Q&A: Low cost food


The Question:

Thanks for the monthly inspirations.

What I really want to see are some suggestions for cheap lower carb/good quality protein meals for people on a low wage – and for people who don’t especially like eating offal regularly. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been won over by the idea of this way of eating and have regularly wanted to suggest it to others, only to realise that in the long run it would be hard to sustain on a low wage or benefits. I’d love to see this addressed in one of your newsletters.

I’ve just asked a few people I know and the average for a main meal is around £1.25 per person.

My Answer:    

The healthiest meat-based meal I ever eat is bone broth, made from bones that my butcher gives away for free. They need to be simmered for a few hours, and have some veggies added, but that’s still just about as low cost as you can get.

Nutrients found in bone broth (including collagen, gelatin, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, glycosamino glycans, proline, glycine, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium) all help with the maintanence of blood cells, joints, bones, ligaments and tendons.

Proline and glycine in particular are essential for any wound healing throughout the entire body, and they are also powerfully anti-inflammatory, so exceptionally good for any inflammatory or autoimmune problems.

The next healthiest meat-based food is offal (such as liver) and I do know some people don’t like the taste, but it’s still very good for you and not at all expensive. Once a week works for me.

Yes, of course someone on benefits isn’t going to be able to afford the higher quality meats. However, if they’re getting the minimum wage of around £6 an hour, this means they’re working for around 12 minutes each day to provide their main meal of the day. Not a lot, really.

Of course there will be many other things to pay for, but I’m wondering if, at least for some people, £1.25 for a main meal is more of a decision based on what is the least expensive rather than what is possible.

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