Cheap doesn’t mean unhealthy

By By [email protected]

By [email protected]

Ed:

I’m sick to my stomach listening to all this crap about how healthy food is expensive. Organic food is expensive. Healthy food and organic food are two separate things. Natalena Wilson argues that soda is cheaper than milk. Last I checked, there’s an incredibly healthy beverage that costs roughly 0.2 cents per gallon, if you pay for it at all: water. If you’re worried about money, why are you buying soda or beer in the first place? They have no nutritional value, they’re just empty calories, and they actually make you need MORE water because of high acidity.

If you want some flavor, pick up some frozen orange juice concentrate. A $1.00 can will make a full gallon, if you don’t mind watering it down a bit. A gallon of soda at $.59 for 2 liters: $1.11. As a bonus, orange juice actually has nutritional value. Even if you don’t water it down, it’ll last a few days, and won’t cost much more than soda.

A pound of lean ground beef, enough for four “one-dollar cheeseburgers”, but with much higher quality meat: $1.12. A block of cheddar big enough for 40 burgers, easy: $2.00. 8 buns: $1.20. Do the math: $0.48 a burger, and better for you than anything you could find in fast food, if you must have beef. Lamb is even cheaper and often leaner.

Vegetables are among the cheapest foods available. Pick up some carrots, some cucumbers. A $2.00 bag of potatoes will last you weeks, and they are perfectly microwaveable — crap, eat them raw if you need to, with a little salt they aren’t bad. Fruits too. Get yourself a bag of apples. They cost a hell of a lot less than potato chips, and won’t give you a heart attack at 35. Get some spices, a $1 bottle will last you years.

Basically what it boils down to is that FULLY PREPARED, READY-TO-EAT healthy food is more expensive than ramen and soda. Healthy INGREDIENTS are not expensive at all. So what’s the conclusion? You’re fucking lazy. QED.

When I first started out away from home, I gave in to the temptation of ramen, soda and hot dogs. I felt like crap all the time, no energy. I sat down and gave it some good thought. I realized I could spend the same amount of money on food and buy really good, healthy ingredients such as I’ve described, if only I was willing to put a little effort into food preparation, making salads and the like. Now I feel 200% better, and I have a whole lot more energy throughout the day. I began by spending about $25 a month, which is a whole lot less than I’d spend buying “one-dollar cheeseburgers”. Try working out your fast-food expenses some time. I still don’t spend more than $45 a month on food, and I could be spending even less than that if I had to, but I’m hooked on artisan breads and avocados.

Brian PalmerGraduate Student, Computer Science