Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Affordability of a Healthy, Vegetarian Diet

In my class yesterday, we discussed whether eating a healthy, vegetarian diet was financially possible for lower-income people in the U.S. I mentioned that there are a variety of legumes which are very high in protein (soy, lentils, etc.). These tend to be inexpensive relative to the cost of meat. A quick look online reveals that a pound of chicken, for example, costs about $1.50 and a pound of black beans costs about $1.12. It's worth noting that beans and legumes are not as high in calories, saturated fat, and other things which can have a negative impact to one's health.

But this doesn't answer the question at hand. Can a poor person in the U.S. afford to eat a healthy vegetarian diet? I think it's certainly difficult if not impossible to eat well on a very low income. To put things in context, the poverty line in the U.S. in 2014 was set at $23,850 for a family of four and the average family spends about 10% of their income on food. Though lower-income families likely spend a higher percentage than this, it seems that such families simply don't have sufficient resources to eat well--regardless of whether their diet includes meat. But the point I tried to make in class was that it's more expensive to eat meat than it is to eat no meat and eat vegetables, legumes, etc. instead. In addition, one can get a great deal of protein and other nutrients one needs to be healthy without eating meat.    

Readers of this blog might find this website and this one of interest.


Anonymous said...

Just a couple thoughts; maybe stick to symbolic logic 101 and avoid anything admitting to a hint of meaning. -g-

"University professors, restricted in this way, are quite happy about the matter, for their real concern is to earn with credit an honest livelihood for themselves and also for their wives and children and moreover to enjoy a certain prestige in the eyes of the public. On the other hand, the deeply stirred mind of the real philosopher, whose whole concern in to look for the key to our existence, as mysterious as it is precarious, is regarded by them as something mythological, if indeed the man so affected does not even appear to them to be obsessed by a monomania, should he ever be met with among them. For that a man could really be in dead earnest about philosophy does not as a rule occur to anyone, least of all to a lecturer thereon; just as the most sceptical Christian is usually the Pope. It has, therefore, been one of the rarest events for a genuine philosopher to be at the same time a lecturer in philosophy." - Schopenhauer

Jesse Steinberg said...

G--You've been trolling my blog for some time. Thanks for reading, but please stop wasting your time by commenting on my blog posts. As you know, I've decided not to display the bulk of your comments. I find your tone aggressive and, worse, your points typically have little to do with the issues with which I'm engaged.