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The cost of healthy -v- processed food debate

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supranatural:

--- Quote from: TomT on October 16, 2010, 09:55:22 AM ---
--- Quote from: supranatural on October 15, 2010, 08:03:50 PM ---Whereas in the US the poor folks tend to be overweight and the affluent tend to be skinnier.

--- End quote ---

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.

--- End quote ---

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.

dbneeley:

--- Quote from: supranatural on October 31, 2010, 11:50:13 AM ---

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.

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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

supranatural:

--- Quote from: dbneeley on October 31, 2010, 12:06:00 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

--- End quote ---
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.

dbneeley:

--- Quote from: supranatural on October 31, 2010, 03:03:47 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. 

--- End quote ---

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

 



andrewfi:
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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