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Is Junk Food Really Cheaper? - Page 2

post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by markb View Post

I don't completely buy the argument that junk food is cheaper. Take cereals as an example. At Tesco, 1kg of porridge oats costs £1.09, while a 0.5kg box of sugary Weetos costs £2.50. What will the average parents give their kids for breakfast, the oats or the Weetos? If the average overweight person or family gave me their weekly shopping budget, I don't think I'd encounter a problem in coming back with a nutritionally more adequate and healthy selection of foods.

The other issue to consider is that most people over eat. They simply do not need to eat the amount that they do. If it was true that junk food is cheaper, they should consider spending a lesser amount on quality, healthy foods rather than a greater amount of unhealthy, junk foods.

It's easy to forget how different stores are in the poorer neighborhoods. Try finding a store on a bus route in an inner city neighborhood with fresh and affordable produce! Prices are jacked up and consumers diets truly are hijacked. I often say how much cheaper it's been for me to eat vegan, but that wouldn't be true if I had to rely on public transport, or corner stores. McD's are so often closer walk than a decent grocery.
post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by markb View Post

obesogenic

Somehow I want to shoot the creator of that word. Same with words like "manorexia" or other word concoctions of that kind.
post #33 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbitLuvr View Post

The people I know who routinely eat at fast food or from frozen ready meals are not satisfied with the portion sizes offered by the dollar menu or frozen meals. They THINK they can eat more cheaply from the dollar menu, but since the portions are small, they end up spending $5-6 per person, anyway. They buy the cheap ready meals, but eat two of them, or eat one and a large side of something else that was "cheap," so they end up spending as much money as they would have by making something more healthy.

I've seen this firsthand many, many times.
post #34 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post

It's easy to forget how different stores are in the poorer neighborhoods. Try finding a store on a bus route in an inner city neighborhood with fresh and affordable produce! Prices are jacked up and consumers diets truly are hijacked. I often say how much cheaper it's been for me to eat vegan, but that wouldn't be true if I had to rely on public transport, or corner stores. McD's are so often closer walk than a decent grocery.

Having been to the US recently, I can tell you it is different here. Without a car I was frustrated that I could not get to a decent grocery store. And as you say, the ones I could reach on foot carried limited produce and were vastly more expensive (even we baulked at many of the prices). Whereas here in the UK, branches of Tesco large and small are everywhere - in city centres, suburbs, on the outskirts of cities and in retail parks. EVERYWHERE. If you live here it's very likely that your local grocery store IS Tesco (or Sainsburys) And I have to say when I was in the US looking for reasonably priced fruit and veg, I did miss our ubiquitous supermarkets - I never expected to be doing that in the US.

An example: I live in a suburb in my city. We have 5 Tesco stores (one five minutes walk away) 2 large Sainsburys (one in a less affluent area) 2 Lidl supermarkets, 1 Aldi supermarket, and 1 Asda superstore being built on the outskirts of the town centre (to put that in perspective, I live in quite a small town: the town centre and suburbs fit into an area of approximately 6 miles diameter). I know the area quite well, and there is only one poorer area in my city that is more than 1/2 mile away from a supermarket.

So I can see how the issue of proximity to a decent and cheap foodstore is key in the US, but I think it may be different in most of the UK.
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post #35 of 60
In Germany you have lots of supermarkets all around, especially the discounters. People eat a lot of junk anyway. It's what they're used to, it's what they like to eat. You can get a nice healthy salad (really big portions!) at the cafeteria where I work and it's not more expensive than having a currywurst with bratkartoffeln - guess what most people are choosing most of the time?
post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflon View Post

In Germany you have lots of supermarkets all around, especially the discounters. People eat a lot of junk anyway. It's what they're used to, it's what they like to eat. You can get a nice healthy salad (really big portions!) at the cafeteria where I work and it's not more expensive than having a currywurst with bratkartoffeln - guess what most people are choosing most of the time?

"What they like to eat" - that is one of the biggest obstacles. Many people like the taste of burgers and fried chicken far more than they like beans, lentils and vegetables.
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post #37 of 60
It's the same as that I prefer the taste of mock-meats to that of vegetables.
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post #38 of 60
I've just found an article of relevance to add to the discussion:

http://motherjones.com/tom-philpott/...d-mark-bittman
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post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by angie54321 View Post

"What they like to eat" - that is one of the biggest obstacles. Many people like the taste of burgers and fried chicken far more than they like beans, lentils and vegetables.

True and I can't blame them. I like to eat vegan junk as well. The reason I eat also the healthy stuff is because, well - it's healthy. OTOH at least the vegan junk is more expensive than e. g. beans and lentils so another reason I don't eat so much vegan junk food is because I'm cheap.
post #40 of 60
Quote:
The Times calculated the cost of its $14 chicken dinner by summing the price of the individual ingredients: a $6 raw whole chicken, $3 worth of potatoes, a nickel for salt and pepper, etc. But what about the time it takes to plan the dinner, shop for the ingredients, transform them into a meal, and then clean up the resulting mess?

