Wednesday, July 05, 2006

…plus, it’s cheaper

Don’t you just love how I respond to emails I get from various sources on my blog? Ahem. Anyway. Now that we’re on Wave 2 of the Sonoma Diet, the weight loss has slowed; so they’ve helpfully sent along some hints to help crank it back up. Eating more ‘Tier I’ vegetables (which are along the lines of celery – takes more calories to chop, dice, and consume than you get from said consumption), blah blah blah.

Then they threw out this: Lastly, buy real, whole foods instead of packaged stuff. That way, you eliminate the chance of consuming hydrogenated fats, additives, and refined grains.

Yes, and! It’s usually cheaper! Amazing, isn’t it? Bundled with the convenience is often a healthy dose of preservatives, hydrogenated fats, salts and other ‘!SURPRISE!’ things, for which you pay a hefty premium!

A single apple out of the bin costs maybe a quarter. One quarter of one apple, sliced and dusted with salts to prevent browning in the bag, will run you $0.75 to a buck.

This, to me, is pretty simple math. I can buy a single apple, slice it up and give it a touch of lemon juice to keep it from turning "icky colored" and put it into my kid's lunchbox. Yes, they want fancy packaging. Tough. (OK, I confess: I've been known to adorn the baggie with stickers. Any port in a storm, friends...)

I’ve been reading labels a lot more than usual lately; I think the thing that surprised me the most was bread. When I make bread from scratch, it contains mostly unbleached white flour, some whole grain flour, yeast, a sugar of some type (granulated, honey, molasses – something for the yeast to munch on), salt and water or milk.

That’s it. Five ingredients. All of them things easily recognizable by most humans. Shoot, I think if my ancestors were to drop in from 1200 B.C., they’d recognize what I’m putting into my bread (except the yeast, which I long ago stopped making myself – Red Star from Costco is cheaper, faster, and more reliable; the taste is very different from ‘wild yeast’, but then again I don’t have a bubbling cauldron on my counter all the time being washed out by my mother who thinks I’ve just forgotten about it and let it go bad even though I’ve told her at least six million times that it’s my WILD YEAST which took me FOUR MONTHS to get to bubble ‘just right’…but I digress…)

Read the label on your bread sometime. Holy carp. Forty ingredients, and I only recognize about six of them. Sure, my homemade bread will spoil faster than Wonder Bread (blech)…but it seldom hangs around long enough for that to happen.

And after you’ve read the labels, check the prices. Amazingly, sometimes…healthier food is cheaper.

1 comment:

21st Century Mom said...

My favorite convenience food of all time are those shrink wrapped potatoes called Potatohs! - Microwave Ready! Because it takes so much time to poke a couple holes in a 'tater and wrap it in Saran Wrap. Riiiiiight....

Where do you find the time to make bread, though? Honestly.