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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Connection? between frugality and natural foods

I've been reading quite a few frugal blogs lately, and I noticed one thing that many of them had in common. These frugal bloggers (shall I call them froggalers?), very frequently, in addition to being pros at getting the most for their dollar, are into whole foods, healthy eating habits, and natural foods and natural medicines.

With youtube shows like this, it would seem that in order to save money, you need to feed your family unhealthy over-processed foods lacking much nutritional value. In fact, many of the queries I get from people who discover how little I spend on food shopping regard how it is impossible to serve your family healthy meals on a minimal budget, and that in order to eat healthy, you must spend lots of money. These people are convinced that in order to eat healthily, and lose weight while not starving yourself, you must spend lots of money on food.

Reading blogs like Homestead Blogger, Nourishing Days, Simple Green Frugal, Under 1000 per month, Oceans of Joy, you see that you can be quite frugal, yet still make a goal of providing healthy food for your family.

What is the reason that these froggalers™ are also health food “nuts” when seemingly, cheap food is usually not synonymous with healthy food, as healthy food is more expensive?

Here are some of the ideas I came up with.

1)Froggalers generally make food from scratch. When you're not buying processed foods with all its additives and instead make it yourself, you're already eating much fewer chemicals as people generally aren't adding the same artificial colorings, flavorings, preservatives, etc... to the food they are making. Once they are already making the food from scratch, its not much harder to ensure that the food is healthier, and oftentimes, even homemade health-food is cheaper than processed store-bought food.
2)After I was making food from scratch for a while because of monetary reasons, my body became un-used to additives in my food to the extent that when I tried eating something with chemical additives one day, it made me feel so sick and gave me a splitting headache for hours. In my case, I don't really have a choice whether or not I make healthy foods- I can't in my right mind make food that I know will get me sick. So I stay away religiously from any chemicals in food. Perhaps other people discovered the same affect that chemicals have on them, so they make additive free food now.
3)Because they aren't putting in chemical preservatives in their foods, yet they don't want to waste money on food spoiling, froggalers learn about chemical free preservation methods, like lacto-fermentation (salt or whey pickling) and in doing so, also learn about the health benefits of these preservation methods. Once they start learning about one traditional way of preserving food, they start learning more about the benefits of traditional eating habits (a la Nourishing Traditions) and start eating in more traditional styles.
4)Natural medicine is cheaper than standard medicine. When your kid is coming down with a bug, its much cheaper to give him fresh garlic and onion and vitamin C and different medicinal herbal teas than it is to pay for a doctor's visit and pay for medicines, either over the counter or prescription. Once you start making foods yourself and making things like clothes and crafts and other things all for yourself, becoming more self-sufficient, a natural extension of that is to try to heal a sick person by yourself.
5)One froggaler reads another froggaler who reads another froggaler. One froggaler starts with traditional, natural foods, and a chain reaction occurs and they all learn from each other and mimic each other's doings. I know I first learned about Nourishing Traditions and natural food preparation methods by reading Oceans of Joy's blog.
6)I'm just reading all the “wrong” blogs and there are plenty of froggalers out there who aren't into natural foods at all and inundate their cheap food with aspartame, sucralose, msg, HFCS, msg, food colorings, artificial flavorings, etc...

Froggalers out there who are also into natural foods- do you think there is any connection between your frugality and your eating habits?

Others who don't fall into the aforementioned category- what do you think is the reason for this large overlap between froggalers and natural foods?

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