What the World Eats." This book follows 30 families in 24 different countries and how they eat. It shows how much a week of groceries is for each family. It shows the ratio of obesity to how many McDonald's are in the area. It shows how affluence affects the way we eat. I love this book.
We are affected by what we see in our culture. Our expectations are shaped by what we see and hear. For instance, breakfast. I am talking so much about breakfast because it is a goal of mine to reduce how much I am spending on cold cereal this year. I am using my basic "food storage" recipes to replace my cold cereal.
In "What the World Eats" they talk about breakfast in America. We generally eat prepared foods that have been purchased at the grocery store. The foods often have added sugar, fats, chemicals, and artificial ingredients. We eat until we are full.
Then they compare Chad, Africa. There are no boxes of cereal and no cartons of milk. Breakfast is always the same, a pudding like porridge, aiysh and a thin okra soup. Before they eat, they must gather the wood for a fire to cook the food, retrieve water from a distant well, pound the millet by hand, and gather the vegetables from the garden. Their breakfast, ironically, is more nutritious.
I think there must be a happy medium between these two examples. Spending more time preparing our own food, and reducing our expenses while making more nutritious food for our family. We are blessed with refrigerators and freezers to preserve food at our convenience so we don't have to work so much before every meal like the people in Chad.
Beyond breakfast, I am also cutting costs in other areas of my cooking. I made a big pot of black beans this week. Beans take a lot of time to cook, but not a lot of attention. My recipe made the equivalent of 8 cans of black beans. So, making 8 cans at home costs $2.00. Buying 8 cans of beans at the grocery store is about $8.00. If my family eats 4 cans a month of beans for the year, making them at home would cost $12.00 for the year. Buying them at the store would cost $48.00. This is a savings of $36.00. This is not as extreme as the cold cereal savings, but if you add my cold cereal savings and my bean savings, the total for a whole year would be $792.00! Food Storage is about cooking with basic foods. This naturally saves money because we are not purchasing all the prepared foods at the store. It is also so much healthier for our families!