firebyrd: (Default)
While I think the word "privilege" gets thrown around too much, sometimes things just reek of it. A thread on /. devolved into basically calling people who don't eat healthy stupid and lazy. "Eating healthy is cheaper than fast food!" was declared over and over. Some people tried to bring up things such as the opportunity costs of cooking, but were mostly brushed off. What amazes me is that no one seemed to understand that it's not a dichotomy between eating healthy and eating fast food/expensive frozen dinners/pizza/etc. While eating healthy may be cheaper than eating fast food all the time, eating healthy /is/ more expensive than eating cheaply.

Apples are cheaper than many kinds of fresh fruit and veggies. One still costs $0.30-$0.50 each depending on the size. How many people will one apple feed compared to the $0.50 box of generic mac and cheese? How much does ramen cost compared to carrots? And so on and so forth. You have to look at all that before you even consider the opportunity cost of cooking. Throwing a pan of water on to boil and dumping a box of something in takes a lot less time and energy than chopping up vegetables and doing whatever it is that you're going to be doing with them. The variety of cheap frozen veggies is pretty slim, at least around here, consisting mostly of peas and corn, which aren't exactly the healthiest of veggies anyway. California mixes of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots are usually more expensive. Anything other than those five things are either very expensive and/or inedible (seriously, even when used in cooking, frozen spinach is beyond disgusting, and I /like/ spinach!).

I've had this argument with people before, most notably with someone who lives in San Diego. The privilege just drips from someone like that. Let's see, you live in an area where much of the produce of the Western US, if not the whole country, is grown. You have farmers' markets year round. You don't have the cost of transportation added into the price of things, and you're trying to tell /me/ that eating fruits and vegetables is cheaper than anything else? Drives me crazy.

We're actually going to try joining a CSA this year and have my mom chop the stuff up for me so that I can hopefully use it, since the opportunity cost is as much if not more of an issue for me personally. Hopefully that's going to help us eat healthier at least. But for people who have even less money than us, that live in areas where there is little local stuff available other than in summer, or where there are even no grocery stores, just 7-11 type stuff...eating healthy is most certainly /not/ cheap nor is it is easy.

Food

Aug. 9th, 2008 11:28 am
firebyrd: (Default)
In some ways, it's so very difficult to eat healthy, good tasting food these days. So much of the aisles in grocery stores are filled with highly processed junk, most with fun stuff like high fructose corn syrup in it. Some stuff is being done right, though.

For some reason, I've had an idea for years of how tomato soup should taste. I don't know if I had some that tasted like this taste in my head as a little kid or what, but tomato soup never lived up to it, so I just never ate it. What it tasted like in the real world was gross to me. Still, I longed to experience that flavor again (assuming I actually experienced it once in the first place).

The search is over, however. While it's not an exact match, I have just found a tomato soup that is not only edible but is absolutely delicious. Campbell's has some new Select label soups in little cardboard boxes and the Creamy Tomato Parmesan Bisque makes their motto appropriate for once. Mmmmmm. I have had absolutely no appetite lately and have a hard time forcing myself to eat at all, but in the past hour, I've eaten most of a container of this soup. Unfortunately, it's premium flavor is definitely reflected in a premium price (it was $2.50 for an 18.3 oz container at Walmart!), but eh. I've been eating so little lately that if I'll eat something, it's worth it, and that's certainly cheaper than eating out anywhere. It's just expensive for a container of store bought soup.

I had the same problem with apple juice/cider, unable to find one that matched my childhood recognition of how it /should/ taste. There's a company producing juices called Simply now that makes apple juice how it should. Due to the fact that it's the real stuff, there's some variation in the flavor, so it's not always a perfect match to my memory, but it is often enough that it is really good. Talking to my mom about it, apparently there used to be a place locally that made apple juice and that's where she'd get it, hence the origin of my taste memory.

The Simply Orange juice with heavy pulp is unbelievably good too. They have other versions with varying amounts of pulp if you're a heathen who doesn't like pulp, but the heavy pulp stuff is definitely the best. It was funny when Bruce was alive. He and his kids don't like pulp whereas my mom and all her kids do. It was the orange juice wars. Bruce tried to make fun of us by talking about how he wanted to drink his orange juice, not chew it, but we just adopted the term and now we call orange juice with sufficient pulp chewy orange juice. Yum.

There are some other flavors of these Campbell's Select soups. I think I'll have to try them now, particularly the butternut squash flavor I've been eyeing for a few weeks.

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