Deprivation…of what?

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Musings from a sage, long-time CrossFitter, shared with us off Comments on the www.CrossFit.com site…. Perfect timing.

Deprivation. "Eating healthy is too expensive." How often have you
heard some version of that phrase. Whether it be Zone, Paleo, Whole 30,
or just "stay out of the middle of the grocery store", this is uttered
with some degree of exasperation and oppression with a kind of
mind-numbing, self-fulfilling frequency.

How so? Per the folks at Whole Foods, regularly skewered for being
too expensive (seriously, they sell fancy potatoes), on average we in
America spend 7% of our disposable personal income–that's SEVEN–on
food. 50 years ago that number was 16%. We now spend less than 1/2 of
our after-tax income on food compared with what we spent 50 years ago.

And eating well is too expensive.

If we dig deeper into that stat alone we see that modern food
production has decreased the cost of food relative to both income and
inflation. The cost of producing food of all kinds has risen much more
slowly than income. Why? Partly because junk carb-laden food is cheap.
High-fructose corn syrup costs a fraction of grain sugar. Corn-fed
protein with or without pharmaceuticals is grown faster and cheaper than
grass-fed. Stuff like that. Less expensive to produce/incomes risen at a
greater rate across the entire spectrum, top to bottom.

How then is it too expensive to eat a more healthy diet. We have 9%
of our after-tax income to play with, right? Is some other necessity
(shelter, transportation, medical care, etc) eating that up? What are we
doing with that 9% that we can't find some of it to eat better? Ah,
Grasshopper, now we begin to see. It's a 'Nando thing, superficial. It's
not how healthy you are, it's how you look, or something like that.

Some stuff might be more expensive, but the seemingly obvious
culprits are actually false targets (eg. healthcare which for this
audience represents only a tiny % of new cost c/w 50 years ago because
of insurance, govt. programs, etc.). Nope, it's how we CHOOSE to spend
that freed-up 9% .

Think about that household in the 1960's or even the 70's. One car.
One TV. One radio. Once purchased all data was free. A pair of shoes and
a pair of boots. Sneaks if you were a jock. You didn't get your hair
done if you were a guy, you got a haircut. You didn't get your acrylics
touched up every 2 weeks; if you wanted long nails you grew 'em. Stuff
like that.

Fast forward to today and think about the stuff you've acquired,
stuff you are convinced you can't live without, stuff that costs money
that you choose to spend every single day. The ratio of drivers to cars
in a household is seldom less than 1.5/1. The ratio phones to people
over the age of 10 is seldom less than 1/1. It's not enough to have a
phone, or even a phone with an unlimited text plan, nope, it's gotta be a
phone that will let you post your thoughts on today's weather in Bimini
to FB. Right now, from anywhere. If you don't have Netflix available on
each of the 4 flat-screen TV's in the house you are considered a
Luddite.

Listen, I certainly am not saying that all that stuff isn't great,
that it's not a ton of fun and really convenient (as I type on one of
the Apple products that literally litter our household, through my WiFi
network, in front of my LightBright lamp), or anything like that. What I
most certainly AM saying, though, is that people who whine about how
hard it is to afford to eat better almost always do so via a FB post
from their iPhone 5 while sitting in the salon having their hair done,
hungover from too much Bellevedere they consumed last night while
noshing on Doritos smothered in Cheez-Wiz.

9 %. The stark reality is that we have let our things become more important than ourselves.

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