How much do you spend on food?

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There was an opinion piece in my local paper yesterday about attitudes towards food. The journalist slammed people who bought organic and higher end goods as ‘food snobs’ and basically labelled them idiots for getting sucked in to the ‘organic trap’ along with other such claims.

This article enraged me, and I was quick to get on to the comments section of the online version to slam the author. As part of my comment, I was quick to point out that I would much rather blow money on high end, organic food and beverages than a pair of shoes, a new jacket or a book.  I wanted the journo and her followers to realise that yes, there is a difference between SPAM and Jamon prosciutto from the Italian countryside. That pink Himalayan sea salt is much healthier for you than ordinary table salt.

Food is not simply fuel. It nourishes and replenishes us. It can be a ritual, a tradition, and an experience enjoyed with family and friends. In most cultures, socialising and family time revolves around eating meals – meals that usually are prepared at home, using fresh ingredients – not heated up in the microwave and served out of packets.

Real food is exactly that – food that has grown in the earth and touched minimally by humans and machines. Food does not come in portion sizes in the frozen meal section. It is not defined by calorie and fat counts. It does not have an ingredients list as long as your arm.

The people who read this article and agreed with the author threw out every excuse in the book – fresh, organic food is too expensive. It is for food snobs who want to tell other people how and what to eat. Another popular one was that no one has time to prepare fresh meals from scratch. These attitudes absolutely enrage me. Whipping up a quick soup with fresh ingredients can be just as fast as microwaving a meal or popping open a pre-made jar of pasta sauce.

People need to get educated about food and food prices. Yes, fresh, organic and high quality produce may cost more but the benefits for the body far outweigh the negatives. Not eating fresh, healthy food means you are eating junk food, which is poorly prepared, full of trans-fats, sodium, sugar and chemicals. It doesn’t take much to get educated on the benefits of eating well. An extra dollar here or there on better quality food is not going to break the bank.