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Don’t be a Cheap Food Family

Posted in Food for Thought

When you buy food, what is your number one concern? Is it how healthy the food is? What chemicals might be in it? Or is your number one concern how cheap the food is? Buying cheap isn’t limited to buying the cheaper off brands at the supermarket. I would consider anything you buy at the supermarket to be cheap food. 

I know what some of you are thinking: “It costs so much to feed my family.” That’s true, but it’s not as expensive as it used to be. In 1950 the average family spent about 30% of their income on food. Today we spend less that 13% of our income on food.[3] That’s not because we’ve suddenly started eating less, if anything, we’re eating more. No, the reason is that food has gotten cheaper. 

The price of basic food items has risen only 3-5x in the last 60 years. However, the price of processed food has increased 10-15x. A small bag of potato chips costs you over $8.00 a pound.[1] Meanwhile, potatoes run about $1 a pound. A 20oz soda also costs about $8.32 a gallon.[2] Suddenly, raw milk at $7.00 a gallon doesn’t sound so bad. I explain this in more detail in my article, Local Food isn’t too Expensive, Conventional Food is too Cheap.

How much Effort do You Put into the Food Your Family Eats?

If you want to show someone how much you appreciate them, the best way is to spend some effort on them. Wives care more about effort than how much their husband spends on them. Kids would much rather their parents spend time with them than get more presents. Remember the last time you were really impressed at a restaurant or other business? Chances are, it had to do with effort. 

Going to the drive thru is about as little effort as you can put out. Conversely, going to the farmers market, joining a co-op, and visiting a local farm shows that you really care about the quality of the food you eat. Local food takes more effort to buy and more effort to cook. This effort shows your family that you care about them. 

When the De Beers diamond company came up with the idea that men should spend about 2 months salary on an engagement ring, they understood something important. Not that diamonds should be expensive, but that women care about effort. It takes effort to buy a ring that costs 2 months salary. 

If a millionaire bought the same ring as a truck driver, his fiance would be insulted. The millionaire could make that much in a few days, whereas the truck driver’s fiance is overjoyed. He spent a good six months saving up for that ring. That’s effort. 

But by all means, go get drive thru, or pick up some microwave meals. That will show your family how much you care. 


Your Family Deserves Better Food

You know the old saying, You Are What You Eat. Well, it’s true. Where do you think your body’s cells come from? From thin air? No, you body is constantly replacing old cells with new ones, and to do that, it needs nutrients from the food you eat. That’s why eating quality food is so important. Quality counts.

Eating cheap food is like building a house using rotted wood. You may have gotten a good deal on it. But it’ll cost you later. Every time your child eats, their body uses that food as building material. Is that building material quality? Or is it the cheap rotted wood that cost half as much? 

Look at the pizza rolls in your freezer or the sugary cereal in your pantry. Do you seriously believe that this food is healthy? Are you confident that it is providing quality building materials for you child’s growing body? Are you satisfied with the synthetic vitamins listed on the nutritional guidelines label? 

Sustainably raised food has been proven to be more nutrient dense than conventionally raised food. Buying sustainable food is easier than you think. There are farmers markets, where the farmers come to your area.  Likewise, buyers clubs and coops will usually deliver to your neighborhood. It’s true that it’s more expensive, but you’re worth it, and so is your family. 



  1. 1.85 oz bag of chips at $.99 x 8.65 = $8.56
  2. 20 oz bottle of soda at $1.30 x 6.4 = $8.32

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