1

votes

Can't afford Paleo in India

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 20, 2013 at 8:31 AM

The articles on 'Paleo on a budget' doesn't seem to hold good in my case for two reasons

  • I don't know how it is outside India but getting grain free and using meat instead makes a major imbalance in my budget. We don't have the concept of 'buy in bulk and pay less', not atleast in my place. Grassfed ones are almost double the grain-fed/caged ones. Not trying to be perfectionist, but my budget allows me to have them occasionally only...

  • Ghee and coconut oil are my options for cooking fat and their price is much more than regular vegetable oil used at home for cooking.

    Would appreciate advice, especially from a fellow Indian Paleo mama/papa....

I'm already on a traditional 'healthy' Indian diet, so I have no room to cut down on junk food to save money. I have no job, stay with my family who wouldn't go Paleo...

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 03:22 PM

"Paleo" does NOT permit rice. White rice is considered an acceptable source of carbs by some people who are paleo/primal, notably Paul Jaminet. Rice is certainly less of a problem than any other grain, but it is not necessarily desirable. There is a lot of controversy still about rice. IMO it's not a big deal for healthy, lean, active people, but it's a disaster for people with metabolic syndrome/diabetes etc. Since this is such a high percentage of the world population now, I really wish people would stop saying rice is paleo.

4debe57f81d507bcb844f10b2ef38a83

(398)

on February 23, 2013
at 06:00 PM

I am always puzzled by seeing "white rice is ok" here. If you are trying to avoid diabetes (as I am), white rice is not a good option, certainly not as an everyday item ... it is very high on the glycemic index. Phytates and other antinutrients can be greatly reduced by soaking, and even more by sprouting.

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 23, 2013
at 02:51 PM

And even I was a little intrigued by the chicken poop part...

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 22, 2013
at 05:14 PM

You mentioned about rice. Could you tell specifically what variety of white rice is fine with Paleo? We have tons here...

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 22, 2013
at 05:12 PM

Haven't read that one... canned fish is a new entrant in market in my place, though it's already hit many big cities in India. Too bad, canned fish isn't cheap or even less priced than ones in open fish market....

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 22, 2013
at 05:43 AM

I am here in Odisha (eastern part of India). I don't say that Paleo is not possible in India, it very much is. Since our diet is grain-based, grains are available at the ultra-cheap price. I'm not degrading India in any way, it's just that the kind of diet we traditionally have, the price distribution appears skewed for someone going Paleo in the sense that there is a significant difference in the price of grains and meat of the same weight when grains can be pulled through quite long time in a month

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on February 21, 2013
at 04:41 PM

+1 diabeticbinger and thhq

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 21, 2013
at 01:09 PM

+1 for stating the obvious, which never goes over big here. Just surviving is the most important paleo thing, followed by being as active as you can be. Act the part. After that comes the diet wonking. Paleo often ends up being an imitation of Atkins, intolerant of variance. I would be looking into the high protein legumes first and trying to make them more "paleo" by soaking and fermenting.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on February 21, 2013
at 06:10 AM

Sweet potatoes are absolutely fine! And the feed for cattle sounds better than GMO soy and corn used in the US (except maybe the chicken poop). Some farmers are even feeding cattle surplus candy bars here in the US because of heat damage crop failure last summer.

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 21, 2013
at 06:05 AM

Just to add... cows are pasture-fed in rainy season (free nutrition concept)

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 21, 2013
at 05:15 AM

diabeticbinger is right in some way. Diet here, whether conventional 'healthy' or junk, is heavily based on grains. We can't survive without having grains thrice a day. And the general notion and practice about meat/non-veg is 1 meal containing meat X 6 days a week, at most. There a SOME who take eat meat more than that. And it's not unusual for meat eaters to go without meat for as long as a week. So based on this, prices of meat,grain,lentils are pretty different here. It's just not possible for a vegetarian (that I'm not) in India to go Paleo with 'little adjustments' in budget

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 21, 2013
at 04:57 AM

The ratio of different meats was really helpful to my situation. The availability of lard, tallow is uncomfortably low in most parts of India due to religious concerns. However, I'll try to purchase ghee and also make some at home from the dairy residue Thanks...