I think this is very important to consider. It's about the biggest obstacle for me when it comes to choosing a meal cooked from scratch over some faux meat and the reason why I cook big portions that last several days, prefer the convenience of eating a lot of fruit (no prep time, no cleaning up) and online shopping including our weekly fruit/veggie delivery. And I can't imagine I'm the big exception.

Even my mother who always said that cooking at home is cheaper than buying convenience food talks about what is quoted above since a few years. I never would have thought that she would buy frozen pizza one day and telling me that it's cheaper and easier this way and "that this stuff doesn't taste that bad".
post #41 of 60
When I was disabled and without an income, I had to collect foodstamps for a time.

It always puzzled me that grocery store clerks would sometimes give me disapproving looks when I went through their line with more expensive items like organic produce, vegetarian goods, stuff from Amy's, etc. One clerk even said 'wow you must be doing something right to be able to afford this' (wink, wink). Like I was somehow playing the system.

I just don't understand this line of thinking. Is it automatically assumed that if you are low income you should be eating junk food? Do they think that eating healthy is wasting the taxpayer's dollar? Fact is, my vegetarian diet is so cheap (bulk dried beans, grains, bulk rice, frozen veggies and the like) that I am able to spend more on fresh produce and occasional convenience items, and still end up under my food budget for the month. The other people I know on foodstamps who are feeding their families macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, and the like, always end up short.

Go figure.
post #42 of 60
I think the clerk just wasn't used to seeing that. Most people on food stamps buy soda and other junk, which really isn't cheaper. It was very out of line for him to comment though.

I would have told that cashier exactly what you just said.
post #43 of 60
How does this whole food stamps stuff work? (Sorrx, we don't have something like that.) Is it like a coupon e. g. worth 25$ and you can get whatever food you want for it at any grocery store but you can't e. g. buy a newspaper with it?
post #44 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflon View Post

How does this whole food stamps stuff work? (Sorrx, we don't have something like that.) Is it like a coupon e. g. worth 25$ and you can get whatever food you want for it at any grocery store but you can't e. g. buy a newspaper with it?

It's like a debit card you can use only for groceries (not things like toilet paper, or things like restaurant meals). Not all grocery stores can accept food stamps. You can buy almost whatever food you want with it, and also plants for growing food, like a tomato plant or lettuce seedlings.
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post #45 of 60
I think if you're raw vegan, it's a LOT more expensive that ready-made meals, because you need to consume a high quantity. If you're just vegan, but still eat wholegrains and tofu, you don't consume quite as much.

Maybe we should put more demand on supermarkets to sell healthier foods. If they know it's what we want, they may concentrate on making that cheaper.

Anyway, my view is that food shouldn't be a business and since the government has so much control over education... the only way we can teach people about food is through word, youtube, etc.
post #46 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbk101 View Post

I think if you're raw vegan, it's a LOT more expensive that ready-made meals, because you need to consume a high quantity. If you're just vegan, but still eat wholegrains and tofu, you don't consume quite as much.

Maybe we should put more demand on supermarkets to sell healthier foods. If they know it's what we want, they may concentrate on making that cheaper.

Anyway, my view is that food shouldn't be a business and since the government has so much control over education... the only way we can teach people about food is through word, youtube, etc.

I would disagree with this. It depends on what type of raw food you are. If you eat a lot of processed raw then yeah but whole foods aren't that much. For example, bananas are really cheap. Also, with things like sprouting, you can save money and get lots of food. When you sprout grains, their quantity pretty much doubles. And because the food you are eating is so nutrient dense you don't need as much. However, some raw foods can be expensive like nuts.

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post #47 of 60
While it may be cheaper right now, it costs in the long run. I work at a retailer that sells dog food and I liken it to human food to my customers all the time. If you feed cheap trash, yes it'll keep you alive but with how many health problems attached? You might be spending less on food, but I guarantee you'll be spendig a ton on medical bills when you have diabetes, arthritis, are obese, etc. Besides, I have a sprouts market by me, and they have cheap fruits and veggies. I eat good, I feel good, and the body issues I had from eating poorly before are disipating.
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post #48 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by be_it View Post

While it may be cheaper right now, it costs in the long run. I work at a retailer that sells dog food and I liken it to human food to my customers all the time. If you feed cheap trash, yes it'll keep you alive but with how many health problems attached? You might be spending less on food, but I guarantee you'll be spendig a ton on medical bills when you have diabetes, arthritis, are obese, etc. Besides, I have a sprouts market by me, and they have cheap fruits and veggies. I eat good, I feel good, and the body issues I had from eating poorly before are disipating.

