Europeans tend to spend more of their income on quality food than Americans. We tend spend more on material things. I am not surprised. Americans love our big screen TVs, big cars, dish and cable channels...and big food I guess.
As a research project for a class, I set out to dispel many food myths about healthy "clean" food.
The most common myths I hear are:
- healthy foods cost more
- a calorie is a calorie
- it's cheaper to eat fast food
- If it's organic, it must be better
- advertising is to blame
"Blaming unhealthy habits on cost is incorrect. People who eat lots of unhealthy food aren't doing so because they lack cheap options. Instead it's because they LIKE junk food." ~ Mark Bittman, The New York Times
|Above: March 2013 Weekly shopping for 4 people at a NATURAL FOOD STORE $115. There is no way I could have purchased as much quality ingredients or free-ranged meat and eggs, veggies at a conventional grocery store. This is nearly our entire months’ worth of food. Probably helps that we are not gluttonous eaters.|
- A processed food diet is a MAJOR factor in Obesity!
- These foods contain cheap non-nutritive fillers, chemicals and artificial ingredients
- Many of those additives are banned in modern European countries
- They contain refined, often hidden sugars, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and other by-products
- Contains many GMO (genetically modified organism) ingredients.
- Non-nutritive high-Carbohydrate foods and snacks contribute greatly to diabetes and obesity.
About Healthy 'Clean' Food
- Shop at Farmers Markets
- NO middle man
- Keep $ local
- reduced transportation costs
- knowing who grew it
- Shop at local, small Natural Food stores
- Eating seasonally and locally is less expensive
- less packaging = less costs
- buy bulk from co-ops and Natural food stores
- Choose Organic when you are at a conventional store, your $$ is your vote!
- Research shows that healthy foods can be cheaper and less expensive than highly processed foods ~ USDA 2012
- Fresh home-cooked meals taste better!!
- Make wise choices. A family can still over spend on too many “natural” chips, dips. Sweet snacks and too much dried fruit as it can on conventional junk food (minus bad ingredients).
- Make wise choices. Cook your own food, don’t fall for processed, pressed soy burgers, etc.
- Eat Real Food. Use real butter and decent Olive Oil.
- Don’t follow trends; there is no magic food, herb, vitamin or enema that can take the place of exercise and eating REAL food.
|For month 2/2014, $140.24 includes Smart Chicken, bacon, eggs,|
butter and quite a few bulk items.
Mangu-Ward, Katherine. "Five Food Myths about Healthy Eating." The Washington Post 17 October 2011
Why Nutritious Doesn't Equal Costly, David Katz M.D
Processing Food, Processing You..David Katz M.D.
And just for the record: I do not own a big screen TV, do not subscribe to dish or cable, drive a 15 year old vehicle and would rather eat good healthy food, lead a active life and reap optimum health...and why not age gracefully?
- Quick & Easy Mac and Cheese (Way better than any box-mix) with variations
- Chicken Paprikash, suitable for company!
May good eating bring you the good health you and your family deserve!
- 1 lb. pasta (elbows, shells, ziti, penne rigate, rotini, cavatappi, pipette etc...)
- 3 Tbs. butter
- 2-4 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 Tbs. organic WW flour
- 3 cups whole milk (I like to substitute heavy cream for 1/2 - 1 cup of the milk)
- 1 1/2 cup grated Cheese (Cheddar, Gruyere, Gouda, Fontina, Monterrey jack, Havarti, fresh Asiago)
- 1 1/2 cup other cheese (Parmigiana-Reggiano, Percorino, Feta, Mascarpone)
- ADD INS (use about 3 cups): peas, steamed or roasted cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts or carrots. Use scallions, sauteed chard or Kale, hot or mild peppers, seafood, ham or prosciutto, bacon or pancetta.
- Herbs: thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, marjoram, black pepper, cayenne or Spanish paprika.
- 1/4 Cup break crumbs or Panko
- Bring a kettle of water to boil and cook the past as directed on the package, just until tender, I prefer a bit of tooth. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, position the oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler and heat to broil.
- Melt the butter in your largest 10 -12 inch oven-proof skillet. I like to use cast-iron. Add garlic and cook for about 45 seconds till soft. Add the flour and stir a few more seconds, gradually add milk (and cream if using). Whisk frequently until thickened 5 -6 minutes. Add the cheeses and whisk until smooth and completely melted, 1 - 2 mins. Remove from heat and add in any veggies, meats or other additions, and 1 tsp sea salt.
- Combine the bread crumbs (or panko) with herbs and a pinch of sea salt. Sprinkle this evenly over the pasta. Place the skillet under the broiler and broil for about 2 mins or until top is golden brown. Allow to cool a bit before serving.
- 1/4 cup coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 large family package chicken cut-up, I use Smart Chicken or chicken from the Farmers Market, about 8 pieces
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 large onion, chopped fine
- 3 Tbs Hungarian sweet paprika
- 2 cups homemade chicken stock
- 2 large tomatoes, cut up into pieces
- 1 yellow banana pepper or other semi-hot Italian pepper, cored, seeded cut into 1" pieces.
- Sour Cream or thick Yogurt
- Melt coconut oil or heat olive oil in a large skillet ( I prefer cast-iron 10 - 12 inch). Season chicken with sea salt and pepper.
- Working in batches, brown chicken pieces well for 8-10 minutes turning once.
- Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
- add onions to pan and cook until soft about 8 mins. Stir often. Add paprika, cook 2 minutes more.
- Return the browned chicken to the pan along with juices. Add the stock, tomatoes and peppers. Bring to a boil.
- Partially cover the pan and reduce heat down to medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove chicken to serving platter, pour sauce over and dollop with sour cream or yogurt. Sprinkle with additional paprika.
Next time: Maple Madness Month, maybe