Thursday, April 18, 2013
We've all heard the health arguments for avoiding processed foods. Well, last night another one occurred to me. Money! When you buy processed foods, you buy both the food AND the process. Buying the basic ingredients and preparing them yourself, even simply, is so much cheaper. And healthier AND better-tasting.
An example: yesterday was my last workday before a five-day mini vacation. When I got home I briefly considered phoning out for a pizza to "celebrate." Health and nutrition considerations aside, for the cost of that pizza I could order another cookbook for my collection. I have a ton of food in the house -- there's no need to order anything else. I made soup and cheese toasts for supper and this morning I ordered my copy of Alex Guarnaschelli's new cookbook. She's probably my favorite Chopped judge, I actually partied when she won Next Iron Chef last year. Besides (and this may sound corny), it was a tiny way I could give something back to her for all the enjoyment I have watching her, by figuratively putting a few coins in her pocket by buying the book. Besides, the pizza would be gone in a minute or two but I'll have the book forever.
I'm not going to tell you it's easy. Occasionally I get a wild craving for pizza or a burger, and I'm working to find healthy and inexpensive ways to enjoy those foods (and I'm sorry, but Lean Cuisine or Smart Ones pizza just doesn't make it). I'm tossing my phone-out menus. I'm thinking up much better things to spend that same money on while enjoying healthier, tastier, economical food.