minimum 3lbs.

Red Seedless Grapes: $2.89/lb ON SALE

Green Beans: $1.49/lb ON SALE

Fresh Salad Mix: $3.33/lb ON SALE

Eggs were not on sale that week, normal retail is $1.99/dz.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:48 | Link to Comment alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

3-3.5 CDN $ a dozen where I live. Canucks pay more for food, except for real sugar since we're not under that absurd sugar embargo. That means we get to have real molasses.....hmmm.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:07 | Link to Comment GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Your counter-argument is citrus prices....in December?!

C'mon..work a fucking neuron for a moment, please. Or at least pick one product that wasn't shipped there from CA.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:08 | Link to Comment fuu
fuu's picture

Charles is using citrus and fresh veggies in December and failed to mention the region, so fuck off.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:28 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Yeah but it's all priced in 'joobux' [just saying that to piss you off ~ lol], so really, it's all FREE...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:34 | Link to Comment fuu
fuu's picture

"Austerity for you, pay that jew confetti back" -Trav7777

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnpEI3njoeo

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:03 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

@fuu

I'm always just 'FUNNIN' on the jew bullshit... I enjoy watching peeps squirm (while not knowing exactly WHY they're squirming)... francis_sawyer needs his entertainment because 'Snookie' isn't cuttin it... [That Trav 7777 ditty had a nice beat... I miss his prejudice ass here on ZH]...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:48 | Link to Comment FrankDrakman
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Just in time for Christmas in Toronto, 5 lb case of clementines from Morocco or mandarins from China, $3.77

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:46 | Link to Comment alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Even if you compare apples with apples, 2010 pre-QE2 processed foods VS 2012 processed foods (which I don't eat anyways), the increase is to be taken into account.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:52 | Link to Comment Under construct...
Under construction...'s picture

I used to live on LI, work in NYC, and moved to the semirural aouth and find this article dead on. On Long Island you bought local, seasonal things. Example: a 50-pound bag of "cull" potaotes was $8 and I split them with my neighbors. Here in South Carolina, you have options, too: the state runs a network of Farmer's Markets where there is a section for local produce, and another for trucked in things from Fl, etc. Produce there runs 25% of the cost on a supermarket. NYC was another matter entirely, but if you went to Chinatown in Queens, via subway or bus, there were lots of inexpensive options.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:53 | Link to Comment Grassfed
Grassfed's picture

The consumer votes with the dollars they spend.  Don’t blame the consumer’s decisions on the businesses that strive to meet their demands.  The businesses would change in a heart beat if the consumer only wanted the best foods.  Best and Worst Foods:  http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/best_and_worst_foods.htm

 

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:58 | Link to Comment alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Paleo +1 but I'm not so strict about it. Beans and yogurt work fine for me. The important thing is to cut off wheat products.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:10 | Link to Comment Grassfed
Grassfed's picture

Most beans only have about 80% of the nutrients required for optimal health.  Yogurt probably comes from a grain-fed cow.  Food Analysis http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/gi_and_omega_3_nutritional_food_data.htm

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:09 | Link to Comment alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Who says only eat beans ? And 80% is pretty darn good if you ask me.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:10 | Link to Comment Grassfed
Grassfed's picture

Most beans only have about 80% of the nutrients required for optimal health.  Yogurt probably comes from a grain-fed cow.  Food Analysis http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/gi_and_omega_3_nutritional_food_data.htm

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:43 | Link to Comment samsara
samsara's picture

"Don’t blame the consumer’s decisions on the businesses that strive to meet their demands."

I was told the same thing the other day by a friend of mine, when we were watching an 8 year old buy some Smack.  

I was going to tell the kid  that that stuff would kill him, but my friend rightly told me to mind my own business.  The Smack dealer had a right to sell his product to that 8 year old,  it's not his fault that their customers are so stupid to buy his products....

On a similar note I laughed when my grandmother told me the other night that some scam artist con'ed her out of $10,000.  I told her,  Gram,  It's not the salesman's fault that he is very convincing, and that you were stupid.    He deserves that $10,000 by finding a niche market( feeble minded old people with phones)  to 'Sell' his 'Product' to.

Laissez-faire  motherfuckers.

Get smart or get fucked

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:56 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yes....

Have you priced a frenched rack of lamb lately? $35!!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:05 | Link to Comment GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Convenience! Scrape em yourself, lazybones. ;)

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:08 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

Scrape em yourself

My dogs and I agree.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 23:44 | Link to Comment dannyboy
dannyboy's picture

Agreed, anyone that talks about meat being too expensive deserves to pay the prices they do. Here in NZ, i go quarters with my neighbours for entire beasts. Costs about 20% of what the retails sell it for, $800 all up, costs me $200 for about 2 months worth of meat, that includes all the prime cuts and off cuts for my dogs and stews, not just the rubbish ones. In the supermarkets would cost around $3500, and maybe abit less if you shopped on thursdays and got all the specials, but not even comes close to home kill beasts, plus you control what they eat.. no chemical shit that some farmers use.

