Yogi diet: You spend less on food than most people — think that’s good?

A few bits of learning we’ve encountered on our yogi diet journey:

Americans spend less on food than any other country. Here’s a chart from a Mother Jones article earlier this year:

Via Mother Jones

Now, it obviously helps that on that chart the average household spending in America is the highest; but still, on average we spend just 6% on food?

The other thing is that government subsidies are a central reason why some foods cost so little compared to others. Ever wonder why the hamburger at a fast food restaurant costs a buck while a salad (and a pretty lame one at that) might be $3.29? Subsidies.

Monday, I came across a story from NPR that breaks down how American spending in grocery stores has changed during the past 30 years. The nutgraf:

We now spend a much bigger share of our grocery money on processed foods, which includes things like frozen dinners, canned soups and snacks. We spend much less on meat, largely because meat is much cheaper than it was 30 years ago.

(Note: See the link on “subsidies” for why meat is cheaper.)

The NPR story also has its own fancy charts, such as this one:

What should jump out at you there is the rise in processed foods and sweets. Those are the types of foods we are now avoiding (and by extension, are encouraging you to avoid).

The problem is, the foods we should be eating cost more. Admit it, you’ve walked into a Whole Foods or similar “healthy” store and walked out wondering how your bill topped $100.

Well, our message today is: That’s OK. It means your spending on food is probably more in line with the rest of the world’s.

After all, do you really want to be eating cheap food? That’s certainly not ahimsa toward yourself, is it?

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

5 thoughts on “Yogi diet: You spend less on food than most people — think that’s good?”

  1. Most people won’t ever dare putting the wrong kind of fuel in their car because they fear the consequences. Amazingly, the body keeps on running pretty okay even if you put the wrong kind of fuel in it for YEARS.
    And then, surprise, surprise, the machine that is our body stops running. But hey, some pills might fix it and we just keep on going as before!
    Thanks for your post!

  2. I’ve always agreed with this conclusion about spending more on quality food (not only as an investment in health and well-being, but because — you know — life is too short for Hot Pockets). But your infographics and stats really drove home the point.

    On another note, the wheat fast is now into its 11th day and I feel really awesome! I didn’t realize how mindlessly I consumed wheat-based snacks. This has been more of a consciousness-raising exercise than anything, forcing me to increase my consumption of lean proteins, fruits and veggies.

    Rock on.

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