False Choices

Too often these days it is argued that folks are forced to buy unhealthy processed food because they can’t afford fresh produce.  In the film Food, Inc., for example, a family is shown buying fast food because they couldn’t afford fresh produce.  But that is a false choice.  Organic veggies from the farmers’ market may appear to be more expensive than a meal at McDonalds, but it’s not as if those are the only two options available.

For example, it’s OK to buy frozen vegetables.  In fact, buying frozen vegetables is a much better option than buying processed food.  We freeze lots of produce from our farm and enjoy it all winter.  Sure, locally grown fresh veggies are better than supermarket frozen veggies, but those aren’t always available and sometimes the budget might not permit buying them.  And supermarket frozen veggies are often superior in quality to the supposedly “fresh” veggies sold there.  Check out this article in Mother Jones for more on the advantages of frozen foods. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/09/benefit-of-frozen-foods

It’s just crazy to conclude that if fresh organic veggies aren’t available, then fast food or processed junk is the only other option.  Beans and rice are another very healthy, very tasty and very inexpensive food option.  It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to eat well.

One very sensible way to reduce the amount you spend on food is to grow as much of your own food as you can.  Folks can grow an enormous amount of delicious nutritious food in their backyards, for example, and in their spare time.  You don’t need a farm and gardening need not consume huge amounts of time.

Of course it makes good sense to try to buy from local sustainable farmers whatever food you can’t grow for yourself.

But when circumstances make that impossible, the alternative is not fast food.  Frozen veggies are just fine.