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Author Topic: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate  (Read 406 times)

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Offline supranatural

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The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« on: October 31, 2010, 11:50:13 AM »
Whereas in the US the poor folks tend to be overweight and the affluent tend to be skinnier.

This situation has much to do with making poor decisions about what one eats and about one's activities. While results may vary, there is some correlation to being poor and a lifetime of bad decisions.

Also has to do with how the food industry has made bad foods cheaper to buy than good, healthy foods.  Watch the movie Food Inc sometime, it's an eye opener.  I can say that buying good, (not necessarily even organics) outside of farmers markets is expensive and you won't find farmer's markets in the inner city and other areas where the poor tend to live. Instead we have cheap, over processed junk food that poor people have no choice in buying.  Whereas you go to Ukraine and Russia and many of the people still buy from their equivalent of our farmers markets and end up with better food...and I think the growing numbers of UW/RW who are bigger than decades past is directly attributable to the manufacture of cheap processed foods like candy bars, potato chips, the inroads of McDonalds, etc.

Offline dbneeley

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The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2010, 12:06:00 PM »


Also has to do with how the food industry has made bad foods cheaper to buy than good, healthy foods.  Watch the movie Food Inc sometime, it's an eye opener.  I can say that buying good, (not necessarily even organics) outside of farmers markets is expensive and you won't find farmer's markets in the inner city and other areas where the poor tend to live. Instead we have cheap, over processed junk food that poor people have no choice in buying.  Whereas you go to Ukraine and Russia and many of the people still buy from their equivalent of our farmers markets and end up with better food...and I think the growing numbers of UW/RW who are bigger than decades past is directly attributable to the manufacture of cheap processed foods like candy bars, potato chips, the inroads of McDonalds, etc.

Of course poor people have a choice in what they buy--just not as extensive a choice as the wealthy do.

No one handcuffs them to the McDonald's register, or forces junk food upon them.

In fact, cooking mostly from scratch is usually more economical than buying the junk food and processed crap.

I think the problem is more often one of lack of education in nutrition than it is of "having no choice".

David

Offline supranatural

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The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2010, 03:03:47 PM »

Of course poor people have a choice in what they buy--just not as extensive a choice as the wealthy do.

No one handcuffs them to the McDonald's register, or forces junk food upon them.

In fact, cooking mostly from scratch is usually more economical than buying the junk food and processed crap.

I think the problem is more often one of lack of education in nutrition than it is of "having no choice".

David
I'd disagree with the contention that cooking healthy costs less when cooking from scratch.  About 10 years ago I started switching over to cooking mostly from scratch.  My grocery bill went up significantly.  Turned out it's way, way cheaper to buy canned and prepared foods from the market.  It's a fact that the national food producers subsidize cheap processed foods that have their roots in corn feed.  Like I said, go watch Food Inc and you'll never think of food the same way and you'll get an idea of how the food industry in this country works and has a vested interest in addicting people to sugary, corn syrup laced foods.  The only way my grocery bill does not go up as much is if I buy from farmer's markets.

Read some current newspaper and magazine articles about it.  Poor people who are really trying to make it typically have to make buy on low wage jobs, often two jobs and barely have time to cook a decent meal for their family, let alone have the money to buy the healthy food and cook them up. 

I don't think the problem is in education at all.  I've done a lot of reading and research on the subject and that's not the conclusion I come to.  I'd strongly suggest doing some research and come up with an informed opinion.  I'm the last person to defend "fat people" especially those with the means to eat healthy (i.e., people who work in the same company I do...) but for poor people they are trapped with very few ways out.  Now I would not defend people who have the means to eat healthy...but choose not to.


Offline dbneeley

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The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2010, 03:32:20 PM »
 

I don't think the problem is in education at all.  I've done a lot of reading and research on the subject and that's not the conclusion I come to.  I'd strongly suggest doing some research and come up with an informed opinion. 

Obviously, in your zeal you think nothing of being insulting...but I am glad you are such an expert.

I gave my experience and the conclusions I drew from it.