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 21, 2013
at 04:51 AM

Certified organic veggies and meat are not an option here. The level of commercialization in India is yet to catch up, so the amount of hormones/antibiotics in meat and dairy is pretty low as compared to the US. Just found out they use sorghum, pearl millet, tamarind seed, rice bran, tapioca residue, finger millet husk, sunflower meal, groundnut oil cake, sesame oilcake, cotton seedcake, neem cake and poultry droppings as cattle feed. Don't know where this stands.. I would prefer sweet potato over rice as filler. Will that be fine?

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on February 21, 2013
at 04:00 AM

I should add: Try getting FISH into your diet in most areas of the world without paying a hefty premium over other meats. And the nuts? NUTS will ALWAYS cost far more than grains. FRUITS also. Each acreage of cropland yields that much less of either.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on February 21, 2013
at 03:35 AM

I should add: Try getting FISH into your diet in most areas of the world without paying a hefty premium over other meats. And the nuts? NUTS will ALWAYS cost far more than grains. FRUITS also. Each acreage of cropland yields that much far less of either than grains.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on February 21, 2013
at 03:31 AM

LOL, why is everyone negging me for stating the obvious? Of course meats cost more than grains. And veggies much more PER CALORIE than grains as well. Even Robb Wolf humorously refers to vegetarian and grain-heavy diets as "Third World Diet".

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on February 21, 2013
at 03:27 AM

LOL, why is everyone negging me for stating the obvious? Of course meats cost more than grains. And veggies cost much more PER CALORIE than grains as well. That's why even Robb Wolf humorously refers to vegetarian and grain-heavy diets as "Third World Diet".

34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on February 21, 2013
at 02:27 AM

There's a way to make paleo work for every budget, even if that means buying conventional/CAFO everything. Please don't perpetuate this stereotype. The basics are all the same: eat real, whole foods. Avoid grains, legumes, sugar and industrial oils. Even if that means eating meat only when you can afford it and eating veggies, nuts, seeds and fruit the rest of it. If rice works for Swati, that might be a great option to explore too, even though not "technically" Paleo.

  • 0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

    asked by

    (150)
  • Views
    2.4K
  • Last Activity
    1430D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

10 Answers

best answer

2
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on February 21, 2013
at 02:38 AM

Healthy fats like ghee and coconut oil are VERY expensive here, too, as are grass fed and pastured meat, eggs, and dairy. We pay 2 to 3 times the price of the conventional products.

It's a big stretch for our budget as well. My husband and I forgo other things in order to put a healthier grade of food on the table. We save some by NOT buying a lot of the junk food we used to buy and by making whatever we can from scratch since ingredients are almost always cheaper than products (e.g. I buy butter and make my own ghee).

I have no knowledge of India--please forgive my ignorance, but I would think the following would be affordable:

  1. Eggs. If it's not possible to get pastured eggs, that's OK. If you live in the countryside, are raising your own chickens an option?
  2. Vegetables should be available in abundance. If you can't get organic, then conventionally grown is OK.
  3. Is fish affordable?
  4. Paleo permits rice. White rice is best.
  5. Some paleo approaches permit dairy. Especially in the absence of other meats, dairy may be a good source of fat and of protein. If you can't get pastured, conventional is OK.

Do they really feed your cattle and other meat sources a lot of corn and soy as they do in the US? Seems like the feed would have to be imported there and it would be much cheaper to pasture. Our animals are fed corn and soy because the cost of growing them is subsidized by the government, making it very cheap to feed them a lot of grain to fatten them up quickly for market.

