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If The Media Says It, Is It More True?

May 17, 2012

A recent article reflects much of what we’ve said for some time. Despite the long repeated comment of a candy bar is cheaper than healthy food it’s just not true!

“They placed the foods into the five food groups — grains, dairy, protein, fruits and vegetables. They added a category for unhealthy foods, which included items that did not fit the other categories or were high in sugar, sodium and/or saturated fat such as cookies, candy, desserts, granola bars and many ready-to-eat cereals.

When using weight and portion size as the guide, many healthy foods were not any more costly than unhealthy ones, Carlson says. You can always find healthy foods that are cheap and healthy foods that are expensive. The same is true of less healthy foods, she says.”

Per portion is key! Per portion! Most people don’t eat proper portions. Many eat much more – and occasionally our portions are more than needed.

The critics are long in the comment section. It would seem like this would be great news, but people look for a way to make it not work. “Twentfour Seven” hit the nail on the head for many: “Junk food is ready to eat. People are just too lazy (or “too busy”) to take fresh healthy unprocessed foods to cook and prepare.”

Matt Andes issued a challenge. “My wife and I made the switch to healthier, more fresh, almost no pre-prepared foods, and our grocery bill went up about $320 a month (for a family of three). I challenge this writer to try the same, and not come up with a different result than the conclusions in this article.” Now “healthy” is often perspective. But there are ways. We grow some of our own food, it’s true, but this seemed a challenge to find a balance of food that didn’t cost a lot. And, truly, $320 is almost our house payment…on a good month our budget is half of that. We stock up on things when we can. And when there is an issue, such as the tornadoes last year, we had food despite not having power.

The other thing to consider is our farm does custom grow – so figuring in that cost is still cheaper than $320/month. After all our freezer filler is $3,000 – vs. $3840 “at the store”. There are, especially this time of year, many places with CSA opportunities like ours at under $70 per month. Yea…I’ve heard people say they can’t afford that $17 per week, but they can afford cigarettes and beer! Can’t afford or don’t want it badly enough?

So the challenge is on…we’ll share what we do, and I’m sure it will bring critics. There’s over 300million people out there – not all will agree. But many have forgotten much about their food, or never knew. It’s time to relearn.

Did you know that roughly 3/4 of the farm bill budget goes to food programs? That’s things like food stamps, WIC, school lunch programs, etc. Not to *farms* but for *food*?

Eggs, fried with a little pepper and salt – basic, but part of a good breakfast, and lasts longer than sugar cereal.

Now last winter we hit a bad patch. Swallowed pride and went to apply for food assistance in November. We were told we didn’t qualify for emergency help because, despite little food and $30 cash we had our home/rent covered. If we were behind they’d help. *sigh* It would be a month before we could get an appointment because we weren’t behind and were honest that we *might* (or might not) have a little money coming in (which we needed to pay utilities with). We listed the expectations and were turned down because of (again being honest) an average $30 in residual monthly writing that I couldn’t prove in the time frame they wanted – because getting an individual at Yahoo *right now* isn’t likely.

So we took the $30 and got a couple bags of potatoes, then looked at the discount meat section. We went down to the food drive, and swallowed pride to ask for help. We put a few chickens and rabbits in the freezer. This provided meat and reduced the feed bill.

We made do. It wasn’t fancy but we ate. We found new things to do with rice, potatoes, peppers and onions. “Scoutman” made an awesome curry with diced rabbit, rice, seasonings, onions and peppers…yum! We stretched less than a half pound of ground meat for three people with skillet dinners.

We’ll be sharing some of these things…just the thing needed to give the blog a kick! Hope you’ll join us – and spread the word!

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