It might sound counter intuitive, but here’s what Pollan says:
“With food, as with so may things, you get what you pay for…The American food system has for many years devoted its energies to increasing quantity and reducing price rather than improving quality. There’s no escaping the fact that better food–measured by taste or nutritional quality (which often correspond)–costs more, because is has been grown or raised less intensively and with more care. Not everyone can afford to eat well in America, which is a literal shame, but most of us can: Americans spend less than 10% of their income on food, less than the citizens of any other nation. As the cost of food in America has declined [throughout the 20th century], in terms of both price and the effort required to put it on the table, we have been eating much more (and spending more on health care). If you spend more for better food, you’ll probably eat less of it and treat it with more care…Choose quality over quantity, food experience over more calories. Or as grandmothers used to say, ‘Better to pay the grocer than the doctor.’” (99-100)
I have a friend who would be glad to share her Caribbean beans and rice recipe if anyone wants it (I regularly have the dish, and it is delicious!). She tells me “It’s cheap (beans and rice), full of fiber, and is a complete plant-based protein. Also, it’s easy to make. You can’t go wrong! People need to come to view cooking as a fun, social, communal, interactive, bonding, activity – good for the body and the soul. Turn on the music and cook!” Great advice for us all, just don’t ask me to dance…
The tips are courtesy of Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. New York: Penguin, 2009.
Happy, Healthy Eating!