When I was listening to Joel Salatin speak on the first day of the Real Food Summit he got asked if people could really afford to eat healthy.
He started by saying if he went into someones house he shouldn’t expect to see (if they couldn’t afford eating real food) a new TV, people magazine, numerous DVDs, snickers, frozen food, and he continues to name all these items making a valid point-
“People don’t bat an eye at taking the 6-year-old child 3 hours away to a hockey or soccer tournament. But, [they] have a terrible time thinking that they can actually spend an extra two bucks on dinner. And all I’m suggesting is that for most people, it’s just a matter of priority. If you really want to eat like this, you can.” – Joel Salatin in his interview
Which brings me to why I was inspired to write this post.
Last night I cooked a meal for 3 adults and a baby (who eats like an adult) and I was curious to how much this meal cost me. This meal fed us all generously and we still had a little left over mashed potatoes and veggies. Note: all these items are grown sustainably and are free of any type of pesticides, chemical fertilizers etc. So here is what we had and what I paid for them-
Spending $22 for this meal to feed 4 mouths was a pretty good cost. Don’t you think? Considering all the nutrient dense foods we had. Then, it made me think… What would a meal cost us if we all went to Mcdonalds instead?
Say we bought 3 burger meals (you know with the fries and drink) and a happy meal. Let’s just round the number and give the meals an average of $5 each.
Wow.. so the difference is clearly not that big. Even if you did want to save that extra $2, what would you really gain?
Your health? Most definitely not… Mcdonald’s (along with other fast food chains) is probably one of the reasons why America has such an obesity epidemic. Plus, what about your health years from now? All the hospital bills you’ll end up paying because of all the chronic diseases you accumulate? Not to mention all those prescription drugs (because of your chronic diseases) you’ll be hooked on and paying for the rest of your life.
Your time (with family) since you don’t have to cook, find a farmer’s market or go to the grocery store? Not so fast. Maybe you do get more time, but what is the quality of it? What is your definition of family time? Eating in the car on the go? Eating in Mcdonald’s and letting the little ones play in the jungle gym? What about the special moments to be had at the dinner table? What about the lessons your kids could be learning by helping you cooking? Or learning how to choose what type of tomato is best?
I constitue that right there as quality time spent with the family. Not only are you out moving around, you are absorbing the wonderful atmosphere, you are potentially teaching a lesson about real food, you are learning about real food and all of this will come in handy years from now when your child is on their own.
I mean, what do you really want your child to remember from his childhood? Days spent on the go, eating fast food, never enjoying a home cooked meal, playing video games inside all day? Or days spent learning, experiencing, meals cooked at home with love, the whole family sitting at the dinner table?
All I’m trying to get at is it is possible to eat real food and not spend a lot of money. It’s just deciding what number priority it is on your list? Does it come before the material things or after?
After all, the best things do happen at home.
Until next time,
Loriel – Healthy Roots, Happy Soul