Healthy vs. Inexpensive

Healthy vs. Inexpensive

While traveling recently, I was in a gas station/mini mart (unnamed) when I overheard a conversation between two young (7-10) children and their mother. It went something like this…

Kids: Can we get these?

Mom: No, I think we’ll go across the street and get some chicken nuggets.

Kids: But we want these, and they’re better for us.

So, my first thought was, is this woman crazy?   Her kids are asking her for fresh (well – prepackaged fresh, if that’s “fresh”) veggies and dip and she wants to get them chicken nuggets?  Really?

BUT then came the real reason she said no.

Mom:  Honey, I can’t afford those.  We’re going to get you chicken nuggets.

This I believe, and I think it’s a shame.  No disrespect at all to the mother, she’s living within her budget and that is a good thing.  It is a shame that society has made food that is good for you more expensive than food that is not.

Now granted, I have no idea the choices that the family has made, whether mom is responsible with her money in all situations or not.  For all I know she spends all her money on drugs and that’s why they can’t afford fresh veggies.  For the purpose of this blog, we’ll believe she is a responsible mom doing the best she can with what she has to work with.

It is a simple fact that a fresh, healthy food is more expensive than junk.  Why is that?  I don’t have the answer to that, but it’s very frustrating to try and feed a family of four a healthy, nutritious diet at today’s prices.  It’s cheaper to buy prepared food, which has been processed and had chemicals added to it.  Have you read some of the labels?  What IS that stuff?

During my Sunday calls to my folks, my mom and I were discussing this and she mentioned back in the day (grin) every family had a “victory garden.”   You may want to check this link for more info on what a “victory garden” was all about… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_garden

She has a good point.  Growing your own vegetables can save you some money, for sure.  I have a couple friends who have large gardens which they pick, pickle, and can.  These ladies are very busy during harvest season, but they end up with a good bit of food that takes them through the winter.

Myself, I don’t quite seem to have the gardening  “knack”, although a lot of it has to do with critters.  I have tried to grow peas and seen them mowed down, in stages, by something.  Even with a fence and “liquid fence” spray I don’t seem to have much success, maybe because we are now pet free and don’t have a pet to chase away unwanted wild animals.  However, my mother suggested potted tomatoes on the patio.  I think I’ll give it a shot (and if any deer come around they might get a shot too – snicker).

If you have a yard, you may want to consider planting a garden.  If you have an apartment, maybe something small on the window sill might work.  Cherry tomatoes, or maybe strawberries, might work well in a small area, but grow just one or two plants.

Give it a try, you may find out you have a green thumb – and save yourself some money in the process – grin.

 

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