Junk food is not actually cheaper than real food, the New York Times’s Mark Bittman argues. He’s seeking to combat the common notion that one reason people eat so much junk food, and are therefore overweight and in danger of health problems including high blood pressure and diabetes, is because “a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli”; because it’s cheaper to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to make them a home-cooked meal. Actually, says Bittman, it’s hyperprocessed food” that remains more expensive than food cooked at home and “the fact is that most people can afford real food.”
Bittman finds that a “typical order” for a family of four at the Golden Arches costs $28: two Big Macs, a cheeseburger, six chicken McNuggets, two medium and two small fries, and two medium and two small sodas. In contrast, for half the price, you can roast a chicken with vegetables and also have a salad and milk. For even less ($9), “substitute a meal of rice and canned beans with bacon, green peppers and onions.” So why do people keep giving their money to McDonalds, Taco Bell and the like?
Photo by Tavallai
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