An unintended consequence of financial hardship is that it forces you to re-think a lot of your habits and expenditures. You simply can’t afford unnecessary crap. There’s always pain in letting things go, but freeing yourself of the trivial can have a liberating effect once you’ve gotten through the withdrawal process.
The withdrawal process is difficult, but the benefits of extra free space in your brain are quickly realized.
This principle applies no less to food than other areas. It’s a myth that junk food and fast food is always less expensive than health food. It’s undeniably more convenient, but eating healthy need not be expensive. Brown rice, legumes, fresh fruit, etc can all be bought in bulk for cheap that can make many meals that cost less than a trip to McDonalds. The details were spelled out in a good article in the NY times here.
The Great Recession has jolted a lot of people into new lifestyle habits, and one beneficial one is that lots of people are re-discovering the benefits of buying bulk whole food. The Financial Times just reported that plain ol’ oatmeal is experiencing a huge resurgence because it’s cheap and filling:
Quaker Oats, which sells more than half the porridge consumed in the UK, said the market had grown 40 per cent in five years. More porridge was sold this summer than in the winter of 2009.
David Murray, general manager, said: “We’ve seen demand for porridge soar as consumers recognise it as a healthy, warming and low in fat breakfast option.”
Perhaps rising health care bills are also alerting people to the long-term benefits of eating simple food. After all, healthy living is the best form of health insurance.