Buy a deep freezer and start using brains, your neighbours, and your local community.

Sat, 12/08/2012 - 03:41 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Not all of us live in the great unfettered wilderness or on savage lands brought to yoke by sturdy farmers.... 

e.g. The board has issues with livestock in the quadrangle...

Do do you flip to see who gets the racks??? Afterall, 4 lots and only 2 racks....

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:08 | Link to Comment SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Sigh.... so true..... and I love lamb.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:30 | Link to Comment harami
harami's picture

I stopped reading at "Frenched rack" and couldn't remember the last time I had.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:03 | Link to Comment Grassfed
Grassfed's picture

If all the food in the USA was organic, yet it was the same food that people eat now, the rate of chronic disease would be identical to what it is now.  Organic is totally meaningless in terms of food safety and/or nutrition.  It’s the chemical compositions of food that drives human health.  Man, like all animal life, must have the green leaf at the bottom of his food chain.  That means no grain, no nuts, no tubers, many fruits, etc.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:09 | Link to Comment A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Sprouts, bitchez...............

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:04 | Link to Comment GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

You're gonna get tired of shitty omelettes, dumbass.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:11 | Link to Comment dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

Can we have a counter article of Sovereign Man and what his Chef prepares for him daily?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:37 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Let's not... I'm not into the Simon Black foie gras...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:47 | Link to Comment dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

But Sovereign Man is my hero.   Able to stash wealth in a myriad of foreign financial instruments;  able to spot global arbitrage like lights flickering on a christmas tree;  yes Sovereign Man.. known by all but seen by none.. holder of 1000 acres of farmland in every country yet never been to an airport..  

why travel physically when imagination is so much more supportive of one's portfolio

Sovereign Man

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:06 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Can't answer... He's in a class all by himself... He's a LEGEND IN HIS OWN MIND... Mortal man is reduced to mere putty in his presence...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:06 | Link to Comment SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

My wife and I cook almost every night (last night - Sundried tomato chicken over linguine + a salad).  $10-12 gets us dinner for 3 (my daughter) and leftover lunch  the next day for 3.

It ain't hard.

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:08 | Link to Comment A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

We have a local dairy that has been able to market their whole milk, cream on top, and they can't keep it on the shelves. Just the other day there was a note on the dairy cooler door apologizing because their cows can't keep up with demand. Their prices are very close to the commonly accepted version of "milk" which is nothing more than a toxic slurry of antibiotics, water, and something white.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:09 | Link to Comment FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

I'm gainfully employed, but still relatively poor. And, since I don't have a car, I do have a 2.5 hr commute each day by bus (total, not one way). For some reason, it always take longer coming home. To top it all off, I have diabetes. So eating well is more important to me than most, and yes, when I get home, I'm tired and don't feel like spending another half hour over the stove. So I understand both sides of this.

To keep your blood sugar control, many diabetics go on a "no white food" diet - i.e. no potatoes, no rice, no pasta, no white bread, no white flour (I draw the line at mayo). The problem is that, living alone, it's difficult to take advantage of seasonal produce (it goes bad by the time you get around to eating it, unless you want to buy 5 lbs of broccoli and eat nothing but that for the next 3 days). So, I buy canned and frozen veg, I stock up on non-perishables (peanut butter, salad dressing, canned meat) when they go on sale, I haunt the "reduced for quick sale" meat bin, and I plan. I rarely eat out, and figure I spend about $50/wk total on food. My one vice is diet cola, which I don't include in my food budget.

I recently bought a small slow cooker for $10. Two days ago, I tossed in some chicken stock, a couple of hastily browned sausages, three carrots and two onions, and when I returned home, I had a very tasty stew (2 large servings) that I figure cost me less than $3, or about what a Big Mac goes for. And it was ready as soon as I could spoon it in a bowl. I don't have a proper oven; just a toaster oven, microwave, electric skillet and the slow cooker. You learn, for example, you can make your own "egg mcmuffinny' things by buying a $1 microwave egg-cooker at Megamart, toasting your own english muffin, and adding your own ham and cheese. They are ready in 3 minutes, or about half the time you spend waiting at the drive through, low fat, and cost about $0.50 each. My standard lunch is a salad with a tin of tuna on top; $2.50 tops.

I don't know about the original poster's prices; here in the Great White North, tomatoes will soon be north of $1.25/lb and have the look and feel of cardboard. But if you work hard and plan, you can eat a diet fairly free of processed food (I do buy the occasional frozen pizza) for not a lot of money.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:17 | Link to Comment dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

why do you bother to work?  you are doing it wrong.  You can spend all day cooking the greatest meal via food stamps!

and then write snotty blogs on how people need to eat better

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:40 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Fuck the food stamps... I don't need them and can STILL not work, spend the whole day cooking good food & writing snotty comments on blogs...