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 21, 2013
at 04:51 AM

Certified organic veggies and meat are not an option here. The level of commercialization in India is yet to catch up, so the amount of hormones/antibiotics in meat and dairy is pretty low as compared to the US. Just found out they use sorghum, pearl millet, tamarind seed, rice bran, tapioca residue, finger millet husk, sunflower meal, groundnut oil cake, sesame oilcake, cotton seedcake, neem cake and poultry droppings as cattle feed. Don't know where this stands.. I would prefer sweet potato over rice as filler. Will that be fine?

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on February 21, 2013
at 06:10 AM

Sweet potatoes are absolutely fine! And the feed for cattle sounds better than GMO soy and corn used in the US (except maybe the chicken poop). Some farmers are even feeding cattle surplus candy bars here in the US because of heat damage crop failure last summer.

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 22, 2013
at 05:14 PM

You mentioned about rice. Could you tell specifically what variety of white rice is fine with Paleo? We have tons here...

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 21, 2013
at 06:05 AM

Just to add... cows are pasture-fed in rainy season (free nutrition concept)

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 23, 2013
at 02:51 PM

And even I was a little intrigued by the chicken poop part...

4debe57f81d507bcb844f10b2ef38a83

(398)

on February 23, 2013
at 06:00 PM

I am always puzzled by seeing "white rice is ok" here. If you are trying to avoid diabetes (as I am), white rice is not a good option, certainly not as an everyday item ... it is very high on the glycemic index. Phytates and other antinutrients can be greatly reduced by soaking, and even more by sprouting.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 03:22 PM

"Paleo" does NOT permit rice. White rice is considered an acceptable source of carbs by some people who are paleo/primal, notably Paul Jaminet. Rice is certainly less of a problem than any other grain, but it is not necessarily desirable. There is a lot of controversy still about rice. IMO it's not a big deal for healthy, lean, active people, but it's a disaster for people with metabolic syndrome/diabetes etc. Since this is such a high percentage of the world population now, I really wish people would stop saying rice is paleo.

3
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on February 20, 2013
at 09:32 AM

You don't have to buy grassfed meat if you can't afford it. Also, you don't have to cut down rice completely if you can tolerate it (just don't make it a staple food). Instead, go for any good-looking red meat once a week, white meat once or twice a week, wild fish/shellfish 3-4 times a week. Top that with veggies, fruits, and rice twice a week. For oils though, do go for ghee, coconut oil and olive oil. If you really can't afford these at all, try butter, lard, tallow etc. Vegetable oils/margarine are really bad.

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 21, 2013
at 04:57 AM

The ratio of different meats was really helpful to my situation. The availability of lard, tallow is uncomfortably low in most parts of India due to religious concerns. However, I'll try to purchase ghee and also make some at home from the dairy residue Thanks...

2
0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 23, 2013
at 02:49 PM

I had an idea that Paleo needs me to have meat/fish/egg in all 3 meals. I went through other questions here in PH and also asked one myself. Looks like I had a misconception in that area.

If I need not have animal non-veg protein in each meal, my budget will not be as crunched as I originally thought it would

2
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on February 20, 2013
at 12:06 PM

By 'white meat' she just means turkey, chicken, pork. Eat all the thighs & drumsticks you want. Much cheaper than breast meat. Get it with skin & bones still in. You can use your leftover animal fats (rendered skins) to fry up your veggies. That'll help with fat cost. Save your bones and make an occasional mineral broth, too. Basically free nutrition.

There are definitely degrees of Paleo. Do your best.

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 21, 2013
at 04:16 PM

One other inexpensive meat to consider is canned fish. Naipaul's "A House for Mr. Biswas", about the great Indian diaspora in Trinidad, mentions this. It's part of Biswas' revolt against the traditional mediocre starch/vegetable oil vegetarian diet he was raised on.

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 22, 2013
at 05:12 PM

Haven't read that one... canned fish is a new entrant in market in my place, though it's already hit many big cities in India. Too bad, canned fish isn't cheap or even less priced than ones in open fish market....

