What’s for dinner?

Our grocery bill was $113 today. I think it was right around $100 last week. We shop every Sunday, so this is a weekly expense we’re talking about. For just the two of us. BUT, that covers lunches for both of us all week and dinners all week. We usually eat out once (sometimes twice) on the weekends, but we never go out to eat during the week. Anyway, this cost sounds pretty high and it seems to continue to go up. (Just to be fair, a lot of what we bought today was not food, but toiletries and other household items)

But here’s the thing: good food is expensive. And that’s all I’m buying these days. Good food. Real food. The kind of stuff my great-grandmother would recognize as food. Yes, I got that from Michael Pollan. I’ve been reading his book, “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto”, and I’ve learned so much. The most important thing I think I’ve learned is that Americans don’t eat real food anymore. As Pollan puts it, we eat a lot of “edible, food-like substances.” So I’m ready to change that, and have for the most part over the last several months. The hardest part is getting my husband on board with this radical idea (he’s come a long way though). Seriously, the idea that this kind of thinking is radical is itself a little bit scary to me. We’ve gotten so far away from eating real, whole foods, that the idea of going back to that is radical to some. Crazy.

Back to the cost. Because that’s what I think most people have a problem with, and it can be prohibitive. Honestly, paying more for good food doesn’t bother me. The way I see it, I can pay more now for good, fresh food, or I can pay later at the doctor’s office when I’m sick from all of the non-food I’ve consumed over the years. According to Pollan, Americans spend only 9.9% of their income on food, while Italians spend 14.9%, French spend 14.9%, and the Spanish spend 17.1%. Being that food is one of the few real necessities in life, I think it’s only logical and appropriate that we spend a decent amount of our incomes on it. This is one instance in which cheaper definitely doesn’t equal better.

Anyway, that’s my spiel for today. I’ll probably be writing a lot more on this subject though because it has really captured my attention, and I think we as a country can do much, much better in this area.