Many of us have the intention of eating healthy, but have a hard time affording it. After all, nutritious food really does come at a price.
In fact, scholars at the Harvard School of Public Health found that the healthiest diets cost $1.50 more per diets than unhealthy eating. Upon first glance, that might not sound like much, but if you add it up, that’s about $550 a year, which can be difficult for the millions of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck or relying on food stamps.
And with 47 million food stamp recipients hit by a $5 billion cut last November, eating a nutritious meal might not even be an option if the only thing that’s affordable are the nutritionally-void options from McDonalds.
That’s why Leanne Brown, a food-studies scholar and home cook, put out a cookbook for those who can’t afford to eat healthy. As TreeHugger reports, for her capstone project for a master’s degree at New York University (NYU), Brown created her own 130-page cookbook, Good and Cheap, that’s filled with recipes for people on limited budgets — those who rely on government assistance.
“It bothered me that so many ideas for fixing the food system leave out the poor: it seemed like they didn’t have a voice in the food movement,” she says. “I wanted to create a resource that would promote the joy of cooking and show just how delicious and inspiring a cheap meal can be if you cook it yourself.”
And it’s not just peanut butter and jelly sandwich recipes in the cookbook. For $4 a day, one can whip up elaborate meals such as spicy pulled pork sandwiches, peanut sauce noodles with broccoli and smoked tofu, asparagus pizza, and even chase it with homemade horchata.
If you’re interested in whipping up your own Good and Cheap eats, Brown’s entire book of recipes is already available to download for free (nearly 100,000 people have downloaded a draft version, she says). As she writes in her successfully funded Kickstarter campaign, the reason she put out a printed copy of her book is to allow access to people who don’t have computers.
Good food, as this socially-conscious foodie proves, doesn’t have to be expensive.