Why the fuck should I include the GOVERNMENT in on my fun?...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:56 | Link to Comment wisefool
wisefool's picture

Hey now, the government funded the age of exploration for spice routes 500 years ago. you still owe them. time to write a new tax for people like me and you.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:08 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Oh ~ so basically what Marco Polo needed to be told was... 'You didn't create that trade route ~ the government did"... Now history finally makes sense to me... Thanks!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:51 | Link to Comment FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

No food stamps or SNAP cards in the Great White North.

And while we have free health care, it doesn't include a lot of drugs, and that insulin is kinda' important.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:52 | Link to Comment linrom
linrom's picture

Very nice post, thank you.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:13 | Link to Comment My Days Are Get...
My Days Are Getting Fewer's picture

For $5.49, I bought a frozen dinner consisting of 1 lb 6 oz of pre-cooked shrimp primavera and frozen sauce in a separate pack. Fed 2 adults.  Preparation time = 10 minutes.  The individual food items are first separately cooked and frozen and packed in the container.  Delicious.

For that money, I can not buy 1 pint of Guinness at a bar.

While I am not in love with processed food, people vote with their pocketbooks.  And, how long would it have taken to buy the separate ingredients and prepare them, just for two people.

If you are not laboring in a trench with a shovel, who needs more than 11 ounces of food at dinner.

Processed food is cheaper than cooking.  And, in one generation, most people will not know how to cook their own food.  Dependency on the food factory will be complete.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:16 | Link to Comment cfosnock
cfosnock's picture

Where's the beef?

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:45 | Link to Comment wisefool
wisefool's picture

I was going to ask, where is the $1 small container of a (any) spice, that would last for months?

I live in a poor area. The regional supermarket naturally buys for all of their stores. The national brand spices/marinades get marked down 50%+ every few weeks, cause nobody knows how to use them, so they dont buy them. Even high end stuff like mint, saffron, vanilla, etc. (high end for me, not an iron chef)

Beef neckbone curry soup on the menu. Jasmine rice.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:18 | Link to Comment cfosnock
cfosnock's picture

frozen fish for under $2 a pound. I can't get farm raised catfish at that price

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:26 | Link to Comment Umh
Umh's picture

Maybe whole fish if you live near the ocean. If you are buying fillets that are shipped in you won't get anywhere near $2.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:18 | Link to Comment jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

Article is a step in the right direction. However, one factor, that of pervasive obesity, signals that all of America, not just poorer and/or less educated cohorts, are caught in the vice grip of poor quality, high profit margin processed food.

For some food types, it is well nigh impossible to avoid either gmo components and/or hfcs.

ZHers do not seem to have as much disdain for profit above safety motifs as they do for, say, those who receive disability compensation. Apparently it's not the fault of agri-business if they poison us.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:24 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The time and the skills are a real issue, Charles, despite your insistence that they cannot be.

If you are raised by a certain type of parent, you'll learn to cook, just like if you're raised by a certain type of parent, you'll learn to keep a car running, or how to build a campire. If you are NOT raised by a parent who teaches the skill of cooking (and/or time-management) you can very easily reach adulthood without having a *clue* what to do with the products you purchased for your article here.

So yes, you mention that "anyone should be able to learn to cook," and that's true.  Anyone should *also* be able to learn to knit or sew, but for SOME reason, MOST PEOPLE NEVER DO.  Why would that be?

Answer: because MOST PEOPLE are not really interested in pursuing education above and beyond whatever "bare minimum" level they need to get by.  Most people go home and turn on the teevee and eat pizza and chips because it's more enjoyable than picking up a history book, or a musical instrument, or tuning in the cooking channel in an ongoing effort to "better themselves."  Learning to cook is *work* for some folks, and the results for days or weeks or months are not very tasty and often not encouraging.

It's easy to pat yourself on the back for whatever your own accomplishments are (and maybe satisfying, if you're that type of person), but it's WISER to try to understand why people's choices may differ from yours.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:32 | Link to Comment Louie the Dog
Louie the Dog's picture

Cooking is why God made wives.  

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:35 | Link to Comment edifice
edifice's picture

Louie, you Dog, you...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:12 | Link to Comment Bitchin Bear
Bitchin Bear's picture

You might want to rethink that statement - this younger generation of women is totally self involved and has no time for cooking and cleaning.  They might miss Jersey Shore or something.  IMO the days of finding a good little woman to take care of her man are long gone.  I saw something about teaching a dog to drive a car - maybe you can teach him to cook - and they're really great about not talking back.  This says it all:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q-zJ7c7PGA

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:22 | Link to Comment harami
harami's picture

Destroying the family unit is the prime objective of our modern society.  If two consenting adults just happen to have a kid because their birth control failed and by some bizarre twist of logic they choose not to have an abortion (and bring a poor helpless soul into this cruel, cruel world, oh the humanity!) both of them are probably too self-invovled to give a flying fuck about raising their own flesh and blood.  Who picks up the responsiblity?  TV, Internet, Pr0n, the amazingly effective education system etc etc

Doesn't help that men are emasculated at every possible opportunity.  Can't see a single television show or commercial where the guy isn't a complete fucking retard.  Couple that with feminism and empowering women to not need men (and honestly, it seems men thrive on living up to that emasculated image these days) it's no wonder the kids aren't alright.

