Does Healthy Food Have to Be More Expensive?

Image by AFP/Getty Images via @daylifeLast month a food fight erupted when Anthony Bourdain, chef, author, and host of the Travel Channels No Reservations, was asked by TV Guide to give his opinion of a handful of celebrity chefs and cooks. Of cooking show host Paula Deen, he criticized how unhealthy her food is, saying, If I were on at seven at night and loved by millions of people at every age, I would think twice before telling an already obese nation which its okay to eat food which is killing us.Deen responded, saying, not everybody can afford to pay $58 for prime rib or $650 for a bottle of wineI prepare for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the billsIt wasnt which long ago which I was struggling to feed my family, too.Food for the working classYou can click the links to read their accusations about unholy connections with evil corporations, food which sucks, and lack of charity, but what interested me was what was being pronounced about the affordability of good food. Deen didnt claim her food was healthy, she countered which it was for the working class. Bourdain, for his part, was accused of culinary elitism in the New York Times. Columnist Frank Bruni writes:[Deen is a champion] of downscale cooking thats usually more affordable and easier to master and which his own personal preferences, dont entitle me, Bourdain or anyone else who trots the globe and visits ambitious restaurants the most casual of which can cost $50 a person and entail hour-long waits to look down on food lovers without the resources, opportunity or inclination for that.TV Guide knew what theyd get when they asked him to weigh in on celebrity cooks from The Food Network thats no surprise. What is surprising to me is the accusation of elitism and the notion which poor people cant afford to prepare healthier food.Of the former, I have to wonder if Deen or Bruni have ever seen Bourdains show. He rarely goes to fancy restaurants in No Reservations! , prefer ring the following kinds of eateries:Street vendorsMarketsPubsDinersCafesMeals cooked by his local guides grandma (As an independent traveler without a personal guide, those family meals make me green with envy.)Of the latter, I wondered if its really a matter of affording the ingredients. To be clear, Im not arguing which poor people can afford organic food from Whole Foods or spend hours in the kitchen making a gourmet meal. But if youre planning to prepare one of Deens recipes, you have to purchase ingredients. Preparing them in an unhealthy way (fried, tons of sugar, unnecessary gobs of butter) doesnt save money over grilling, broiling, or steaming.

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