Lisa Wehr's Public Health Blog

Lisa is originally from Sigourney, Iowa. She attended Iowa State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Music in 2010. She is currently a first year Master’s of Public Health (MPH) student in community and behavioral health (CBH). Lisa works on the medicine-psychiatry unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). Through this blog Lisa hopes to let people learn about the CBH department.

This student blog is unedited and does not necessarily reflect the views of the College of Public Health or the University of Iowa.

07 October 2011

Cheap Food

When we discuss the challenges of healthy eating one popular argument is the high cost of healthy foods. Recently I came across this article by a dietitian with a meal plan to eat healthy for one week for $36 (for one person). That works out to just over $5/day, or about the cost of a single McDonalds combo meal. Take a look at the article, meal plan, and shopping list and see what you think. Does this seem like a viable solution? One thing that could be an issue would be prep time and knowledge.

As an aside regarding homemade vs fast food check out this article. I think my favorite argument is the one regarding the time cost of fast-food:
Others will argue that the McDonald’s version is more “convenient.” This is nonsense; in the time it takes to go into a McDonald’s, stand in line, order, wait, pay and leave, you could make oatmeal for four while taking your vitamins, brushing your teeth and half-unloading the dishwasher. (If you’re too busy to eat it before you leave the house, you could throw it in a container and microwave it at work.
The original article on cheap healthy eating also doesn't address food deserts. (Speaking of which did you know that the Economic Research Service within the USDA actually has an interactive map of food deserts in the United States. Cool, huh?)

 I don't think there will ever be a simple "one-option" solution to better nutrition for everyone. However I do think that ideas and articles like this one, which offer alternatives to common arguments and get us thinking outside the salad bowl are a good start.

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