The most important work you'll ever do in your entire life are within the walls of your own home, and it's that very thing the world is working to destroy.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:46 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

No one from "society" has ever come into my home and told me to be less responsible or to ignore my family.

I think you're deluding yourself about some stuff there.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:26 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

If you married just so someone would cook for you, you paid WAY too much.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:17 | Link to Comment Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

My wife subscribed to the scratch open method of cooking. Myself being the son of a Chef I do the lions share of the cooking because I like to eat well.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:29 | Link to Comment Duke Dog
Duke Dog's picture

Excellent! Could not have said it better myself - do you know how much a 5lb bag of pinto beans cost? Add an onion and a smoked ham hock or some salted jowl - no better eating and for pennies per meal.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:42 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

    do you know how much a 5lb bag of pinto beans cost?

About $8 for a 4lb bag in my 'hood.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:31 | Link to Comment viator
viator's picture

Shanghai bok choi and mustard cabbage, two of the most popular foods known to man. Let's put this guy in charge of the U.S.Department of Food Choice. He will make us eat our peas or we won't be able to leave the table.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:44 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Fucking arugula is in the mustard family & it's tasty as all hell... I get so many arugula pods each year after the plants bolt that I could go on planting them for years [fuck Monsanto]...

Put a little olive oil, salt, & parmesean cheese on that & you'll never be wanting for flavor in your diet...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:33 | Link to Comment edifice
edifice's picture

Real food is not too expensive. Invest in your local CSA. The SO and I pay around $400 for 6 months worth of locally-grown, organic vegetables, delivered every week.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 14:57 | Link to Comment linrom
linrom's picture

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 23:30 | Link to Comment Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

I'm getting a bigger kick out of the comments ...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:06 | Link to Comment mind_imminst
mind_imminst's picture

I grow a lot of my own food, pack my own healthy lunch, and cook most of my own meals. It is relatively cheap and very healthy, but IT DOES TAKE TIME. I have often contemplated going the other way and buying pre-made semi-healthy food/salads from markets and deli's just for the time-saving convenience.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:09 | Link to Comment Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

The poor eat fast food because they have to rush home for American Idol.  Now, if Obama would give all the poor DVRs then they could record their favorite shows and take the time to make nutritious meals.

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:13 | Link to Comment JMT
JMT's picture

Too expensive is a bullshit excuse. If most people can afford to spend $140 a month on a 'smartphone plan' and another $200 on cable + internet, they can afford to eat healthy.  One word - Laziness.

One good think about living in the NYC area is that there are plenty of good restaurants.. Are they expensive? yes, maybe but tell me have you ever seen any overweight people who live in Manhattan?? everyone seems to be anorexically skinny even the men.

Of course, people who live in the poorer parts of the 'other 4 boros' eat crap from McDonalds, IHOP and other s**t but many are on the gov't teat of Medicaid.

When you leave the area, there are just crappy chain restaurants. People who live in the suburbs spend their average Saturday shopping at Costco, going to the mall, chaufeurring their kids from one 'activity' to another and then 'eating out' at PF Chang (which is one of the worst place I have ever eaten)

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:21 | Link to Comment El
El's picture

Oops...my post went in the wrong place. Don't mind me.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:57 | Link to Comment Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Nope.  That's the right place.

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:21 | Link to Comment Audacity17
Audacity17's picture

It's like my dad says.  You can pay more now for better food.  Or pay more later for medical care.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:25 | Link to Comment The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

I see 5 lbs of apples for sale for $2.99 and I make apple sauce and put it up for later.  I see 5 lbs of onions for $1.99 and I make onion chutney and put it up for later.  I grow stuff in summer and I eat some and put the rest of it up for later. 

The Walmart Hordes have no idea how their grandparents and great-grandparents made it through a week in summer much less through a long winter winter. 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:24 | Link to Comment samsara
samsara's picture

The Walmart Hordes have no idea how their grandparents and great-grandparents

I think AnAnonymous made an important observation,   It's not just the 'Walmart' hordes,  Visit some 'Newly Rich'  (ie last generation or two).    They ALSO know nothing on how their Grandparents etc did things.

I think AA also showed that the very rich also consume and waste just as much.  However they have many hired 'domestics' to wash the dishes, or clean up(and walk) the dog poop.

Personal Pride has been conditioned out of most of us.  Poor AND Rich. 

Sun, 12/09/2012 - 09:36 | Link to Comment e-recep
e-recep's picture

well, it is the century of the "SELF". individualism at its peak.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:30 | Link to Comment three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

The real reason "the poor" eat like crap? Three words... lay zee ness. Period. I work in section eight housing. I am in "the poor's" apartments pretty much every day. Lemme tell you what I see:

*a sink full of dirty pots/pans/dishes...

