The increasing cost of eating well

This red sauce is made with organic ground pork, onion, vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, zucchini, chard and seasonings including oregano, basil, sea salt and pepper. I serve it over roasted spaghetti squash.

This red sauce is made with organic ground pork, onion, vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, zucchini, chard and seasonings including oregano, basil, sea salt and pepper. I serve it over roasted spaghetti squash.

For an upcoming package of articles in The Pueblo Chieftain, I was asked to write about what increasing food prices have meant to someone who follows a semi-organic, low-glycemic style of eating.

While 46 percent of Americans surveyed in a recent Gallup Poll said food prices are causing them hardship, our citizens still spend the lowest percentage of their income on food of any country in the world — under 10 percent. Americans also spend the most on health care and are among the most unhealthy in the world. Hmmm. Wonder if there is a connection?

Anyway, it was an interesting process, looking through a couple of weeks’ worth of receipts and seeing where the money was going. When I microanalyzed it, what amazed me is how inexpensive it really can be to eat healthfully — about $9 a day per person for three meals, two snacks and one dessert. But then, the big picture of how much we spend on food was also astounding— probably more than $800 a month, rivaling the mortgage payment.

One meal I used as an example in the article is a roasted spaghetti squash served with a red meat sauce. I like this dish because it is fairly quick and easy to make, and because it’s something my son Harrison likes. I make the sauce with natural grassfed beef or pasture-raised pork. Other ingredients include one spaghetti squash, a can of organic crushed tomatoes, an organic onion, and organic vegetable broth. For variation I sometimes add a small zucchini and some chopped Swiss Chard. The recipe usually makes enough to feed three people for two nights at just over $2 per serving.

I also estimated the cost of some other meals I routinely make, ranging from tacos to chili to a beef roast with vegetables. All of them came in between $2 and $3 per serving.

Look for the story sometime the first week of August. It should be available online at http://www.chieftain.com.

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One Response to “The increasing cost of eating well”

  1. hungrybritain Says:

    With the current uncertainties with food prices there is a greater need for us to conserve and be increasingly economical about food consumption at home. We have become wasteful as consumers of food and have never really had a need to feel otherwise before this crisis started. Blaming the rampant consumerism of the supermarkets has now irrelevant in this discussion. The situation now is that if we don’t change our food habits this situation could easily escalate completely out of control. The responsibility is now on us all to change our food buying and food consuming habits.
    Simple food saving tips are things we need to get used to and practice more regularly. Most of these are common sense and can be quite creative. You can find a list of free food saving tips at sites such as http://www.foodcrisis.co.uk amongst other similar sites as well.
    We all need to contribute to a fairer and more food wise program for ourselves.

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