2

votes

Save money on food - go vegetarian?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 10, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Now there's no way I'd entertain the idea of giving up meat in all it's fleshy forms, but there's an "interesting" [or provocative, you choose] article on Good.is about the rise in meat theft correlating with sharp rises in it's worldwide cost.

It also throws in some dubious science about vegetarianism being the solution to this and "facts" such as how the average sedentary American consumes 50% too much protein.

The piece is here and I'd be interested on people's thoughts on this [just don't read the comments on Good.is page unless you like enthusiastic vegetarians...]

446d2dddaeeccb2cc31a09cf20e40d46

(676)

on August 10, 2011
at 09:05 PM

If 'many veggies' do this, should you do this as well just because of that?... There's no point in questioning vegetarians here, not at all what this question or this answer is about... On topic @ Eric: it indeed always surprises me how little calories there are in fruits&veggies. If I ever find time, I'll do the math Interesting :)

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on August 10, 2011
at 07:21 PM

For people who truly are struggling, they should prioritize. Things like grass fed beef, organic produce, and free range chickens may not be doable, but just ditching the grains and eating ANY kind of animal product is going to be better. Frozen vegetable are a great option because they are at least picked ripe before being frozen. There are "discount" food stores that allow you to buy in bulk. Eggs are dirt cheap. You can buy meat when it is on sale and freeze it. With a little work, planning, and creativity, you can considerably upgrade your diet. Paleo does not have to = Perfection.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on August 10, 2011
at 07:15 PM

I didn't mean to say "all people." I edited my post to clarify. Obviously, there are people on a shoestring who really do have financial issues. But there are options. Learn to fish and/or hunt. Get together with some friends and buy a share of a cow or pig (greatly reducing your cost per pound). Go to the farmer's market and show up late to wheel and deal. There are many ways to save money while going paleo.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 10, 2011
at 05:02 PM

I kind of found paleo via Fergus Hendersons cook books. Now those are a nice read! Also got some river cottage shows. They are not very well known in Finland.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:59 PM

I am finding, too, that formerly cheap cuts of meat are not showing up at the stores. Liver, chicken wings and bacon are now considered boutique items and are sold at premium.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:58 PM

this is a big leap. I know few starving students who have big car payments and vacation bills

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:32 PM

Sorry not trying to be a troll... just trying to be sarcastic (same thing?) :-).

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:25 PM

I'm not rising to the troll here. Doh! :/

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:09 PM

Over here in the UK I can quite happily live on the cheaper [fattier] cuts of meat; and until very recently offal and organ meats were next to nothing. Unfortunately the growing popularity of TV chefs such as Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and Fergus Henderson taking the notion of consuming the "whole animal" "mainstream" what was once considered food fit only for those on the breadline rising in price.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:57 PM

Yeah, my one year or so as a vegetarian (waaaay back in time), I was really a pastatarian.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:53 PM

But Eric, many veggies are eating a bunch of crap, grains, beans, boxed junk-cheap calories. They are not just cramming in a bunch of vegetables and fruit every day.

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8 Answers

13
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:22 PM

I'd rather pay more for food than pay more for prescriptions and doctor visits.

10
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on August 10, 2011
at 03:18 PM

You can also save a lot of money by living in a tent under a bridge...

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:25 PM

I'm not rising to the troll here. Doh! :/

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:32 PM

Sorry not trying to be a troll... just trying to be sarcastic (same thing?) :-).

7
5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:41 PM

Yet many of the people who won't go paleo because of cost have no problem shelling out for digital cable, smart phone plans, big car payments, vacations, etc.

It's all about priorities.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:58 PM

this is a big leap. I know few starving students who have big car payments and vacation bills

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on August 10, 2011
at 07:15 PM

I didn't mean to say "all people." I edited my post to clarify. Obviously, there are people on a shoestring who really do have financial issues. But there are options. Learn to fish and/or hunt. Get together with some friends and buy a share of a cow or pig (greatly reducing your cost per pound). Go to the farmer's market and show up late to wheel and deal. There are many ways to save money while going paleo.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on August 10, 2011
at 07:21 PM

For people who truly are struggling, they should prioritize. Things like grass fed beef, organic produce, and free range chickens may not be doable, but just ditching the grains and eating ANY kind of animal product is going to be better. Frozen vegetable are a great option because they are at least picked ripe before being frozen. There are "discount" food stores that allow you to buy in bulk. Eggs are dirt cheap. You can buy meat when it is on sale and freeze it. With a little work, planning, and creativity, you can considerably upgrade your diet. Paleo does not have to = Perfection.

