Here's another excerpt from Barbara Kingsolver's 2007 book, "Animal Vegetable Miracle."
Grocery money is an odd sticking point for U.S. citizens, who on average spend a lower proportion o our income on food than people in any other country, or any heretofore in history. In our daily fare, even in school lunches, we broadly justify consumption of tallow-fried animal pulp on the grounds that it's cheaper than whole grains, fresh vegetables, hormone-free dairy, and such. Whether on school boards or in families, budget keepers may be aware of the health tradeoff but still feel compelled to economize on food — in a manner that would be utterly unacceptable if the health risk involved an unsafe family vehicle or a plume of benzene running through a school basement. It's interesting that penny-pinching is an accepted defense for toxic food habits, when frugality so rarely rules other consumer domains. [Page 115]
As a compulsive eater and food addict in recovery for a very long time, these issues are mine in degrees greater than the general population, even if you'd think that my experience shoulda learned me better by now. Good nutrition and healthy ingredients are bywords not only of my personal health but of my professional standing, but I still bee-line for the reduced-price cart at my farm stand.
I still think of more food as a better deal than less food, regardless of quality.
I stay away from buffets, even if I can get good healthy food and take it in the right proportions for me, because I'll feel like I'm getting cheated, having to leave all that other stuff behind even though I've paid for it.
I'm starting to change, but I still balk at paying the organic price because it's more expensive, even if it's healther not only for me and my family but for the planet.
Though not any more, I used to justify popping that last little bit of food that wouldn't fit in the measuring cup into my mouth, instead of into the trash, because otherwise I'd be wasting it. As if it was more efficient to overeat. And now I compost it anyway, making it less of a waste.
Most of us, I think, have become wrapped up in the wrong standard for food, "more" instead of "better." And forget "nutritious," a description that, for many Americans, is about as enticing as "botulism-free."