Sunday, July 24, 2011

eating healthy should be affordable... oh wait, it is.

Now, when i was a kid we didnt have much to live on. Somehow my mother was the penny pinching queen and only bought things when she absolutely had to. I remember her saying that a can of soup and grilled cheese was sometimes dinner, but we were so little that we didn't complain or care much. Regarding myself, I don't have the same frugality that I maybe should have, but it is quite similar. My food shopping habits still tend to lean towards buying things I may use next week because it was on sale; a trait most women find hard to resist.

My whole point is that even though I am currently living as an intern and an out of work actress, I see no reason to stop eating healthy and cheaply. This post is dedicated to the wonderful world known as: Trader Joe's.

I didn't always know about this place. Well, I suppose I just didn't know how inexpensive it was until I started shopping for myself! You could say I have shopped at my fair share of Super Walmarts, and I even gave MarketBasket a try. But who could resist the idea that organic produce and well prepared commodities would be in the same price range?

The enemy in the situation where people seem to be unaware as to how affordable this store is, is the idea that "organic means expensive" or that "healthier equals bigger cost" is the idea presented by smaller snobby healthfood stores with waterfall machines and socalled expert homeopathic staff members that make you feel bad for waking up without meditating or having a cup of coffee instead of herbal healing organic tea. There are also the larger monopolizing corporations such as the evil that is Whole Foods.

Whole Foods is so much more of a significant expense than I deem necessary, that I don't even bother shopping there on a rare occasion.  I find it ridiculous that my block of extra firm tofu should ever be more than two bucks, and that they just slap the word organic on a leafy green decorated label which automatically puts the marketing idea into a consumer's noggin that they are putting in more of their dollar for a higher value and investing in their body.  Places such as Trader Joes or even the local supermarket have the same products for less cost without using fancy tricks such as a nice setting or superstore appeal.

A few weeks ago I went into my local meat market. They have a a reasonable selection of produce, and any cut of met you could think of, for a ridiculously low cost.  One of my original reasons for going forward with my vegetarianism was because the cost of meat at the supermarket vs the cost of substitutive proteins.  That whole idea was debunked when i saw chicken breast for 99cents/lbs.  I could go on, but essentially buying local meat from a market or the butcher saves money and its certainly better for you just based on the fact that you can see the quality being freshly produced before your eyes.  Perdue will not be in my grilling future so long as lovely family owned places like McKinnons remain in business.

Not wanting to go on forever, my last point would be that food stamps are now accepted at the farmers market!  Where else can you get high quality farm grown cheap veg and comodities for an affordable rate?  I would urge anyone to put down the potato chips and go pick up some local spuds any day of the week.  The system can work for those less fortunate, without them ever having to pick up another can of spaghettios.  I can only hope that people explore their options and local food marts, or places like Traders, before resolving to frozen and canned because they are either unaware or its simply the easy route.  Who's with me?

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