As it happens, I had a very long period in which I was only able to work sporadically due to health issues. During that time, my income was extremely low--and so I had to get by on income during much of that time which would qualify easily as being "poor"--especially after my retirement savings were exhausted from paying living expenses from years of being totally unable to work.

Having been there myself, I have more than a little "informed opinion" and I did not have to rely upon the wonderfully qualified magazine writers for that information. Instead, I simply had to learn to shop and cook in a healthy way on an extremely limited budget.

How and what you cooked I have no earthly idea, obviously--but in my case, I learned many methods of shopping and cooking frugally.

I quickly discovered that there are no fast food meals I could not beat preparing more healthy alternatives myself.

Many people cannot manage to economize when cooking from scratch, it's true--mostly those are people who don't consider changing what and how they cook for the sake of economy. For example, to really limit the amount of money spent in cooking, the amount of meat consumed must usually be greatly reduced from what most Americans eat. Instead, primary proteins become things like eggs, rice, and beans with meat mostly as a flavoring more than a main dish.

There are strategies for buying other foods like fruits and vegetables very inexpensively as well, and programs like Angel Food Ministries in many communities that can help with cutting food expenses also.

At the same time, this period was probably the healthiest I had eaten for many years up to that point.

I also don't need to watch a movie to understand how screwed up the food supply in the West has become, thanks.

David

 




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The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2010, 03:37:13 PM »
It is true, fresh food and a balanced diet costs more than processed foods, actually, in terms of providing a hot meal and calories Mickey D's is pretty cheap.

It is not just cost of food, although a basket of nutritious and energy dense food is more costly, but also an issue of access.

This article which describes a study carried out in Seattle is enlightening: http://www.b-sustainable.org/built-environment/access-to-local-food-by-neighborhood
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Offline supranatural

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The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2010, 08:21:49 PM »
 

I don't think the problem is in education at all.  I've done a lot of reading and research on the subject and that's not the conclusion I come to.  I'd strongly suggest doing some research and come up with an informed opinion. 

Obviously, in your zeal you think nothing of being insulting...but I am glad you are such an expert.

I gave my experience and the conclusions I drew from it.


I'm sorry if you felt I was being insulted.  My post was not intended that way - my experience and research paints a much different picture than yours.   

You say that there are no processed foods you cannot beat with by preparing a healthy alternative yourself.  That wasn't where I disagreed.  I disagree where you feel you can make a healthy meal more cheaply than buying processed food.  I've never found that to be the case.  Walk into any national chain supermarket and price it out.  I have.  For me the numbers don't lie.


Offline dbneeley

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The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2010, 10:32:26 PM »
 

I don't think the problem is in education at all.  I've done a lot of reading and research on the subject and that's not the conclusion I come to.  I'd strongly suggest doing some research and come up with an informed opinion. 

Obviously, in your zeal you think nothing of being insulting...but I am glad you are such an expert.

I gave my experience and the conclusions I drew from it.


I'm sorry if you felt I was being insulted.  My post was not intended that way - my experience and research paints a much different picture than yours.   

You say that there are no processed foods you cannot beat with by preparing a healthy alternative yourself.  That wasn't where I disagreed.  I disagree where you feel you can make a healthy meal more cheaply than buying processed food.  I've never found that to be the case.  Walk into any national chain supermarket and price it out.  I have.  For me the numbers don't lie.



As for being insulting--how would you characterize

[I'd strongly suggest doing some research and come up with an informed opinion.]  ??

No, I said that I can prepare healthy alternatives more cheaply than buying fast foods (that, according to you, the poor must buy due to lack of time IIRC).

I also said that healthy alternatives are generally not replacements for processed foods, but substitutions for them. In many cases, a healthy but very low cost diet must be different than you would eat with all the processed stuff.

As I said, you cannot plan on eating the same things if you are to avoid the problem foods and still be on a strict budget. I've done that myself, and with considerable success.

That you may have failed at the task may be more that you were trying to prepare the wrong foods. Often, folks have rather rigid ideas about what they will eat, and simply won't make adjustments for the lowest possible costs consistent with healthy eating. That is obviously something that cannot be determined in a particular case through an email list.

