If you follow the “junk food debates” — in other words, why do people continue to eat so much junk food instead of cooking healthy meals for themselves? — you’ll often see the argument that junk food is cheaper. These days, especially, cheap is king. Mark Bittman recently argued that cooking at home was cheaper than buying junk food, but as the post linked above points out, he forgets to take into account the cost of labor. Labor counts for a lot.
If we want to encourage people to cook for themselves, we need to show them that cooking can be easy and fun. It took me a long time to learn that. I think the message should be that you can cook a yummy and healthy meal in less than 30 minutes, that it’s okay to try new things in the kitchen, and it’s definitely okay to mess up every now and again (and get a pizza on those nights).
- Is Junk Food Really Cheaper (nytimes.com)