*there are at least a week's worth of them...

*that week wasn't this week, but from last month (crusty!)

*a stinkin' garbage can overflowing with takeout containers, McD's bags, and Stouffer's frozen crap trays

And then, about every other month, all those pots and pans end up in the trash, and a new, cheap set of Walmart junk pans are bought. I see this over and over again in roughly 75% of the section eight apartments. The funny thing is, in the market rate apartments right next door full of "the working poor" the pots are clean and the sink is empty.

The folks with nothing to do and all day to do it end up doing nothing; while the exhausted, hard workers next door find the time and energy to get things done.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:42 | Link to Comment fuu
fuu's picture

The poor are just feeling a little lackadaisical. They are unbelievable jolly machines.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:46 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

This is an important comment--it is certainly true that you'll find a lot of "trash" amongst the underclass.

Although to be fair, there's plenty of that going around amongst the rich too--you just don't see it because the rich can hire someone to do all that shit.

That's the nice part about being rich--you never really have to do ANYTHING for yourself.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:13 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

From today's trip to the store- 1 pack of 10 35L (9.2gal) garbage bags CHF 18

works out to USD $2.09 per gallon of garbage bag, or $68.97 for one typical US black 33-gallon garbage bag.

If you make wasteful into a luxury fewer people would be wasteful (even those w/ a fuckton of money to burn)

Or the US ghettos could get some "culture" and go Neopolitain...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:09 | Link to Comment The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Then it is cheaper to pay Migros the CHF 0.25 for their plastic bags and use those for garbage bags, or stock up on the 35L bags at €2 for 25 next time you are in Germany.

Sat, 12/08/2012 - 10:05 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Sitting in the pub last night- I got the decimal wrong doing the metric & currency conversion- so the correct price for a US 33gal bag would be $6.89.

I could move into a city apartment building with communal trash where they don't have the bag system, but I prefer living in the "country" where the local garbage nazis will only collect the correct bags

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:30 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

     If you make wasteful into a luxury fewer people would be wasteful

Uh, well...I THINK I see what you're driving at, but let me tell you: if you make garbage bags expensive, folks will dump their trash in other folks' dumpsters, or public containers, or stuff like that.

I know nothing of the day-to-day in Switzerland, so I won't make any strange assumptions about your life.

I will say that in the US, we are FANATICAL about overpackaging our products.  Something like a set of earbud headphones could be packed in a small plastic bag stapled at the top, but it is far more likely it'll be an oversized cardboard box with a blow-molded plastic shell or vacuum-formed blister pack inside, plus a 20-30 page fold-out booklet of instructions and warnings and legal boilerplate, plus a "carrying case" or "stylish pouch," plus the adapter for the headphones in case you ever want to plug them into an old '60s reel-to-reel tape deck.

I understand the reasoning behind SOME of that waste, but certainly not MOST of it.

I have personally decided to buck the trend on "fashionable" trash bags--I have a 50 gal "drum" trashcan and put what we call "contractor bags" in it.  I have to buy the bags at the hardware store.  Guests thinks its a bit crude, but it does save me about $10/month, which actually makes a difference in my life.

Sat, 12/08/2012 - 10:57 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

There is definitely abuse of the public containers in Switzerland, but it mostly seems to be small food scraps that people don't want stinking up their kitchens, since they wait to take their bags out until they are actually full.  The use of other peoples' bins is comparably rare because the garbage nazis would fine offenders into the poor house and then out of the community.

In the US- I see two distinct problems- one being the massive over-packaging and the other being portion sizes.  There are a huge number of one or two person households in the US but when shopping in a Kroger/Safeway etc. (not even Costco/Sam's Club) they sell many things in sizes that will spoil before a one or two person household would usually or reasonably consume them (even with the GMO and preservative-from-hell additives) so a much larger percentage of what an individual "consumes" goes straight to the landfill.

At my house in the US- the fact that we have haul/truck the trash out the public road to be collected creates incentive to recycle "in house" so everything is sorted and most of the organic material is actually buried in a field, but most people in the US don't have that option.

Furthermore, the US is already drowning in regulations, and past experience would indicate that trying to regulate packaging and portion sizes will do nothing but drive up costs.  Whereas by raising the price for the "service" of disposal (which avoids regulation and infringement upon personal freedoms)- consumers' demand might motivate producers to offer less wasteful product sizes/packaging. 

I don't think anyone has perfected a waste management paradigm on a national level but the US appears to be a convenience-centric lazy wasteful waste producing outlier at one end of the spectrum and the UK (with its byzantine bin balderdash) is an anal-retentive color-coded over-regulated waste producing outlier at the other end of the spectrum.

 

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:50 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The real reason "the poor" eat like crap? Three words... lay zee ness.
__________________________
Absolutely. All poors are lazy. When meeting a non lazy poor, just do the 'american' thing to build 'american' generalizations: dismiss it.
If you are persistent, you will only get poor and lazy people.

