Last November, 2010, I put up a post about "Budget Paleo" in response to an email I received. "Have tried to follow the "paleo" lifestyle thing, but having some difficulties, mostly due to budget constraints." That was a pretty popular post, racking up 205 comments from readers, most of whom seemingly finding it very doable to "paleo" on a budget. Yes, it’s time to use "paleo" as a verb, too.
Fast forwarding to my rant a week or so back, “Avoiding entire food groups is a mistake, critics say,” where there was this silly tidbit in the quoted material from Dr. Joanne Slavin, one the people behind the miserably embarrassing failure known as the USDA Dietary Guidelines, or "Food Pyramid:"
Grains are really cheap, and for the average teenage boy it would cost a fortune to do this (Paleo) diet," … "Animals are a really inefficient way to get calories, and you don’t need that much protein."
There’s really too much stupid and wrong with that to even tackle it here (see the previous post). My grandmother always said, "You can’t fix stupid," and I always tend to believe it. So, assuming unemployed teenage boys are not typically going to be buying their own food beyond the Big Gulps and Doritos one typically sees them consuming, how about in general?
Here’s what I think:
- The shopping carts you see at the supermarket being pushed by various waddlers, chock full and overflowing with crap-in-a-box, frozen processed junk, and sugar drinks in all colors of the rainbow, have less overall healthy, complete nutrition than does my 1/4 full cart of meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, and fruits.
- In terms of nutrition per calorie, my cart wins hands down and I’d wager that it also wins in cost per calorie and certainly in cost per unit of weight.
In short, this idea that paleo is necessarily expensive is simply false. And the one thing worse than a falsehood is a pernicious lie.
But why not delve more deeply and do something about this "nutritionist" canard, this pernicious lie? Sean Abbott, blogger at Prague Stepchild, has an offer out to any budget conscious paleo/primal sort to participate in a bit of an experiment to document their food expenditures over the space of a week.
…it would be nice to see a more comprehensive post somewhere, along the lines of: this is what I ate this week, this is how much I spent and here are some pictures. …
I’m offering an open challenge/invitation to anyone who wants to document their […] diet on a budget experience for a week and the winner shall receive a…
Yep, he’s even offering a prize, but you’ll have to go read the post to see what it is. I hope Sean gets enthusiastic participation, so give him a hand if you’re so inclined. Hopefully, what we’ll get out of it is a number of real life examples of people eating meat, fish, fowl, vegetables and fruits in a very nutritionally dense package, and for an amount of money that would rival or even beat the waddlers with their crap-mobiles.
And keep in mind that what’s produced will be available to all of us, to henceforth save a lot of time in attempting to counter bullshit. So Spread the Word, please.