"If you have some potatoes, green beans, and cauliflower, you have a heck of a dish that can feed an entire family."
--Chef Jose Andres
When I am grocery shopping and see other shoppers with carts filled with packages of red meat, I am always astounded by their total bills vs mine. How do they feed families week after week when their food bills are so high?
Years ago, when I consciously stopped eating meat because of the relationship between meat and its cardiovascular health risks to my family’s health and my desire to act to prevent heart disease, I never thought about how that decision would affect my pocket. My choice was based on looking at our family’s health issues and wanting to not develop “hardening of the arteries”, a heart attack, or Alzheimer’s.
When I shifted away from animal foods and towards eating primarily vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains, I started noticing that my food bills were much less than meat eaters. MUCH less. With a bag of lentils costing about $1.20 and making several meals and soups, I spend much less than people who eat meat every day. A $2 butternut squash, with just a few other ingredients, can make a delicious soup for 6 people.
Lentils and beans, the common denominator of the Blue Zones studied by Dan Buettner where people live very long lives, are affordable foods as well as some of the best sources of dietary fiber. Look for ways to incorporate lentils and beans, plus fruits, veggies, and whole grains, into your daily food plans and enjoy the benefits, health and financial!
With love and kindness,
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Founder and Wellness Architect