David

Offline Stirlitz

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The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2010, 12:32:11 AM »
For example, to really limit the amount of money spent in cooking, the amount of meat consumed must usually be greatly reduced from what most Americans eat. Instead, primary proteins become things like eggs, rice, and beans with meat mostly as a flavoring more than a main dish.
That’s true. When I completely gave up eating meat 15 years ago I started to get healthier and spend less money on food. Nowadays I don’t have the slightest idea why people like meat so much and must stuff it into every dish they cook. I have been doing without it for 15 years (well I still eat fish and once or twice a year can have some chicken occasionally but no pork, beef, veal or mutton whatsoever) and I think I am great. Many people say I must eat meat, especially as I am a man. When I ask what I have missed by not eating meat for 15 years they cannot answer but just keep saying that I must eat it.

As for being insulting--how would you characterize

[I'd strongly suggest doing some research and come up with an informed opinion.]  ??
It does not sound too insulting in my view. You are overreacting (don’t take it as an insult either please).
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The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2010, 01:09:15 AM »
As for being insulting--how would you characterize

[I'd strongly suggest doing some research and come up with an informed opinion.]  ??
It does not sound too insulting in my view. You are overreacting (don’t take it as an insult either please).

Don't worry about his taking offence, this is simply a weapon that passive aggressive types find useful from time to time and for a while it was found to be effective in this forum. ;)

An interesting and apposite blog post on the topic of the powerlessness with which we imbue ourselves when we 'take offence': http://beyond-within.com/blog/courage/to-take-offence-is-to-give-away-your-power/

A constructive way for the passive aggressive types to deal with their feelings: http://wittymom.com/2008/11/23/recipe-water-off-a-ducks-back/
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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2010, 02:04:10 AM »
:offtopic:
 

Don't worry about his taking offence, this is simply a weapon that passive aggressive types find useful from time to time and for a while it was found to be effective in this forum. ;)

This 'weapon' used by 'passive aggressive' types ??!! ...  It's STILL 'effective' when you or I get outta line ;)

Now back to the topic..

Wifey, is increasingly convinced that in the West our foods aren't 'safe'... Milk / Bread takes longer to go off... fruit / veg looks better - but doesn't TASTE as good ...

In our opinion - if you are single - then buying in pre-prepared food can be cheaper - as there is often a lot of leftovers  - When cooking for three of more, starting from scratch SEEMS cheaper and FEELS more healthy ..



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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2010, 03:46:42 AM »
Wifey, is increasingly convinced that in the West our foods aren't 'safe'... Milk / Bread takes longer to go off... fruit / veg looks better - but doesn't TASTE as good ...
Yep, exactly our experience too! She doesn't like the long life milk, as it doesn't go sour as quick, can't stand the bread (we have to buy Polish or Lithuanian bread instead) and Fruit and Veg requires a trip to a local farmers market or Aldi or Lidl. She has completely gone off the other large supermarkets!

In our opinion - if you are single - then buying in pre-prepared food can be cheaper - as there is often a lot of leftovers  - When cooking for three of more, starting from scratch SEEMS cheaper and FEELS more healthy ..
She tends to make a lot of soups which last several days, so essentially the food bill is pretty cheap, so theres no reason to switch back to processed foods + I also prefer eating like this! You would have to look very carefully to find any processed foods in Bruce's fridge!



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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2010, 06:54:30 AM »
You say that there are no processed foods you cannot beat with by preparing a healthy alternative yourself.  That wasn't where I disagreed.  I disagree where you feel you can make a healthy meal more cheaply than buying processed food.  I've never found that to be the case.  Walk into any national chain supermarket and price it out.  I have.  For me the numbers don't lie.

What do you consider to be processed foods? I have priced out what I cook and making food from scratch is almost without exception always cheaper than buying prepared foods. This would include soups, stews, breads...
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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2010, 06:59:02 AM »
Wifey, is increasingly convinced that in the West our foods aren't 'safe'... Milk / Bread takes longer to go off... fruit / veg looks better - but doesn't TASTE as good ...

