The answer is NO.
The “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes. I frequently read confident statements like, “when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli …” or “it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home.”
this bullshit fills me with a very specific kind of rage. so, TIME TO DEBUNK!
- that meal from mcdonalds takes virtually no time to acquire AND is available almost anywhere.
- the second meal? that “salad” is lettuce … with nothing else, not even dressing unless its just olive oil or some milk i guess? gross.
- also thats the price of each serving, not an entire loaf of bread, a bottle of olive oil, etc. that stuff adds up which means you have to have a lot of money at one time to buy it all.
- that meal probably took an hour and a half to make, which is a long fucking time when you work multiple jobs or are caring for a lot of people or dont have help! seriously, if you are a single parent of three who works, is spending an hour and a half every night preparing a meal a likely option?
- same with beans and rice! also, you know whats a fucking bummer? eating beans and rice every night because you are poor. ask any person who has done it and they will tell you (you can start with me).
- there is a “nutrition” argument here that lacks a follow up: poor people are more likely to be doing physical labor and need more than 571 calories per meal.
- you know who is less likely to know how to bake or prepare a chicken? people without access to the internet, or libraries, or who werent taught how to by their parents because their parents worked all the time. access to healthy foods is a classist issue and classism is cyclical, you fucking morons.
- seriously, these sorts of infographics make me want to fucking flip tables. do you know why people don’t eat more fresh fruits and vegetables? because fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive, because they take a long time to prepare, because they dont live near a grocery store that has a decent produce section, because they dont have reliable transportation to get groceries to and from the grocery store, because they dont have the energy to plan all of the shit that is involved in making healthy, intentional, filling, balanced meals. basically: poor people get fucked, and then we get BLAMED for being lazy.
- eating “healthy”, aka access to fresh fruits and vegetables, is a privilege, first, foremost, always. so fuck you new york times and your ignorant goddamn infographic.
- there are SYSTEMATIC REASONS that we do not have equal access to fresh fruits and vegetables. they are very REAL problems. besides, you know, systematic poverty in america, the total mis-distribution of farm subsidies is a perfect place to start. read about that, then either get bent or start working on the actual problem.
I was feeling pissy so I’m going add to what alithea said
- Fresh food spoils super fast! Especially if you don’t have reliable electricity! You know what’s shitty? Spending a big chunk of your food money on some chicken or fish (because god knows that’s healthier and that’s what’s most important!!!) and then having your power cut off because you couldn’t pay your bill and having it spoil right tehre in your fridge!!! Not to mention the fact that if you’re working or get called in to another shift or anything at all comes up and that hour of free time you gave yourself to cook gets snatched from you, (which happens a lot) you’re food’s going to spoil and you’re out 20 bucks you don’t have!!!
- Quality food is harder to find in poor areas!!! I highly doubt the person who wrote this bullshit has ever been shopping at a market in a low income area, because i can guarantee you wont find a lovely giant chicken, a clean large head of lettuce and giant fucking potatoes there, especially not all at once. If you’re in a low income area, even the rare grocery stores available don’t have as high quality food as places in the suburbs or urban areas. Try buying fruit at a walmart in the poor parts of texas, you’ll get maybe a dozen good pieces out of the whole crate, and so you better be there right when the come in or they’ll be picked over and bruised by the time you get there!
- Very few low income families are eating mcdonalds every night anyways!!!! I remember when my family hit hard financial times (which, by the way wasn’t because we were “lazy fat poor folks begging for handouts” like this bullshit article implies! it’s because we ran away from my abusive father who held financial control over us!) We ate canned food every night, separate to accommodate all our different work and school schedules and the one time a week we did get together we didn’t want to cook, clean and shop a bunch just to have a good filling meal!