'Americanism' the way it works.

The number one cause why poor eat like crap: 'american' economics.

In 'american' economics, every agent must try to overconsume something in order to speed up the depletion of resources and deprives a potential other consumer from the act of consuming.

When this is remembered, it is simply a matter of revenue brackets.

In 'american' societies, the poor have enough revenue to try and overconsume crappy food. Noticeably, it is not only food. It is also junk bits etc

Why not consume better food? Because it does not allow for the overconsumption act. It might only open way to moderate consumption, which is contrary to 'american' economics.

Higher revenue brackets have the similar behaviour: if high enough, they will overconsume good food. But as such, they might also choose to overconsume other goods as their higher revenues give them more opportunities.

Every 'american' will try to overconsume. The kind of goods an 'american' can try to overconsume depends on the revenues' brackets.

If ever a poor jumps in revenues, food is likely to be a thing of the past, the newly enriched 'american' trying to overconsume video games, concert tickets, travels, cars, houses, gold, shares etc... New items of consumption that are more expensive but now affordable and that will drain the quantity of money previously allocated to overconsumption of crappy food.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:10 | Link to Comment harami
harami's picture

My grand mother, God rest her soul, lost her husband in Vietnam, raised 8 kids by herself, held down a job, and kept their house in near prestine order, even up until the day she died her apartment was spotless even at the age of 81 with a failing heart.  The limited government assistance she received came in monthly checks from the government in the form of "Sorry we sent your husband off to die, here's some monies".

Having volunteered for multiple programs that often had me in government housing I'm still in utter disbelief the lack of self-respect people have for themselves or their apartment/house, even if they don't own it. 

I can understand letting the chores 'pile up' and doing them all in one fell swoop making sure the house is spotless before letting the cycle start over again, but there was absolutely no effort made at house keeping.

Dog crap was molding on the flood, clothes laid unwashed in giant heaps and I can only guess they either constantly bought new, cheap clothing from Wal-Mart or would do a sniff test from the clothes in the piles and decide to wear it if the stench was bearable.  Couple that with the multiple bottles of partial empty liquor and cigarettes while their refrigator is more or less empty, save for maybe some beer, it's fairly obvious where their priorities lie.

Then there are the mexican families who manage to keep their houses clean, work two or three jobs, and still find time to spend with their families.  The resentment of 'Dey took our jobs!' is mostly 'Eff them for having a work ethic, dey're makin' me look bad!'.

It's pretty clear our culture cultivates laziness and dependency.  Too bad the government can't subsidize or provide a work ethic.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:44 | Link to Comment spooz
spooz's picture

I guess you don't know any middle class people suffering from depression, because what you describe are signs of it, and I have seen it.

Since people living in poverty are twice as likely to be suffering from depression (hopelessness can do that), I'm not surprised to hear what you have seen.

In any case, your generalizations are little more than propaganda.

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:37 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Anyone who's going to beat up on the poor for being lazy would probably tell a depressed person to "just quit sniveling and snap out of it," too.  ;)

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:34 | Link to Comment Cypher_73
Cypher_73's picture

"Real food" is expensive because unlike corn/soy/wheat it's not subsidised by Government. It's why junk food is cheap, it's mostly a combination of those three foods so of course Wendy's or McDonald's is able to sell an assortment of "food" for $1. 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 15:52 | Link to Comment Bear
Bear's picture

Take a look at this site:

http://ynsa.weebly.com/

I think it kind of shows that we are over-stuffed in the US and that the food stamps that the Goberment hands out are robbing us blind every month. I think you get like $150 per month per person, but the ynsa web sit shows that you can eat just fine for 1/2 that amount. I think the Ag department should  take notes from the site.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:04 | Link to Comment pine_marten
pine_marten's picture

Food has gone up alot.  When you make an involved recipe with many ingredients it costs alot.  Like making your own pizza for instance.  You could eat cheaper than cooking in the little taco shops around San Diego.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:10 | Link to Comment Rockatanski
Rockatanski's picture

it's not even "sugar-water".....more like high fructose death syrip.  real sugar i can handle. GMO corn made into HFCS i can not.

 

(new guy here, first post. long time lurker, love you guys, mostly.)

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:11 | Link to Comment billwilson
billwilson's picture

Bang on. Real food is cheaper ... and better. Problem is most people can't cook AT ALL.

Chinese veggies now available at our local supermarket (not just the Asian marts). Great deals, Easy to cook ... and fast. Just add some garlic and a bit of oil. Add a rice cooker and rice at $8 for a 10Kg bag. You can eat cheap.

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:42 | Link to Comment Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

At least there is still some food to consume... We're all bitching, [ rightfully so], about food prices and dead beat A-Holes that buy absolute crap for free, and sit on the couch all day gaming the system. I personally enjoy cooking, yet still find the time to work my ass off!

