Food for Thought

by Marcy on August 20, 2008 · 0 comments

Literally. I have been slowly working my way through this month’s issue of O, The Oprah Magazine (laugh if you want), and found a great article about the current movement to get back to eating “real” food. Which basically means food that is not full of chemicals, hydrogenated oils, and the like. The article was titled “A Delicious Revolution,” was written by Celia Barbour, and is on page 292 of the September issue if you are interested in checking it out in entirety.

While I agree with much of what was said in this article, I am still working (and struggling at times) to get our family there. Meaning, I have been trying to buy organic when I can afford it (or think it is necessary), I am trying to cut back on processed foods, trying to eliminate high fructose corn syrup etc… That is not to say that I have become radical about it, or that I won’t make exceptions. But this is important to me because I want my family to be healthy. And we have picked up some less than healthy habits over the years that aren’t doing us any favors.

The point of this post is to share a couple of thoughts from this article that have been bouncing around in my brain for the last couple of days (all of this found on p. 298 of the magazine):

* It is a challenge to rethink the price tag we place on food. For years housewives have prided themselves in cutting their grocery bills, and when money gets tight in today’s world, we look first to our grocery bill when trying to cut back.

* Fifty years ago, 20% of a household budget was spent on food. Today it is less than 10%, while expenditures for TVs, sound equipment etc… have nearly doubled in the past 15 years; personal care expenditures have increased by half; and cosmetic surgery has increased sixfold in a decade.

* We have been brainwashed into thinking that food should be cheap.

* Food is too important to be a target of budget slashing, and we have to decide that people are precious and food is precious.

Yeah…so I read this, and promptly went to Whole Foods the next day and spent $81. On produce and a few other random things. Which is obviously not going to work for me long term unless I want to go into debt feeding my family. (Though I must say the produce does taste amazing). Have I mentioned that I am impressionable and am easily swayed by the things that I read? :-)

And so the question remains, how do you balance eating well with eating on a budget? It is tempting to buy items that aren’t very healthy if they are cheap (or free!), but is it in our best interest? On the flip side, with all that we have to worry about right now due to the state of the economy, do we have room for one more thing to worry about? Some people are struggling to put food on the table period, let alone healthy/local/organic food.

I don’t have the answers. I just wanted to post about this since it is on my mind today. I’m going to continue to try my best when it comes to “cleaning up” the food that we eat. And of course I’ll continue to share my experiences as they come.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts about this? Are you already a healthy eater, and if so, what do you do to keep costs down?

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