No time to buy real food? No time to cook? Can’t afford a farmers’ market or don’t think the generally higher prices are worth it?
To those with these reservations, we ask you to conduct an experiment comparing the costs of not cooking with cooking. How much time and gasoline and money do you spend when you go to a restaurant to eat there or to order take-out, or go to a grocery for take-out?
How many miles and how much time do you take to drive to a restaurant, find a parking place, wait for a table or wait in line to order, then wait for the food, then eat and then wait for the check if you’re eating in and didn’t pay in the ordering line, and then go to your car and drive home?
And how much restaurant or take-out food is too large a serving to eat, but you eat it anyway, or you leave it as waste, or take it home and maybe eat it or maybe not?
Run all these numbers for a couple of weeks or a month, and add them up.
Then spend a couple of weeks or a month buying real food from local farmers or at the grocery store, which you wouldn’t be doing daily but probably weekly or bi-weekly. Then add up the miles and time and money this takes, plus the time you spend cooking, and compare these numbers with the numbers of miles, time, and money spent not cooking.
And keep in mind that good cooking can be, and often is, the simplest, quickest cooking. The quality of the ingredients is the most important thing. So keep it simple, and use weekends to prepare certain foods that will be the basis of several meals for the coming week
Most people who try this comparative experiment will likely find that buying real food and cooking it and eating at home is much more economical in every way than eating out. More important, it is also way more tasty, nutritious, and pleasurable – key ingredients of good health, both physical and mental.