  I'm not even going to begin with the [cost/toll], to the health care sytem that these deadbeat " Human Gummy Bears", are responsible for... When food runs out, a pack of rabid dogs wouldn't feed on their well preserved carcasses! Don't ask me for help you fat bastards/ all 99%* of you.

  *Disclaimer; some overweight people have legitimate weight issues...

 

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:41 | Link to Comment lindaamick
lindaamick's picture

Real food can be as cost effective as fast food If you have the time to prepare it.  Dried beans are a great bargain as is rice.  In the south you can get unclaimed venison from deer processing places from Sept to Jan for around $1.50 per pound.  Trouble is these foods take alot of prep time. 

Working parents in poor and lower class families have difficulty allocating the time needed to prepare home cooked, cheap meals.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:49 | Link to Comment trader1
trader1's picture

so let me catch your drift....

mcdonald's unique value proposition =

extra time to do other stuff you wouldn't have been able to do if you had prepared real food  

???

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:42 | Link to Comment LongPAU
LongPAU's picture

Charles is largely correct about this with a caveat that his target audience also lives in a large city with an amazing selection of fresh foods available year-round.

There are more health issues and corresponding BMI in rural America, where ironically, his article is largely nonsense.

The only items in his affordable list that I can obtain here, at any price, are the eggs and oranges, but the oranges I get don't look nearly as nice as his.

The only way to get fresh food here is to grow it. Nobody here has room or money for a greenhouse or hydroponics rig, and bok choi doesn't grow very well at 25F.

We eat well despite the challenges, but it's expensive. CHS's $10 groceries would cost me around $75.

This one time, Charles is way the hell off in the weeds somewhere.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:51 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

It's funny--I'm in the big city, and I think his list of stuff is a bit cheap, but not unreasonable, and I think he's off-base about the WHY.  You're in a rural area where you say he's off-base about the list of stuff.

It seems pretty obvious that any "one-sided" take on this issue is going to be WRONG--the USA is a big country, and there really are differences in living here vs. living there, wherever here and there may be.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:48 | Link to Comment LongPAU
LongPAU's picture

Absolutely.

I'm just saying that I have to drive almost 200 miles to get to a store whose largest "department" is NOT the Moon Pie rack.

200 miles - all by itself - is outside the budgets of most folks around here.

For me, that was a choice that I can compensate for. We eat a lot of rice, beans, and frozen/canned garden produce.

But most of the people around here are stuck with a Moon Pie and Dr. Pepper diet for a large part of the year. They're huge as a result, and they represent a significant percentage (if not the majority) of the overall statistical obesity issue.

This article indicates (to me) a misunderstanding of A) what the problem is, B) what is available where, and C) why every American should raise chickens. Cuz that's WAY too much to pay for 30 eggs.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:54 | Link to Comment fuu
fuu's picture

Charles has access to lots of data and could have presented a real in-depth article about food prices/availablility in multiple markets but instead he chose to buy a bag of food and then do his Gully Foyle/Bob Ross impression.

"First we're going to take this broad brush and paint some happy little generalities about all poor people."

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 16:57 | Link to Comment robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

12 good eggs cost $6.50 in Canada. That's more like $6.60 USD.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:37 | Link to Comment trader1
trader1's picture

why is this thread so damn long?  or am i just talking to myself?

my fingers are getting arthritis scrolling through this scheisse...

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 18:44 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Shaddadp, the exercise is good for ya, ya lazy fuck!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:01 | Link to Comment trader1
trader1's picture

^^^ +1  

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:37 | Link to Comment Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

CTRL+F "Food Desert" - Not Found.

A food desert is a district in an urban or rural setting with little or no access to large grocery stores that offer fresh and affordable foods needed to maintain a healthy diet. Instead of such stores,these districts often contain many fast food restaurants and convenience stores.

"Access", in this context, may be interpreted in three ways:

  • Physical access to shops can be difficult if the shops are distant, the shopper is elderly or infirm, the area has many hills, public transport links are poor, or if the consumer has no car. Healthy options are unavailable. Carrying fresh food from grocers is also a challenge for individuals who must take transit or walk long distances.
  • Financial access is difficult if the consumer lacks the money to buy healthy foods (generally more expensive, calorie for calorie, than less nutritious, sugary, and fatty 'junk foods') or if the shopper cannot afford the bus fare to remote shops selling fresh foods. This limits individuals to cheaper local fast food outlets. Other forms of financial access barriers come in the forms of inability to afford storage space for food, or, for the very poor, homelessness, or living in temporary accommodations that do not offer good cooking facilities.
  • The consumer’s mental attitude or knowledge about nutrition and food preparation can be major barriers limiting access to fresh produce and other healthy food choices. Consumers may lack cooking knowledge or have the idea that eating a healthy diet is not important.

...Although the term 'food deserts' is now mainly used in the context of urban environments, the first case studies of consumers’ inaccessiblity to healthy foods were made in rural English villages. The Women's Institute in Britain examined the plight of elderly car-less widows left stranded by the closure of village shops and withdrawal of bus services as far back as the 1970s. Recent use of the term has stemmed from its use by the Obama Administration, and in and around Chicago.


