Cheap and healthy fruit is best

cheapI bought a whole lot of fruit and other food today, and one particular purchase made me wake up to how much money I’ve been wasting on food. I bought 1kg of grapes for $2.99, 1kg of mandarines for $2.99, 1kg of apples for $2.99, 1kg of lemons for $1.99, and a few other things. I checked the receipt on the way home because I knew I’d paid more than I should have, and there it was, a piece of ginger – $5.94! Turns out it was $29.95/kg. I had no idea it was that expensive.

Fruit is cheaper

It got me thinking that for the same price as that tiny piece of ginger, I could have bought another 2kg bag of apples, grapes or mandarines. Crazy! And do I really need that ginger? Consider which of the two is the healthiest? For the money and nutritional value, of course it would have to be the fruit. Strangely, when I was in the store I almost also bought some coriander, but put it back due to it being $2 and not weighing anywhere near as much as the fruit.

I don’t know why, but I’ve never really given any of this much thought before. But I’m now comparing everything to that cheap fruit. The Ritter Sport chocolate I sometimes buy is $3 or more and is only 100g. Once again, for the same money that could have been another 1kg of grapes, apples, or mandarines, all of which are currently in season and taste delicious. When eating out at a cafe or cheap restaurant, a single meal could easily cost $15. In many cases more. For the same amount, that would be another 5 bags of fresh fruit! If my wife Lydia had a meal there too, for that same money we could buy 10 bags of fruit! And would those meals be anywhere near as healthy as the fruit? Of course not, and besides, we probably would have eaten those meals in less than half an hour and still felt hungry afterwards making them even less cost effective. As far as I know my wife buys a coffee every morning too. Considering most coffees are $3 or more, if she quit that addiction we could buy another 7 bags of fruit per week! Then if I no longer ate up to 3 chocolates per week myself, that would be another 3 bags of fruit that money could be spent on.

But is it organic?

No, none of that fruit I’ve talked about so far is organic. I’ve always looked at organic fruit and veggies as being too expensive due to them normally being around twice the price of  normal produce. Now, can you see how ridiculous this is beginning to sound? Organic fruit is too expensive, but cafe meals, restaurant meals and chocolates, all of which have no real nutritional value, are not too expensive? Yes, I’m beginning to see clearly all food and spending mistakes I’m making in my life right now.

Why do we need these traditions?

Eating out seems to be a common tradition in society. And fair enough. To get together with friends, share a meal and so on. But when I think of what I look forward to the most about eating out, none of those thoughts involve healthy food. The foods I crave at restaurants or cafes usually have no nutritional value at all. Meals with different sauces, curries, chai tea with soy milk, deep fried vegan dishes, stir fries etc. The healthiest I can think of would probably be some steamed vegetables that I sometimes buy at a local Thai restaurant with rice and peanut sauce. It’s ok, but to be honest I could easily prepare something better at home. And for $8.90, well yes, you guessed again, I could buy another 3 bags of fruit! Thinking about it, I would much rather eat $8.90 worth of grapes than one of those meals anyway.

So what else is it about eating out that makes this tradition so appealing? The social interaction perhaps? I don’t think that’s it either. You don’t need to eat out to catch up for a chat with friends. When I go out with my wife, we might talk for a while, but the rest of the time we’ll either be checking email on our phones, or in my case taking a photos of a vase with a flower in it as a way of preventing myself from becoming bored whilst waiting for the meal. Or maybe it’s just being out amongst other people that makes eating out appealing? Even then, that same experience could be achieved just by having a picnic somewhere, such as in a local park. And in a way, a picnic would be better too, as you’re not limited to a small menu, and don’t have to worry about tipping anyone either. Oh and speaking of tipping, if you’re tipping somewhere around 10% of the cost of the meal, yet again, that tip could easily cover the cost of another bag of fruit!

The Minimalist Approach

Minimalism is something that’s high on my list of priorities. It’s something that’s been a big part of anything I’ve been doing creatively for the past decade or so. Our house is another good example of this. You won’t find a single painting or print hanging on any of our walls. To me anything that hangs on a wall without any practical purpose is just clutter. Ornaments too. For the past few years we had a cake stand sitting on our dining room table. It looked ok, but since we only use it maybe once or twice a year, I decided it was clutter, and packed it away in a hard to reach spot in a kitchen cupboard. As a result, that table now has nothing on it which is so much better. Like having a clean canvas ready to paint.

So right now, this minimalistic approach is something I’ve decided I need to start applying to the food I’m eating too. Embracing a low fat raw vegan diet is still where I would most like to be. Eating nothing but raw fruit, leafy greens and the occasional nuts, seeds or avocado is about as close as you will get to a true minimalistic diet. It just makes perfect sense! Based on our physiology, humans are frugivores. Pick up a piece of ripe fruit and eat it. You can’t get any simpler than that! And of course it’s the healthiest food specifically designed for humans.

I’m beginning to see things this way too –  All these restaurant meals, junk food and cooked meals are nothing but clutter. Seriously! All they do is get in the way and prevent us from focusing on the food we should be eating. As simple as that :) It’s just the same as someone’s desk being covered in papers, empty food containers and other junk. That clutter will only prevent them from the most important task of getting their work done.

If you have anything to add here, leave me a comment below. I rarely post to this blog, but in this case just wanted to get these thoughts out of my head and written down. Almost as a I reminder of what I need to be doing.

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