Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How To Shop Organic For About $50 A Week (Two Week Series)

Situation every time a particular person comes over my place:
"You don't have any food."
"Yes I do."
"No you don't."::proceeds to order takeout::
 Next day Olvida makes tomato lentil soup, caramelized plantains, biscuits and mini apple pie with same food she apparently didn't have.

Food. The natural bringer of energy, nutrition and good times. According to Gallup, a relatively recent poll taken found that Americans spend $151 a week on food.  That's $604, a month (almost my rent). $7,248 a year (a decent used car). 

What. The. Hell. 

Honestly, I was thoroughly convinced the number couldn't be accurate. Especially, since I had just come from the grocery store and spent less than $100 on enough organic food to last me two weeks. I mean what are these people doing, cashing in on the biscuits and gravy at Golden Corral? Are they trying to earn more Dominoes rewards points (yes America you are rewarded for eating pizza)? Honestly, in terms of how much of that "food" was actually takeout, the survey doesn't say much outside of the statement "large majority report that they ate at home rather than at restaurants 'last night". So the question is: why are Americans spending so much on food? Take out? Laziness? Time? Lack of knowledge? 

With that, I've been inspired to share a little bit of my knowledge about food for the next couple of weeks. Here is my theory. Now-a-days, food is not many people's priority. For many people, food has no other purpose than getting rid of that annoying feeling coming from our stomachs. We make excuses like "I don't have time," and then sit down and watch a Scandal marathon or hit up Facebook. We buy pre-prepped food Choc-Full-O-Preservatives and tell ourselves it's better than takeout. We buy takeout because we think we can't cook. Or sometimes we only like to cook when people are around.

Or if you're like me you're a dirty, lazy bastard. You hate doing dishes, even though you have a dishwasher (my prime excuse for not cooking). You dump all your freshly laundered clothing on your bed and leave it there.  Or the floor. For a week. And then you pick your outfits from the pile of clean (?) clothing until the next laundry day...or when you have a guest...and then you stuff the rest in the closet. 

If you're not like me, congratulations. You are likely a functional member of society.

 All of these mindsets are a shame because -speaking from experience- your diet alone can make or break your health.

 I've always been interested in food and have worked in different aspects of the food industry since I was 16. This is the knowledge I've garnered from observing the average single, non foodie:

Schedule: We wake up. buy coffee, tea, or soda. Don't eat breakfast or grab a bagel (NY), or donut/ food truck food (LA). Eat lunch out (or sometimes forget to eat lunch). We head home; we are tired but starving. We purchase takeout, pre-prepped meal, eat a "just add meat or vegetables" meal or grab takeout. 

It's no wonder folks are broke.

The next two weeks are for the above people. I will show you how to not only shop well but how to eat pretty darn decent using all organic ingredients for about $50 per week. Proper food shopping isn't just crunching numbers to see what you can get the cheapest. It's strategy. While I've worked in the food business, I'm not a chef...okay I was a pastry chef but cooking food is COMPLETELY different from baking. What little cooking skills I have were acquired from watching my chefs, my grandmother, Food Network's "Chopped" and doing lots of experiments. In short, I'm a lot like you guys...minus the laundry. So check in tomorrow to see what inexpensive, easy, fast, organic nom noms I have cooking up! But if you eat it, you're doing the doing the dishes.

I still find the number hard to beliebve. What are all you guys spending per month or week on groceries?


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