A Better Bite

Since my wife turned me on to the benefits of healthy eating over a decade ago, we’ve enjoyed a lot of fun times together cooking.  I’ve grown in awareness not merely of determining the best value from a monetary perspective at the grocery store, but now factoring that together for a larger picture of the best value for health.  I found this article very interesting, as I’ve worried as well that healthy eating – particularly organic and locavore eating habits – are at this point still a luxury for the well-heeled, as opposed to a reasonable expectation for someone on a tighter budget.  

We inherited the tradition of More With Less from Gena’s folks, and while we haven’t used it as often as we should, we’ve tried to incorporate some of the basic philosophies.  I wasn’t familiar before with the referenced book, How to Cook a Wolf, but it’s on my Amazon list out of morbid curiosity.  
Investments we’ve made to eat more healthily – and more economically in the long run – include the purchase of a good bread machine, and most recently, the purchase of an industrial-strength blender/food processor.  We no longer purchase bread (except for specialty stuff, like pita bread – which we could make for ourselves but haven’t yet), and routinely make it both for ourselves as well as gifts for friends.  For an all-natural loaf of bread, we’re spending a third less in ingredients (and electricity), as opposed to the $3.00+ that we’d pay per loaf in the store.  Additionally, we no longer purchase pizzas, but rather make our own using the dough cycle on the bread machine.  We blend up whole tomatoes (which we recently started growing, so soon we won’t have to buy those, either!) for fresh tomato sauce.  We spend half as much as we did on ordering pizza out, know that the toppings are fresh, and can put on as many as we want.  Plus, it’s a fun family activity with the kids to prepare the pizza together.
Gena blends up fruit smoothies from frozen & fresh fruit to send with me to work each morning, and the kids enjoy them as well.  The blender is powerful enough to even pulverize the seeds in blackberries, raspberries, etc. which I tend to find personally more annoying to deal with than the fruit is fun to eat.  She also incorporates raw spinach and carrots into the blend to make it healthier. 
Granted, we’ve spent some good money on some good equipment to help us do these things.  It will take a while to come out ahead on our investment, but then again, we’ve got (God willing) plenty of time ahead of us.  Plus, we like that we’re hopefully helping our kids develop some healthy eating habits and ideas, as well as an understanding that food doesn’t just magically appear on the table – it requires effort.  Whether you’re paying someone else to make that effort for you (whether in take-out, dine-in, or heavily processed & pre-prepared food items), or doing it yourself, this effort is what keeps us alive.  Why not take greater ownership?
As this article points out, making the choice to cook more and healthier is one that takes time and practice.  And it involves trade-offs when you get really serious.  While it may be economically possible to eat more organically and locally, it still requires an investment of time that may be more formidable to many folks than the expense.  But like anything, the more you do it, the less of a hassle it becomes.  And it does provide a great opportunity to spend time together as a couple or a family.  
I tend to think more and more that this will be the new measure of wealth in the future – time, rather than money.  

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