0
37331ad667ae9bdf7f6db20a19cc696c

(0)

on November 13, 2013
at 05:14 AM

Dear Swati, How r u doing now ?? R u still on paleo diet?

0
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 03:33 PM

If you have the space, raising some of your own food will certainly help. Chickens don't take up much space and they are dual purpose - meat and eggs. (triple when considering all the tasty broth)

Vegetables can be raised in very small areas - even city balconies and roofs can support a lot of intensively grown greens etc. If like here greens are very expensive, this can improve your nutrient/budget situation a lot.

If you have absolutely no space at home - see if there is any garden/allotment space somewhere nearby. Borrow some yard space from friends/family. Once you have some home raised food, you can usually find someone to barter with for what they raise.

If the choice is between eating lentils/beans/rice or regular old caged chicken eggs, go for the eggs every time. Don't sweat the grass fed/pastured bit (if that is even an issue in India?) In the US, corn/soy fed meat is standard, but in most of the world it hasn't caught on yet. Our emphasis on it may not apply to you. If the standard is free roaming, producers probably don't bother mentioning it.

Dairy may not be "paleo" (it's considered primal), but IMO so long as you don't have health issues with it, it's worlds better than grains and beans.

If you still need to use some grains/legumes to make the budget work - white basmati rice is much better than any other grain. Hull free lentils like masoor or toor dal are much much better than hull on large beans. Fermentation as mentioned above helps with the anti-nutrient problem.

Consider using tubers like sweet potatoes or potatoes rather than grains/legumes. If you are lean, higher starches is not a big deal. Those of us who are overweight/diabetic etc have to emphasize the high animal food issue more than the healthy lean. In the case of overweight/diabetic etc, eating the higher expense animal foods often gets balanced out by lower costs for health care and medication.

0
3d32417c82811adb90f0790f820c571a

(63)

on February 28, 2013
at 02:31 PM

Hi Swati, hope you are doing well with Paleo in India. I think you can get fresh water/ocean fish in Orissa but am not sure, you can find desi chickens or mutton if possible. If you find yourself struck with food choices you can always add some fermented or sprouted grains in your diet. If you like you can prepare fermented batter dosaa - soak 2 cups rice, 1 cup urad daal (husk removed white color lentils) and 1 tsp fenugreek seeds for 24 hours, then grind them mix well, add 1 tbsp salt and leave the mixture in some warm spot of your kitchen, usually a place with 30-35 degrees C, after 15-24 hours, depending upon temparature, you will see the batter will rise and double in volume due to lacto fermentation. You can prepare pan cake like dosaas and eat them with coconut chutneys. Really nourishing if meat options are limited. Also you can sprout any other grain you want to eat, just soak them well for at least 24 hours and them keep changing soaking water, longer the soaking process, the better removal of anti nutrients is possible. All this takes long time for preparations, you can ferment and grind large batch of dosaa batter over weekend and eat throughout the week, many south Indians do that! Let me know if you have more questions.

0
3d32417c82811adb90f0790f820c571a

(63)

on February 21, 2013
at 06:09 PM

I would imagine a perfect paleo in India since it is still a developing country with not so modernized industrial processed foods. I am pretty sure you can get grassfed mutton (goat meat) almost everywhere in India. there is no question about that. Also you can look for Desi chicken breeds, when you go to a chicken butcher shop, you will find many broiler white feather farmed chickens (not good) and also some 3-4 big colorful brown hens which are laying desi hens heritage breeds, they are truly paleo, they are completely free range and their meat tastes awesome in masala curries. Where do you live in India? There are organic food stores in almost all major big cities where you can get organic groceries and fresh organic vegetables, sometimes organic certified milk too which is not a necessity in India since majority of cattle is not grainfed. Ghee, butter are so commonly available but definitely not cheap I know. You can get One KG ( 2.2 lb) 24 letter mantra organic grassfed ghee for 500 INR (10 dollars!) which will nourish you for more than a month! if you live in a village, it would be best place to live in! you can get fresh grassfed milk, grassfed goat, free range country chickens all around with their delicious eggs. Coastal cities are seafood destinations with fresh out of the sea sardines, anchovies, mussels, clams, Indian mackerel avaialble sooooo cheap! You can buy 1 KG Sardines ( 2.2 lbs) for just INR 250 which is less than 5 dollars!

