Personal Finance Challenge #30: On Being Food Poor

Food is the great key to civilization and one can argue that everything a nation becomes is based on it’s food.

We are what we eat. It is pretty simple overall, but complex to understand in the details.

There are so many ways to be food poor it can almost make you dizzy just thinking about it.

The thing about food is that you need some of it every single day. One could argue that a human can go a long time without food before dying (as compared to a few days without water, and a few minutes without air), but no one can argue that the quality of your life will be very poor if you go days without food on a regular basis.

Perhaps in the U.S. one could argue that we can never be food poor because we have so much food that we throw tons of it away every year. Yet we are food poor in another way. The food we eat is so nutrient lacking and calorie laden that is makes us poorer in health every year we continue to eat it. The so called diseases of modern civilization (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.) creep up on nearly everyone over the years without them realizing it.

“Cheap” food now (fast food, boxed food, processed food, etc.) is costing us ten times over in health costs later.

So being food rich isn’t about eating cheaper foods. It is about eating better foods. It is about investing now while you are still healthy so that you will continue to be healthy in your golden years.

There is a lot of propaganda and misinformation surrounding the topic of food, so the first thing you need to invest in is time and money to become educated about the facts. And honestly, it is mostly about investing your time into research.

You also have to start applying the things you discover in your own life and see what actually works for you and your family. There really is no one size fits all way to eat. Some options are healthier then others for nearly everyone, but examples abound of things that some people can eat while others can’t. For example, some people do fine with gluten (grain protein) and lactose (milk sugar), but others are intolerant to it and those two things destroy their health. But as far as I can tell, everyone can benefit from eating more spinach.

As far as spending on food goes, I am not recommending you go and spend double what you normally spend on food by buying all organic stuff. I actually have some other things in mind for you, if you want to lower your monthly food expenses…

  1. Practice Good Food Storage – “Store what you eat, eat what you store.” That means store things you actually are willing to eat. Storing food allows you to take advantage of sales and bulk pricing. Keep meats in a freezer in your basement. Learn how to ferment food. Some of the old traditions of storing food have been lost, and making them a part of your eating can be hugely beneficial for you and your family.
  2. Learn To Cook Better – The higher your ability to cook, the more able you are to take any type of food made available to you. You can practice eating things that are in season, which is when they normally are the cheapest. Make good use of your herbs and spices. A pinch of this or that can drastically change a meal. Attempt to do things like make cheese at home (which is surprisingly easy) and learn the chemistry behind cooking.
  3. Grow Your Own – The best thing you can do is start your own little herb garden. Simply because herbs are some of the most expensive things you can buy in a store, but they are so cheap to grow. And fresh herbs add so much to a dish. If you have the space and the desire, try growing a more sizable garden of the more expensive vegetables you regularly eat. And for those that really want to get into this, you should consider having 2-3 chickens around for their eggs.

That is just three of one hundred ways you can save money on the food you eat everyday. Do a google search and you will find a whole bunch of other ways to both save money on food and eat healthier so you won’t have to face huge medical costs down the road.

Do just a couple of these things and you will be well on your way to becoming food rich!

This is our 30th challenge in The Personal Finance Challenge Series…

Comments

  1. Stop eating out or restrict the no. of times you eat out. That brings your food expenses down considerably. After that any changes you make are just the proverbial pennies. Might as well splurge and spend your time finding good investment choices.