The fruits and vegetables not tasting as good has nothing to do with safety, rather with ripeness. The best tasting fruit are bought in season and at a time when they  have to be shipped only the shortest of distances. I only buy peaches, for example, in the late summer/early fall as this is when they do taste the best.

Quote
In our opinion - if you are single - then buying in pre-prepared food can be cheaper - as there is often a lot of leftovers  - When cooking for three of more, starting from scratch SEEMS cheaper and FEELS more healthy ..

It is more a question, IMHO, of knowing how to cook, what to cooks and how to plan both meals and leftovers effectively. Now that I have started cooking and expanding my culinary repertoire, I would not want to go back  tiphat



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Offline msmoby

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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2010, 07:06:11 AM »


The fruits and vegetables not tasting as good has nothing to do with safety, rather with ripeness. The best tasting fruit are bought in season and at a time when they  have to be shipped only the shortest of distances. I only buy peaches, for example, in the late summer/early fall as this is when they do taste the best.

Not our experience of comparing UK supermarket produce, with  - say -  Spain - last week, or Cyprus - where we lived... goods were less pretty - less uniform in shape.. but TASTIER - an example being tomatoes.. which are grown in Greenhouses - at this time of year !

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Offline KachenkaPro

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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2020, 04:01:32 PM »
Если говорить о красной рыбе и артишоках, то это конечно дорогая здоровая еда, но всегда есть сезонные овощи, каши, недорогие виды рыбы которые тоже можно отнести к здоровой еде...

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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2020, 04:11:34 PM »
Если говорить о красной рыбе и артишоках, то это конечно дорогая здоровая еда, но всегда есть сезонные овощи, каши, недорогие виды рыбы которые тоже можно отнести к здоровой еде...

I like reasonably simple food. Tonight we had chicken tikka shashlik, some barbecued tomatoes and mushrooms together with that grated beetroot/cheese/garlic/mayo salad thing they do in Russia (I forget what it’s called).

Simple, healthy and inexpensive. And very tasty.
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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2020, 10:55:00 PM »
Если говорить о красной рыбе и артишоках, то это конечно дорогая здоровая еда, но всегда есть сезонные овощи, каши, недорогие виды рыбы которые тоже можно отнести к здоровой еде...

I like reasonably simple food. Tonight we had chicken tikka shashlik, some barbecued tomatoes and mushrooms together with that grated beetroot/cheese/garlic/mayo salad thing they do in Russia (I forget what it’s called).

Simple, healthy and inexpensive. And very tasty.

Sounds very good, I’m suddenly hungry!  :chuckle:
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Offline KachenkaPro

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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2020, 06:14:54 AM »
Если говорить о красной рыбе и артишоках, то это конечно дорогая здоровая еда, но всегда есть сезонные овощи, каши, недорогие виды рыбы которые тоже можно отнести к здоровой еде...

I like reasonably simple food. Tonight we had chicken tikka shashlik, some barbecued tomatoes and mushrooms together with that grated beetroot/cheese/garlic/mayo salad thing they do in Russia (I forget what it’s called).

Simple, healthy and inexpensive. And very tasty.
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Offline Manny

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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2020, 12:51:03 PM »
Here! They ate hearty and tasty within the budget :-)
Anyone who wants to eat in a variety of ways will be able to find products and interesting ways of preparing them for any amount.

I agree it's cheaper to eat healthily (if I understood your meaning).

Я согласен, что есть здоровую пищу дешевле (если я понял ваше значение).
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Offline KachenkaPro

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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2020, 01:37:49 PM »
Here! They ate hearty and tasty within the budget :-)
Anyone who wants to eat in a variety of ways will be able to find products and interesting ways of preparing them for any amount.

I agree it's cheaper to eat healthily (if I understood your meaning).

Я согласен, что есть здоровую пищу дешевле (если я понял ваше значение).

Не то чтобы дешевле здоровую пищу есть. Тема о том что здоровая пища это дорого, а вот я говорю что не всегда  :nod:

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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2020, 01:42:31 PM »
Generally the cost of eating healthy food depends on your income.. shit income shit food die early!!