India is a paleo heaven with coconuts freely available so cheap, you can enjoy great range from coconut water, fresh coconut for curries, virgin coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut malaai ... endless options.

Please don't make world feel bad about India, it is Paleolithic everywhere! Just find your ways .. Feel free to ask me any doubts depending upon your location.

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 22, 2013
at 05:43 AM

I am here in Odisha (eastern part of India). I don't say that Paleo is not possible in India, it very much is. Since our diet is grain-based, grains are available at the ultra-cheap price. I'm not degrading India in any way, it's just that the kind of diet we traditionally have, the price distribution appears skewed for someone going Paleo in the sense that there is a significant difference in the price of grains and meat of the same weight when grains can be pulled through quite long time in a month

0
24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on February 21, 2013
at 02:06 AM

Paleo isn't cheap. It's an upper middle class diet.

34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on February 21, 2013
at 02:27 AM

There's a way to make paleo work for every budget, even if that means buying conventional/CAFO everything. Please don't perpetuate this stereotype. The basics are all the same: eat real, whole foods. Avoid grains, legumes, sugar and industrial oils. Even if that means eating meat only when you can afford it and eating veggies, nuts, seeds and fruit the rest of it. If rice works for Swati, that might be a great option to explore too, even though not "technically" Paleo.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on February 21, 2013
at 03:35 AM

I should add: Try getting FISH into your diet in most areas of the world without paying a hefty premium over other meats. And the nuts? NUTS will ALWAYS cost far more than grains. FRUITS also. Each acreage of cropland yields that much far less of either than grains.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on February 21, 2013
at 03:31 AM

LOL, why is everyone negging me for stating the obvious? Of course meats cost more than grains. And veggies much more PER CALORIE than grains as well. Even Robb Wolf humorously refers to vegetarian and grain-heavy diets as "Third World Diet".

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on February 21, 2013
at 03:27 AM

LOL, why is everyone negging me for stating the obvious? Of course meats cost more than grains. And veggies cost much more PER CALORIE than grains as well. That's why even Robb Wolf humorously refers to vegetarian and grain-heavy diets as "Third World Diet".

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 21, 2013
at 01:09 PM

+1 for stating the obvious, which never goes over big here. Just surviving is the most important paleo thing, followed by being as active as you can be. Act the part. After that comes the diet wonking. Paleo often ends up being an imitation of Atkins, intolerant of variance. I would be looking into the high protein legumes first and trying to make them more "paleo" by soaking and fermenting.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on February 21, 2013
at 04:41 PM

+1 diabeticbinger and thhq

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on February 21, 2013
at 04:00 AM

I should add: Try getting FISH into your diet in most areas of the world without paying a hefty premium over other meats. And the nuts? NUTS will ALWAYS cost far more than grains. FRUITS also. Each acreage of cropland yields that much less of either.

0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 21, 2013
at 05:15 AM

diabeticbinger is right in some way. Diet here, whether conventional 'healthy' or junk, is heavily based on grains. We can't survive without having grains thrice a day. And the general notion and practice about meat/non-veg is 1 meal containing meat X 6 days a week, at most. There a SOME who take eat meat more than that. And it's not unusual for meat eaters to go without meat for as long as a week. So based on this, prices of meat,grain,lentils are pretty different here. It's just not possible for a vegetarian (that I'm not) in India to go Paleo with 'little adjustments' in budget

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!