Mark Bittman is a journalist, food writer and cookbook author with a direct writing style, which I admire. His book How to Cook Everything is a must for any avid home cook. He wrote a great article in the NY Times this week entitled “Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?”. It’s an interesting read and debunks some of the information about the cost of food. Having just gone through the hunger challenge I agree with him that healthy food can be made inexpensively, but with effort and planning. Money alone is not the issue. He concludes the fight to shift people’s eating from fast food to home cooked meals must be via education, policy and culture. He brings up some interesting statistics in this article. I had no idea there are 5 times as many fast food restaurants as grocery stores. Wow! And he also write about the fact that the engineering behind hyperprocessed food makes it virtually addictive. “A 2009 study by the Scripps Research Institute indicates that overconsumption of fast food “triggers addiction-like neuroaddictive responses” in the brain, making it harder to trigger the release of dopamine. In other words the more fast food we eat, the more we need to give us pleasure; thus the report suggests that the same mechanisms underlie drug addiction and obesity.”
I think he’s got some good questions and issues and brings into focus how our food and diet needs to change, and everyone needs to take responsibility and action. Individuals, families, local communities, and government need to get educated and involved.