Supermarket fish, salmon.. its not salmon its bloated up salmon you can even see the fat on it, disgusting.. filled with chemicals on a fish farm.. go buy fresh Scottish salmon see the difference.. same with supermarket meat.. its crap all fat and water plus a load of chemicals.. but who can afford to buy all their meat from a Proper butchers? We don't eat supermarket meat or fish if we can help it.. If I'm in the Uk I never touch the stuff..

It is the same for many foods today and its the reason so many youngsters are over weight, bad diet which is not their fault lots of families cannot afford to eat good food..

As with most things in life good healthy food usually costs more..

Bottom line earn more money or die a little early, I have a few friends in the US who say exactly the same "Earn more money or die early"

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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2020, 04:32:27 PM »
I recently purchased the Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry a world-class Cardiac surgeon now focused on health and longevity research and clinical patients care - can eat all you want of allowed food - wild-caught fish and grain feed beef true farm-raised Organic chicken and Omega 3 eggs. 

No store-bought bread due to preservatives that wreak havoc with your good gut bacteria a.k.a biome.

No nightshades family plants or seeds or whole grains full of lectins that cause micro holes in your small and large intestines resulting in leaky gut syndrome and belly fat with a wide range of inflammation and serious diseases.

Unbleached flour and sorghum and millet flour contain little to no lectins, unlike whole grains that I was under the dubious commercials marketing impression of being healthy and full of whole-grain goodness.  NOT.

I have been making toast bread from a mix of 2 cups unbleached flour and 1 cup sorghum flour a cup of warm milk some baking powder and one tablespoon sugar to feed two teaspoons of active dry yeast. 2 Tablespoons of honey for flavor but no salt as it kills yeast. I use a bread machine in dough mode the rise one then transfer to a bread loaf pan and bake in my oven which allows better temp control at 350F for 50 mins.

Plenty of pre and probiotics and vitamin supplements to assist biome growth - no more constipation.  That is how you know it is working.

Been on the program for a month and so far so good lost 5 lbs and blood pressure way down so we will see what the next year brings.

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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2020, 04:15:20 AM »
Generally the cost of eating healthy food depends on your income.. shit income shit food die early!!

Supermarket fish, salmon.. its not salmon its bloated up salmon you can even see the fat on it, disgusting.. filled with chemicals on a fish farm.. go buy fresh Scottish salmon see the difference.. same with supermarket meat.. its crap all fat and water plus a load of chemicals.. but who can afford to buy all their meat from a Proper butchers? We don't eat supermarket meat or fish if we can help it.. If I'm in the Uk I never touch the stuff..

It is the same for many foods today and its the reason so many youngsters are over weight, bad diet which is not their fault lots of families cannot afford to eat good food..

As with most things in life good healthy food usually costs more..

Bottom line earn more money or die a little early, I have a few friends in the US who say exactly the same "Earn more money or die early"
I agree with this.

Never buy farmed fish/prawns. There is a fish called Talipia.
Avoid it like the plague.
Even most smoked Scottish salmon is farmed now.
I try and buy Wild Alaskan salmon whenever I can.
Same with meat.
Avoid the farmed/battery stuff and never American meat.
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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2020, 07:01:15 AM »
It is true, fresh food and a balanced diet costs more than processed foods, actually, in terms of providing a hot meal and calories Mickey D's is pretty cheap.

It is not just cost of food, although a basket of nutritious and energy dense food is more costly, but also an issue of access.

This article which describes a study carried out in Seattle is enlightening: http://www.b-sustainable.org/built-environment/access-to-local-food-by-neighborhood

Sadly the link in my old post is now dead, but I doubt that the availability of fresh food in low income areas has improved any since the paper was written. It is probably going to worsen in many urban areas in the USA henceforth!
...everything ends always well; if it’s still bad, then it’s not the end!

Offline msmoby

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Re: The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2020, 06:55:38 AM »

Avoid the farmed/battery stuff and never American meat.

Soon, if this govt., has its way.. we'll be able to do just that (( 

an article from 3 years ago

https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/food-safety/chlorinated-chicken-explained-why-do-the-americans-treat-their-poultry-with-chlorine/555618.article
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