A surprising fact: eating cheaper does not have to mean eating unhealthily. The New York Times recently published a shocking info-graphic comparing the cost of a homemade meal for a family of four versus the cost of a meal bought at a fast food restaurant. The graphic shows that, contrary to popular belief, fast food is far from affordable compared to a home-cooked meal.
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The fast food meal of two Big Macs, a cheeseburger, six chicken McNuggets, two medium and two small fries and two medium, and two small sodas: $27.89. The home-cooked meal of chicken, salad, potatoes, and milk: $13.78. A homemade meal of pinto beans and rice is even cheaper at $9.26.
In the info-graphic’s accompanying article by Mark Bittman goes on to bust the myth of the more affordable fast food meal. Besides the argument that a person’s dollar goes further in terms of quantity when purchasing fast food, Bittman addresses the idea that junk food is necessary because it gives a person more calories for their buck. “Given that half of the people in this country (and a higher percentage of poor people) consume too many calories rather than too few,” Bittman argues, “measuring food’s value by the calorie makes as much sense as measuring a drink’s value by its alcoholic content.” A home-cooked meal is not only cheaper than its fast food counterpart; it can also provide an equal amount of calories – many of which are of the healthy variety.