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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Food For The Weekend: Don't Eat For Convenience

I recently saw a trailer on Facebook for the food documentary "Fed Up" (click to view trailer).  This documentary highlights some of the major problems with the food industry in the United States.  In the comments someone wrote that the real problem is that a happy meal costs $2.99 and a pound of ground beef costs $3.99.  When you look at those numbers alone it looks to be much more expensive to eat at home, buying real food.  But is it?

Happy Meal Cost: $2.49 to $3.99 (hamburger meal to "McDouble")
Happy Meal Contents:  hamburger (burger, bun, pickles, ketchup), French Fries, a "Cutie" (a clementine), Milk
Positives:  Very convenient
Negatives:  Many additives and preservatives in the food.  Food is very low quality.

The Same Meal Made From Home (all food bought at Wegmans)
Hamburger (Family Pack) $2.99/lb:  1/4 Pound = $0.75
Hamburger Bun (8 pack) $1.49:  1 Bun = $0.19
Ketchup (38oz, 63 servings) $1.99:  1 serving = $0.03
Pickles (16 fl. oz, 8 servings) $1.99:  1/2 serving (4 pickles) = $0.12
Potato (sweet, approximately .5lb each) $1.39/lb:  1 potato = $0.70
Clementine (approximately 25 per container) $5.99: 1 clementine = $0.24
Milk 1% (same type served at McDonalds) $2.19: 1 cup = $0.14

Total Cost = $2.17 and effort
Positives:  Cheaper!  No additives or preservatives.  Real food of much better quality.
Negatives:  Time and effort to prepare.

Time and effort seem to be the biggest obstacles for people trying to maintain a healthy diet.  Eating out is convenient.  All you have to do is walk up to the counter and tell them what you want.  They give it to you and you eat.  If you make your own food at home, you have to grocery shop, bring the food home, prepare the food and then eat.  It takes much more time and effort.

That time and effort is well worth it.  The benefits of healthy eating go far beyond the waistline.  You will feel better, have more energy, think more clearly, and be more productive.  You could also save a few dollars, as long as you shop smart!  Make the time and put forth the effort to make your own meals.  The benefits are well worth it!

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