After 12+ years travel I cannot help but to notice a pattern that extends over the fertile world: meat, vegetables, fruits, and starches are THE cheapest foods that anybody can buy. It is a good thing that these are the foods that people need to maintain health. Outside of Mongolia, Iceland, or other countries with [...]
After 12+ years travel I cannot help but to notice a pattern that extends over the fertile world: meat, vegetables, fruits, and starches are THE cheapest foods that anybody can buy. It is a good thing that these are the foods that people need to maintain health.
Outside of Mongolia, Iceland, or other countries with infertile soils or extreme climates, meat can be had for a dollar or two a pound, five dollars can get you a week’s supply of vegetables, local fruits are almost too cheap to mention the price of, and starches — rice, pasta, couscous — sells for no more than $1 a pound anywhere in the world.
Healthy food is cheap food.
Even in the United States of America or Europe, if you have the means to cook for yourself, a solid meal can be had for a just a couple dollars per person. Basic foods — meat, local fruits and vegetables, and starches — are cheap everywhere.
Ounce per ounce, healthy food is cheaper than even the lowest quality, cheap-o junk food. Given this, it really blows my mind when I hear people defend poor eating habits and obesity by saying they don’t have enough money to eat healthy.
“A Big Mac is cheaper than vegetables,” is often touted in the United States. I find this to be in gross noncompliance with facts. This simply is not true — anywhere in the world. A Big Mac goes for around $3, I believe in the USA. This is just a portion of one meal for one person. $3 of fresh carrots, broccoli, tomatoes or other local vegetable can take care of this health requirement for a single person for multiple days. If I remember correctly, a pound of carrots sell for around $1.50 in the USA, and the same goes for many other vegetables. — and this price is even less if you buy from the reduced produce table.
If you don’t believe me, march to the grocery store with $40. With twenty of those dollars buy a family pack of chicken thighs, some beef, a few pounds of vegetables, a bag of fruit, and a couple pounds of rice or noodles. With the other $20 buy processed food or fast food. Compare the quantity of each. I guarantee you that the first pile will have more food in it, and this fresh food is far healthier.
Financial restrictions are no reason to not eat healthy.
There is no cheaper foods ANYWHERE in the world than meat, vegetables, fruit, and starch.
It is cheap to eat healthy.
About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. VBJ has written 3657 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
VBJ is currently in: Astoria, New York
December 25, 2011, 5:46 pm
definitely!…good article(is that what it’s called?)…….i wish more people would realize this….you see folks with three kids in line at the store with a cart piled up with “hot-pockets” and pop tarts and dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and it’s like damn….your payin a rediculous amount of money so your kid can look at the skateboarding dinosaur on the box and maybe do a maze on the back or somethin……
December 29, 2011, 8:22 am
Would it be possible at some point to have a list of recipes using healthy and inexpensive ingredients that you and your family prepare while traveling? Even maybe some recipes that can me made without too much difficulty using an alcohol stove. I think that might make a very useful addition to your site.
BTW, been reading for years now. Keep up the great work.
December 29, 2011, 5:19 pm
The meals may seem simple to you, but for many of us who were practically raised eating food out of boxes and cans it’s not so easy. I know many people fall into the trap of eating prepackaged food or eating out at restaurants not just because they are lazy but also because they really don’t know how or what to cook for themselves. I am one of them. But I think that if you had a list of simple recipes that can be made without too much trouble while traveling I think that would be extremely beneficial for many people. Just some thoughts for your consumption.
Also, I’m fascinated with the alcohol stove. If you know of any dishes that work well with it I’d love to hear them.
Anyway, thanks and I look forward to your recipes.
January 14, 2012, 5:44 am
Definitely concur! As a vegan, minimalist nomad in Asia, I made it my business to find non-chemicalized, fresh produce as a prime directive of my travels.
If I may be allowed a plug to answer one of the earlier comments, I even created a new genre of healthy nomad cuisine that ChinaTravel.net and HappyCow.net both featured on their sites. It’s called “The Coffeepot Cookbook: A Fun, yet Functional and Feasible Traveler’s Guide to Preparing Healthy, Happy Meals on the Go Using Nothing but a Hotel Coffeepot…. and a Little Ingenuity”
In addition to your own forthcoming carnivores recipe guide :-), I’m sure some of your more fanatically frugal and flesh-fleeing readers might benefit!
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