Sunday, December 12, 2010

Eating Healthfully on a Small Budget: Part 2

Let me start off by saying that when I first posted "Eating Healthfully on a Small Budget", I knew I would get lots of well written, thoughtful and thought-provoking comments. For that, I want to thank you and hope they keep coming after you read this post.

To address one question, reader Gettinghealthy asked:
I'm curious if you had a choice between buying fruit or veggies that weren't organic, is that better than not buying any at all?
My answer is an unequivocal YES. Frozen veggies are a wonderful and great value option and even canned veggies are better than none at all. The Daily Green has two great lists, one called "The Dirty Dozen" which lists which produce is best if organic, the other called "The Clean 15: Foods You Don't Have to Buy Organic." No matter which you choose, there is no doubt that fruit and vegetables play a vitally important role in a healthy lifestyle.

That brings me to my next point. If you have not seen the documentary Food Matters yet, please do. If you are a Netflix customer, you can watch it for free right on their website. Rob and I watched it recently, and while many of the points are considered radical by fans of the AMA, much of the content is so simple, makes so much sense that if your health is a top priority or want to take better control of your health, it is a must watch.

What does this have to do with my original post. Well, while watching I could hear the chorus of "But it's too expensive to eat healthy!" And while it's a complicated issue and I know that there are people in some inner cities that only have convenience stores to buy food at, but what about the rest of us?

Where does your health fall in your list of priorities, especially when it comes to spending money? When one thinks about all the stuff we buy after we pay for the roofs over our heads and keeping the place lighted and warm and keeping the cars safe and running...

Cable, Internet, DVDs, music downloads, game consoles and all the accessories and games that come with them, perfume, nail polish, manicures and pedicures, haircuts, mobile phones and the data plans keep them working, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, cigarettes (if you are a smoker), clothing and shoe trends, vacations, restaurant meals, supplements, over the counter and prescription medications, kitchen/electronic gadgets, toys, Starbucks and the like, lawn maintenance, non-essential food treats/gourmet goodies, books, magazines, movie theater, concerts, sporting events, Netflix, home accessories, chachkis... the list of things to consume is virtually endless.

Where does health/healthful eating fall on your list? For our part, pretty close to the top, in fact, if I gave up juicing, I'd be able to buy a top of the line Droid phone and the fancy data plan to go with it. But it is not a necessity for me but getting my freshly pressed juice into us most definitely is.
There is a difference between those two temporal blessings, health and money: Money is the most envied, but the least enjoyed; health is the most enjoyed, the the least envied: and this superiority of the latter is still more obvious when we reflect that the poorest man would not part with health for money, but that the richest wold gladly part with all their money for health. ~Colton

Please take a moment to have a look at this must read article at Is Organic Food Really Worth the Extra Cost?


  1. We've just been through this budget at our house, in fact. We needed to free up some money for a few unexpected expenses, so we cancelled cable, streamlined the cell-phones, quit eating in restaurants, and cut down the thermostat. The grocery money was never, ever up for cutting. Fresh veggies from the farmer's market and everything else as organic and local as possible--it's a huge priority for our household.

  2. It really is all about priorities. For me, a smart phone isn't one, so I don't have one. For my husband it is, and so he does. We canceled cable in March and have been happy with that choice. And this is the year of the blanket in my house where the thermostat is set at 60. But we eat quite -- not as well as those of you who juice, but pretty well. Sadly, the veggies have been harder these past few weeks. I miss my CSA sooooooooo much!