You can eat healthy, even as food costs rise and the economy tanks.
We’ve all felt the pinch. Rising transportation costs, the falling dollar and weather changes that affect crop production have converged to increase food costs. We can reduce food bills and enhance meals’ flavor, variety and nutritional value by making small changes in how we buy, prepare and serve food.
Eat more home-cooked meals. The average restaurant meal costs three times more than cooking at home, Marion Nestle writes in What to Eat (North Point Press, 2006).
• Say no to meat a few times a week. Animal products, specifically meat, are among the costliest foods for American shoppers. Serving less-expensive forms of protein such as tofu and legumes can mean substantial savings. Plus, you’ll broaden your cooking repertoire.
• Upgrade your produce. Pay attention to what’s in season and try it. In-season produce is less expensive than out-of-season treats, and is more likely to have been grown locally, so it’s fresher and contains more nutrients.
• Cook ahead and cook extra. Professional chefs precook many ingredients, saving time and effort later. Precook chopped onions and peppers to give meals a flavor boost throughout the week. Leftover greens such as kale and spinach make delicious additions to omelettes.
Leslie McGrath Taylor is a Connecticut-based poet and holistic health counselor who helps people improve their health through lifestyle shifts and good nutrition.
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