Really. If you're going to pontificate, at least know the terminology & research. Also, I dare you to make the argument that Detroit isn't a Desert, Food or Otherwise.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:40 | Link to Comment tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

eating good food is indeed expensive....a tossed salad with generous quantities of organic field greens, carrots, cucumbers, celery, green onion, organic cherry tomatoes, and cabbage will cost at least 20 to perhaps 25 usd and serve only 4 or so....and i am talking about filling a 3 gallon bowl....serving size should pile about 6" high on a 10" plate....

eggs are an excellent bargain even when bought boiled and peeled....

if it weren't for the federal reserve, this reciple would cost about .75 - 1.00 usd.....

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:50 | Link to Comment villainvomit
villainvomit's picture

I get the part about fast food being expensive, but I still feel "real food" prices have increased greatly as of late.  All I see above looks like salad and desert.  I gotta have some meat.

And yes, I cook nightly for five......dining out maybe once a month.  Because I don't like getting ripped off and......wait for it ......I cook better !!!!

Excellent frozen fish for 2 bucks a pound....what kind of fish do you eat ?

Sat, 12/08/2012 - 15:10 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

    Excellent frozen fish for 2 bucks a pound....what kind of fish do you eat ?

"Sea legs" are pretty cheap.  I never seen anyone pull that kinda fish out of the ocean, tho.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 19:51 | Link to Comment strangewalk
strangewalk's picture

EXCELLENT ARTICLE! For anyone who cares about their nation, neighbors and family it is imperative that they do what they can to insure that this subject receives much more attention, quickly. Most people would be horrified if they knew the truth about processed and fast food. The USA is experiencing an epidemic of cancers, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other very serious and adverse physical/mental/emotional health conditions, even among the young, on a scale that truly parallel's the horrors wrought by the bubonic plague, as a direct result of consuming the insidious DISEASE INDUSTRY's poisoned food! Add to this Big Pharma's campaign to toxify the masses with horrendously damaging and in most cases completely unnecessary prescription drugs (i.e. statins), and the obscene profits of Big Medicine--it truthfully amounts to nothing less than the genocide of a nation. Remember--almost everything that comes in a wrapper, can, box, bottle, or other container is POISON--it will make you fat, it will degrade your quality of life, it will cripple you or give you disease, and it will KILL YOU!      

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 20:34 | Link to Comment toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

I'm canning my own beef stew tonight in preparation for the Mayan pockyclypse!

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 23:06 | Link to Comment cornflakesdisease
cornflakesdisease's picture

As a time traveler who has been to your planet many many times since the mid 1880's, I can tell you that the whol food thing is a crock.  The fat people win in the end.

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 23:06 | Link to Comment cornflakesdisease
cornflakesdisease's picture

As a time traveler who has been to your planet many many times since the mid 1880's, I can tell you that the whol food thing is a crock.  The fat people win in the end.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 10:32 | Link to Comment LongPAU
LongPAU's picture

I see what you did there.

Sat, 12/08/2012 - 00:56 | Link to Comment Beau Tox
Beau Tox's picture

I told my mother today that cabbage is supposed to be 15¢ per pound at this time of year, but no store here seems to have it for less than 50¢ per lb.  Oh, she said she saw a 45¢ special in Metairie, but I would have to drive there.  Any kind of ground round or chuck is over $3.39 per lb., unless I buy the cut and grind it myself.  Charles Hugh-Smith must not do his own shopping for food, but just take photos and let the real cooks make the decisions.  He does not have the background or history to see operative inflation in commodities or energy.

Sat, 12/08/2012 - 01:02 | Link to Comment Tedster
Tedster's picture

For those who like their ciggies, growing your own tobacco can leave (no pun intended) much more money available for food. It grows well in many if not most states, and is not illegal. Last year had decent enough success on a test run in a container.

The tough part is curing, the material I have read, it involves a type of controlled heat and humidity to force fermentation (old ice chest, light bulbs, etc). Wish there was a good way (or even a bad way) to cure 'backy easier.

Used to buy American Spirit U.S. Grown for $6 a tin, enough for a carton. Thanks to tax increase, it's now $38, so there is no longer a monetary advantage to rolling yer own. They are a much better smoke than commercial brands, by far, so I still do it.

Sat, 12/08/2012 - 07:11 | Link to Comment dognamedabu
dognamedabu's picture

Food costs money in the USA? I thougth ya all use stamps.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 10:45 | Link to Comment LongPAU
LongPAU's picture

That's a common myth. In order to get the stamps, we have to stop working, watch daytime TV, gain an extra 80 pounds, and cheer/vote for one of the idiots that our overlords advertise on Fox and MSNBC.

There are not that many of us who are strong enough to make such huge sacrifices and pull that kind of humiliating routine.

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