5
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:54 PM

the solution to meat theft is to encourage veganism so demand goes down. the thieves will steal mung beans instead.

and how about bringing back the butcher shop? would they steal from a person in bloody clothes carrying a cleaver?

2
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 10, 2011
at 05:22 PM

I haven't found all meats to be prohibitively expensive.

First off, the guy in the article cites the cost of premium cuts like NY Strip. Well durr, of course it's going to be costly! When was it ever cheap? Although I find that certain cuts that used to be cheap have risen slightly, and others, like lamb, have gone up enough that I don't buy it as often. Chicken is still inexpensive, organic livers are still $2/lb, and ground beef generally costs about the same. I'd say that my average weekly grocery costs are split 50/50 between meat and produce. Plus, I still have to buy non-food items like calcium supps, toothpaste, deodorant, facial lotion, hair stuff, etc about once a month. Since eating Paleo I've been more careful to plan my shopping, instead of just buying dinner on a whim every night. Although with all the rain we've been having here in FL, I did pick up some sushi last night for dinner (since going outside is like being underwater), along with a box of dates. Made for a tasty din-din, lol.

Perhaps cost depends upon which area of the country you live in? When you've only got Walmart Supercenter or Whole Foods to shop at, that doesn't leave you with very many options. And Walmart doesn't have great prices like they used to, so where does that leave shoppers? Butchers are few and far between (especially in suburban/metro areas), and meats come with the fat all trimmed off so stores can jack up the price.

I hope more people go vegetarian, that means more meat for me :D When there's a shortage in grains & beans due to droughts or natural disasters, don't come crying to me about it.

2
A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:42 PM

I read a lot on various primal/paleo blogs that meat is among the CHEAPEST form of calories per capita. Vegetables are much more expensive because they are so sparse in calories. Never done the math though. Still, if it's true, it would be hard to make a vegetarianism is cheaper argument.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:53 PM

But Eric, many veggies are eating a bunch of crap, grains, beans, boxed junk-cheap calories. They are not just cramming in a bunch of vegetables and fruit every day.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:57 PM

Yeah, my one year or so as a vegetarian (waaaay back in time), I was really a pastatarian.

446d2dddaeeccb2cc31a09cf20e40d46

(676)

on August 10, 2011
at 09:05 PM

If 'many veggies' do this, should you do this as well just because of that?... There's no point in questioning vegetarians here, not at all what this question or this answer is about... On topic @ Eric: it indeed always surprises me how little calories there are in fruits&veggies. If I ever find time, I'll do the math Interesting :)

2
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:42 PM

Well I don't agree with the science or the solution posed in the article, but as a former vegetarian (15 years) and former vegan (2 years) I can tell you that eating Paleo style is much more expensive. Even to an extreme. When I was a veggie I ate whatever crap was out there as long as it wasn't meat (cheapest). When I was vegan, I went the expensive route and started shopping at Whole Foods. Being Paleo is about 1/3 more expensive than Whole Foods veganism. The meat has brought our grocery bill up $100 more per week.

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:09 PM

Over here in the UK I can quite happily live on the cheaper [fattier] cuts of meat; and until very recently offal and organ meats were next to nothing. Unfortunately the growing popularity of TV chefs such as Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and Fergus Henderson taking the notion of consuming the "whole animal" "mainstream" what was once considered food fit only for those on the breadline rising in price.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:59 PM

I am finding, too, that formerly cheap cuts of meat are not showing up at the stores. Liver, chicken wings and bacon are now considered boutique items and are sold at premium.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 10, 2011
at 05:02 PM

I kind of found paleo via Fergus Hendersons cook books. Now those are a nice read! Also got some river cottage shows. They are not very well known in Finland.

1
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on August 10, 2011
at 05:02 PM

I have done both, and I'll tell you, being a natural-foods vegetarian is much cheaper. It is really unfair to make a comparison between a packaged-food vegetarian and paleo, since so few paleo foods are packaged.

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