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Cost of Healthy Food Eating



Cost of Healthy Food Eating
You value your health.— That’s why you’ve turned to the healthy gourmet cuisine of BistroMD.

You value your time. — And you get the reliable quality and convenience you need from BistroMD heat-and-eat meals.

And you value your dollars. — So, you’re wondering if you’re actually getting the best value for your nutritional dollar.

The quick answer: YES, YOU ARE! In fact, you’ve got a real bargain in fine dining right in front of you!

Here’s why:

What does the food cost?

Economists and health researchers have done the numbers and come up with formulas and figures to prove what you already know: it costs more to eat well!

How much more? Researchers at the University of Washington* found that at 1,500 calories a day, a healthy diet of nutritious, low-calorie foods now costs the average American $27.24! That’s just for the food ingredients! That doesn’t even consider the cost of your time.

And it certainly doesn’t consider the quality-of-life issues like the value of your peace of mind and the relief from the stress and hassle of things like nutritional planning, shopping, cooking or cleaning up. Those important intangibles are pretty hard to hang a number on.

What’s your time worth?

But you can come up with a dollar value for your time, though it’s not as simple as you might think. Economists at Warwick University in England** developed a formula for figuring out exactly what the value of your time is, based on your income, your tax rate and your local cost of living.

It’s a complicated formula (V=(W((100-t)/100))/C, where V is the value of an hour, W is a person's hourly wage, t is the tax rate and C is the local cost of living) not unlike some of the dietary math you’ve probably been trying to get away from! But it yields an after-tax, cost-of-living-adjusted dollar value for an hour of your time, where you live. It’s the real-world cost of the time you spend mowing the lawn, doing your taxes and shopping for and prepping your meals.

Because its validity is based on pretty specific variables, it can’t be averaged and applied nationwide, but here’s an example: for a single person living in Las Vegas, Nevada, earning $78,000 a year (or $39 an hour), your federal tax bracket is 25 percent. The cost of living index for Las Vegas is 1.139. Pour those factors into the Warwick formula, and your real hourly wage comes out at $25.68. (.42 per minute.)

The high cost of eating well

So what does it cost to make your own healthy dinner in Las Vegas? Let’s take that adjusted figure and work out some costs using other known variables.

Based on USDA data, Americans spend an average of 43 minutes a day on grocery shopping (the USDA figure does take into account that this isn’t a daily activity for most people), and an average of 42 minutes a day preparing food. That’s 85 minutes a day on shopping and prep (still doesn’t include planning, travel time or clean up, but we’re keeping it simple here). At that rate, 85 minutes of your time is worth $36.38.

Add to that the aforementioned $27.24 cost for the food ingredients of a nutrient-dense, 1,500 calorie-per day diet, and you’ve got a daily cost of $63.62 for healthy eating—that number’s pretty shocking already, isn’t it?

What else you're spending...

Now, at 42 cents a minute, feel free to add the cost of your valuable time spent traveling to the store (or just sitting in traffic). And don’t forget the clean-up afterwards. If you share duties in a nice “I cook, you clean” partnership, remember that your counterpart’s time has a value, too.

And what about the time spent on conscientiously figuring out what your nutritional needs actually are? How much time goes into that? And should it be more? If you didn’t have BistroMD’s metabolically correct meals all ready for you, or the professional dietitians at BistroMD to turn to for answers about your nutritional needs, would you really put the time and effort into doing it right for you, or would you be shortchanging yourself? Most people are.

When you can actually see the value of your time as money, you understand why spending as little as $25.99 a day for chef-prepared BistroMD gourmet meals turns out to be a real bargain.

Apples to oranges, dollar for dollar?

But there’s one more thing to look at in terms of straight dollars and cents. The same University of Washington study looked at the other end of the food-cost scale, too, and found that people who don’t share your values about health and good living (or who just don’t know any better yet) really do spend less on food. In fact, someone consuming a daily diet of junk food can do that for as little as 10 percent of the food cost of eating well. Of course, they’re paying the price in fatigue, nutritional deficiencies, obesity and other diseases.

And while you’d never consider a total junk-food diet, you might be looking at other “nutrient-balanced” food delivery programs and thinking, could I save a few dollars by going with a different plan? Sure, but consider that you might be moving that much closer to the junk, and suffering another woe of many a junk-food eater. They’re missing out on a big reason for eating high-quality food: pleasure! We’ve heard the story… the discontent of grazing through one food after another, even to the point of being stuffed, because nothing’s actually satisfying. People want to enjoy eating, not just fuel our machines!

Eating a good diet — especially a good weight-loss diet — isn’t just about covering the nutrient proportions. If that was all that mattered to you, you could quickly and efficiently fuel your machine with any number of meal replacement beverage products, and you’ve probably tried a few.

Yet many delivery diets are mass produced using exactly the kinds of additives and fillers you want to avoid. They achieve that nutrient balance with supplements and modern food chemistry, rather than using actual fresh foods in carefully created recipes. Often relying on celebrity branding to win your confidence.

Don’t be fooled. BistroMD uses real food, with menus planned by Dr. Cederquist and professional dietitians, and prepared by chefs, not chemists! It doesn’t cost the same because it’s NOT the same. With BistroMD, you’re paying for delicious, healthy food of uncompromising quality and professional credibility, not celebrity! You taste that difference in every bite! So what’s your dining pleasure worth to you?

We’re convinced BistroMD offers you the best health and dining value in home meal delivery for one simple reason: it’s just better, any way you look at it!

Works Cited:

http://www.csrees.usda.gov/newsroom/impact/2008/nri/03191_food_prices.html
http://finance.yahoo.com/expert/article/moneyhappy/1151
http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/ATUS/Current.htm

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