Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?

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.”

(via sunfoundation)

this bullshit fills me with a very specific kind of rage. so, TIME TO DEBUNK!

  1. that meal from mcdonalds takes virtually no time to acquire AND is available almost anywhere.
  2. the second meal? that “salad” is lettuce … with nothing else, not even dressing unless its just olive oil or some milk i guess? gross.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Debunking? Get the fuck out of town.

  1. The meal from McDonalds takes plenty of time to acquire, from starting the car to queuing up to waiting for it to be prepared. I’ll get onto why it’s more readily available later.
  2. Salad doesn’t need dressing, that oil is for the chicken. But if you maintain a small repository of vegetables in your refrigerator like a grown adult should you can easily add some chopped onion or tomato to it.
  3. The info graphic doesn’t show the entire price? Well done sherlock. I thought the NYT was being over compensating in their prices too. 75cents for 4 slices of bread? Bitch I bought a whole loaf for $2 yesterday. That would’ve only gotten me two small chips at Maccas. Imagine how horrible a world would be if we had to buy bread by the slice. If you got out of your car and wandered into the nearest super market instead of the Mcdonalds drive through you’d find that buying in bulk is actually far more economical.
  4. Ok that’s it you fucken lazy bitch. An hour and a half? What the fuck? You don’t have to stare at the chicken as it sits in the oven you know. This meal is all of ten minutes prep with maybe another ten minutes to set the table. THAT’S WHAT THE KIDS ARE FOR! It’s fucking called parenting. When you become a parent, even a single parent because you were too insufferable for your partner, feeding your children is your fucking responsibility. Just like it’s your responsibility when they grow up fat and lazy because you threw them in the car and took them to the drive through. Christ sakes. Spending an hour and half on a meal isn’t even unreasonable for an elaborate meal. Maybe if you weren’t such a helicopter parent who blogs 5 times a day you’d find the time.
  5. Beans and rice are fucking delicious! Fuck me I just had a backed bean sandwich. I live below the Australian poverty line and you don’t see me crying into my WeetBix every morning because I can’t afford caviar. Instead of losing hope in the class struggle every time you eat some food that isn’t lavished in seasoning, just eat some mushrooms and feel positive for a change.
  6. People doing physical labour at lest earn the minimum wage so they should be able to afford the pork and beans meal 8 times over for a day’s work. 15 times over if they live in a country where people stood up for their rights and demanded better living conditions. This number marks a shift in both our arguments.
  7. You know who didn’t have McDonalds to rely on for every meal? Your Grandparents, yet somehow they managed to bake and fry and boil and cook. Their ingenuity knew no bounds because the internet wasn’t around either. Now you won’t find anyone else who believes in the intergenerational poverty trap as much as I do but claiming you’re too poor to know how to cook because you can’t afford a free library  membership and that your Dad never taught you because he was always earning is not an excuse. That is a joke. if you can’t cook fucking try and stop blaming everything on your economic situation. You think you’re trapped in a  poverty cycle but your brain is trapped in it’s own cyclic thinking. And really, you live in a democracy, if there isn’t a library near by, do something about it.
  8. Fresh fruit and vegetables are not expensive and do not take long to prepare. In fact nothing is faster than fruit. But forget about that for a minute. You keep hinting at this class war. That healthy food is a privilege. America prides itself on being a free market democracy. Therefore if decent selections of fresh food isn’t available in a given area it’s excuse that area wasn’t buying it. It’s not going to become available if incompetent fuckwits like you get on tumblr and try to convince everyone that McShit is a valid alternative to eating healthy, home prepared meals. Maybe if this was soviet russia and you actually had an argument that held water about the cost of fresh food I could side with you, but you live in a free market democracy, any failings of your society are your fault and up to you to fix. Fucksakes, if they can buy Florida grown oranges in Anchorage then it’s not the distribution network responsible for lack of access to fresh food, it’s the people who are responsible.
  9. No. You put healthy in quotation marks. No.
  10. Everyone knows about the outrageous farm subsidies given to dickheads who grow cash crops like corn soley to be turned into fructose. Everyone in the country knows it and you keep voting for the same two fascist political parties that put it there. Posts like yours are just going to make people complacent and lazy. This hellish scenario you describe where poor people can’t even catch a bus to the shop to buy fruit would be completely unacceptable in every other democracy in the world. Now I know when I was in America I could catch buses everywhere! And I also found there was a certain about of shame attached to utilising public transport. Well American, time to get over it and start being pro-active about fixing your fucking broken society.


(via theboobsmilk)

This post is posted on Thursday 5 July 2012.
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