Exploring the true cost of food
Have you ever thought about the true cost of food? This is a tricky subject. For many, money is tight and the promise of “cheap” food is an easy win. For that reason, supermarkets and manufacturers are happy to oblige and there is a lot of “cheap” food on offer.
What is cheap food?
Look at this through a different lens and the idea of cheap food takes on a whole new meaning. It is only “cheap” if we ignore the longer term consequences of our purchase. What are the less obvious costs? These include: the impact on our health and that includes our mental health; the impact on intensively farmed animals; the poorly paid work and conditions for millions of food industry workers and longer term environmental damage. Like racking up debts on a credit card, there will come a pay point for our bodies and our planet.
Is artisan food more expensive?
Like many, we used to feel that artisan food equals more expensive food. We felt that cheap mass produced food was all that we could afford for the family. Now, we are learning to change our attitude to the cost of food. We believe that wholesome, ethical food represents better value for money for both people and planet. It becomes a matter of personal choice.
How to afford artisan food
There are a number of strategies we have learned to employ to keep down our overall food spend. We want to eat higher quality more ethical food. We have found that if we cut out ready made food and home delivered takeout meals and we can save money. If we drop the ready packaged lunch time sandwiches, pre-packaged ready meals and pre washed vegetables, there are more savings to be found. Drop the morning coffee on the way to work and have an extra tenner a week, forty pound a month nearly five hundred pounds a year – it all adds up!
Reduce the amount of meat you eat and its possible to choose better quality free range and grass fed varieties. Fill up your plate with delicious vegetables to keep everyone happy and hunger at bay. Move from a diet dominated by highly processed carbohydrate to one based on Plan meals and stick to a shopping list. How many times do we wander off track shopping in super markets and being enticed by those bargain red stickers? Have you ever thrown away pre-packaged salad leaves brought on a whim in a nod to healthy eating ? We’ve all done it! According to Aine Carlin writing in the Guardian last year, we throw away £178m bag of these prepared salads every year.
Cut out pop, squash, caffeine drinks, bottled water and there are more savings to be made. There are lots of helpful ways to support you making tap water your perfect drink including this refill scheme at local shops. Yesterday, we met Charlotte at our local waste not shop in Burley in Whafedale who has whole heartedly embraced the scheme!
Savings will mount up and in turn, that allows us to trade up in terms of better choices for our bodies and for the planet. Opt for better quality, ask for proof of provenance, savour the rich variety of flavours you can experience from local independent producers and most of all, really start to enjoy the taste of great quality food.
Simple although not always easy, we hope the above has given some food for thought on how to change attitudes towards the cost of food.
At Primal Cut – we believe in great tasting honest sausages and the shared pleasure that eating well can bring. Find out more here