Junk food is NOT cheaper than food cooked at home.
Eg. Roasted chicken with a basic salad and glass of milk would cost $14 while a meal at McDonalds for a family of 4 costs $28. (US prices)
– The problem is not ‘not enough time’ it’s the actual act of cooking – cooking is often perceived as ‘work’ while eating out is perceived as ‘pleasure’
– Money, time, access, and skills are not the only considerations. The concentrated presence, convenience, and habit forming appeal of hyperprocessed foods must be considered.
A 2009 study indicates that 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.
– Real cultural changes are needed to turn this around. Somehow, no-nonsense cooking and eating — roasting a chicken, making a grilled cheese sandwich, scrambling an egg, tossing a salad — must become popular again. We need to get people to see cooking as a joy rather than a burden, or at least as part of a normal life.
– We’ve seen minor successes, but the food movement is still at the infant stage, and we need a massive social shift to convince people to consider healthier options.
– To make changes like this more widespread we need both cultural and political action
Cultural action – celebrating real food; raising our children in homes that don’t program them for fast-produced, eaten-on-the-run, high-calorie, low-nutrition junk
Political action – agitating the government to limit the marketing of junk; forcing its makers to pay the true costs of production; recognizing that advertising for fast food is not the exercise of free speech but behavior manipulation of addictive substances; and making certain that real food is affordable and available to everyone. The political challenge is the more difficult one, but it cannot be ignored.