15 September 2008

food spending

I know lots of people who read my blog are somehow affiliated with BC or the BHB, so you'll know what I mean when I talk about the now-infamous high fructose corn syrup commercial. On MDU, I read some comments about moms saying that they couldn't afford organic/healthy foods that don't contain HFCS or food dyes.

Now, in Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food" (I know, again with that book), he compares the average grocery spending of Americans versus Europeans. Here's the quote:

Compared to the 9.9 percent of their income Americans spend on food, the
Italians spend 14.9 percent, the French 14.9 percent, and the Spanish 17.1

So, imagine you spend 100.00 a week on groceries for your family of four, which is tight. If that were roughly 10% of your take home pay, you'd make 52,000 a year. (Yay, math!) If you were to increase your budget to 15%, to match up with the French (sorry, Republicans. You can match up with the Italians.), your weekly grocery budget would be 150.00. Easy, I know. What would you do with 50 extra dollars per week? You could buy organic ketchup, organic apples, and Van's waffles.

Now why would I, the self-proclaimed frugalista, be encouraging people to spend MORE on groceries? The reason is that I truly feel that food is fuel, and there is obviously something terribly wrong with the way our country eats. And if you knew that the extra 50 dollars a week would decrease your, your spouse's and your children's risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, wouldn't it become priceless?

I'm really encouraging you, and me too- for I am guilty of this as well- to redistribute our spending. I think there must be other places that this money could come from, to make up for the good food.

I was going to write more, but this is getting really long, and if I start getting long winded and preachy and boring, you guys won't read my blog anymore.


manda said...

I have this convo with my family all the time...They hate the fact that I buy as much organic as I can! You said it best when you said avoid stroke etc

Anonymous said...

I could not have said this any better.

well wrote and obviously I agree.