This food price comparison infographic was published in the NY Times in September of 2011.Yes, it is cheaper to eat whole foods instead of buying McDonalds, but there are a few issues with their comparison meals:
- I wonder: why did they serve milk instead of water with the last two meals? One cup of milk has 6-10 grams of protein, which doesn't matter all that much for the chicken meal, but in the beans and rice meal it nearly doubles the amount of protein per serving.
- Where are the seasonings and condiments? I don't know about you, but there's no way I eat a roast chicken with just salt and pepper or beans and rice with no chiles or cumin!
- Where are the vegetables in the beans and rice meal? Yes, there are two bell peppers and an onion, but divided four ways... Eating so few veggies on a regular basis won't do you any favors.
- The serving sizes of carbs in the chicken and bean meals seem extravagant, especially in the pictures of the full plates. I tell my clients to serve themselves a carb portion equal to the size of their fist. The chicken meal can definitely lose the bread and the bean meal can halve the rice, which will open up more room for veggies.
- Where's the brown rice? One of the simplest health changes you can make is replace white processed grains with brown, helping you fill up on fiber and essential B vitamins.
- It's an aesthetic choice, but why is there bacon with the beans and rice meal? Would it be so bad to show a vegetarian meal? Perhaps this is me picking nits, I don't know.
- Finally, this is obviously nowhere near organic. I wonder how prices would change if they were serving organic (or at least free-range) meat and organic veggies, beans and rice? That would be a truly interesting contrast, and food for thought.
What do you think? Is this an accurate comparison?