My thoughts exactly. Look at all the costs, not just those at the supermarket.
post #49 of 60
yes, i think Fast food is really cheaper.
post #50 of 60
It's math, not opinion. Lentils, rice and beans are cheaper than fast food. And you can inexpensively supplement them with frozen veggies and whatever fruit happens to be on sale. People just don't want to cook, or plan, not that I blame them.
post #51 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by delicioso View Post

It's math, not opinion. Lentils, rice and beans are cheaper than fast food. And you can inexpensively supplement them with frozen veggies and whatever fruit happens to be on sale. People just don't want to cook, or plan, not that I blame them.

post #52 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by delicioso View Post

It's math, not opinion. Lentils, rice and beans are cheaper than fast food. And you can inexpensively supplement them with frozen veggies and whatever fruit happens to be on sale. People just don't want to cook, or plan, not that I blame them.

This. It's amazing how many meals/snacks you can get out of 79-cent bag of chickpeas.
post #53 of 60
Frozen fruit and veggies, a large variety (if fresh is more expensive)
dried legumes and lentils, bulk
rice, bulk at Asian ethnic markets (plus many cheap Asian vegetables, herbs and spices)
Throw in a decent multivitamin (especially one with vitamin D and DHA omegas, derived from algae)

DONE! Cheap and easy

Tip: Grow some of your own like tomatoes and kale (relatively easy to grow).
post #54 of 60
oh, and include B12 to that multivitamin. And nuts and seeds can be bought bulk (though there is a mold risk) but if it's too pricey, can be a special treat thing.
post #55 of 60
I am tracking this right now to find out actually. The fiance and I are both on disability. Currently I'm vegan and he's omni. He tells me all the time how his food is cheaper then mine. He buys Hotpockets, canned soups, frozen pizzas ect. Some times it is cheaper for him if and this is a big if he doesn't go out. Alot of the time he doesn't want to eat what he's got so he'll order a pizza and a 2 liter. If neather of us were to go out or buy alcahol ect I think he would come out ahead in terms of money. However I don't think he'd come out ahead health wise and that's what is really important to me. I'm trying to make my food budget for just food and household supplies under $200. Each month I'm a little closer. I'm down from around $400 all of my money after rent and bills to $250 whitch leaves me enough to go out if I want or in my case buy a new laptop when mine died it's final death.

Audrey
post #56 of 60
This whole thing really made me think and I started looking around Modesto CA. In downtown there is litterally a dividing line or street that divides the ok area from the ghetto. It took me a while to figure out once I crossed 9th I wasn't in downtown I was in west side. looking at this from a food prospective in downtown 15th street there is a farmers market for half the year and a Savemart on 18th. Now if I lived on say 3rd my choices are liquor stores, liquor stores, and drum roll please... liquor stores. As someone who doesn't have a car going from 3rd the 15th walking to buy groceries isn't gonna happen. So I can see how some people don't have the healthy options. Also as someone who grew up with a single working mom a TV was my baby sitter a lot. On TV they had a kid eating a huge bowl of Trix. I wanted to be that kid so I ate the Trix too. And then they'res time so lets say you work 1 full time job and 1 part time say you start your first job at 9am and get off at 5:30pm. Your next job starts at 6pm and you get off at 10pm. When do you cook? On the weekends it was put the kid outside or grandmas or whatever so mom can sleep. It all makes me insanely greatful for what I have now because it makes all the difference. I educated myself on good nutrition. I live in an area where houseing is relatively cheap. I currently don't work so I have the time to cook * I think this makes the most difference for me* and I live near 2 exspensive but well stocked supermarkets within walking distance or you can take public shuttle service whitch goes door to door for anywhere from $.75 to $1.50 each way. I also have the option of paying someone to take me to the discount grocery once a month. So I realise while I'm poor I'm privelidged.
post #57 of 60
we have a Del taco that has 39 sence each i see people eating 10 at a time yes its cheep but so bad for you and its not relly cheep becase you be paying the Docters latter
post #58 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by abigail950 View Post

we have a Del taco that has 39 sence each i see people eating 10 at a time yes its cheep but so bad for you and its not relly cheep becase you be paying the Docters latter

Tacos? I get them occasionally I ask for them without meat, bring them home, and add Morningstar Farms soy crumbles and mango peach salsa.
post #59 of 60
Awww yes I remember Del Taco well. During Highschool and college this was a go to along with Jack In The Box tacos. Cheap yes healthy not so much. Actually I kinda miss Jack's tacos I grew up on those things.

Audrey
post #60 of 60
i don't think that junk food is cheaper & it is also bad for health !!
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