Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Do you think if food prices went way up people would be thinner?

Asked by JLeslie (59781points) January 11th, 2015

When I diet my grocery bill goes down. I eat healthier foods, some of which cost more, but overall I am eating so much less food my overall expenditures are lower.

Let’s confine this discussion to the middle class. The middle class can readily afford fresh foods and there is availability where they live.

I don’t mind a point being raised about how it will affect the poor, but I am most curious about the middle class who have an abundance and variety of food around them that they can afford.

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81 Answers

jca's avatar

No, because the cheapest foods are the ones that are high in fat and calories, such as mac and cheese in a box or canned pastas (like Chef Boyardee). Pure crap, but can probably be had for less than $1 for between one and three servings. So people may eat more of those types of things, and not be thinner.

JLeslie's avatar

I guess I am assuming people will stick to their typical diets. That’s what I was trying to get across by limiting the discussion to the middle class.

longgone's avatar

Simply raising prices across the board does not seem like a good idea.

A shift in prices may do some good, at least. It’s extremely unhelpful to have soda and no-name crisps as cheap as they are.

Sidenote, pet peeve: The fact that “thin” is still a goal in most of these discussions annoys me. Sure, being overweight may often mean you’re not eating right. However, a good weight does not indicate a healthy diet at all.

JLeslie's avatar

@longgone I agree thin does not always mean healthy, but fat almost always means unhealthy. America has a very large portion of the population that is very overweight. Part of that percentage is obese. If I use the word average weight, people often think overweight is average, because we are so warped here. Half of America can’t spot a slightly overeight person, because it looks normal to them. Maybe I could have worded the question better, I don’t question that. My goal is not that people should be skinny, but on average thinner than we are now. The people who are nornal weight already aren’t affected by the question much.

elbanditoroso's avatar

No.

Healthy foods are often more expensive, especially in northern climates and in winter where availability is more difficult.

Further, high price to reduce demand has mixed results. The powers that be tax cigarettes to the roof (raising their prices), and yet many, many people continue to smoke. On the other hand, high gas prices did reduce driving. But you can’t draw a conclusion from two data points.

Finally, raising food prices for health reasons is another sign of the nanny state trying to do behavior modification. That doesn’t work. And it is more likely to cause rebellion and distrust than achieve its goals.

(Think Mary Antoinette—“let them eat cake”)

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: Good point about our perception of what overweight is.

I am also guessing you’re going to find (I’m envisioning this thread) people saying “I know someone who is 150 lbs and they have this, this and this wrong and I know someone who is 400 lbs and has nothing wrong.” That’s not the point. The point is that the 400 lb person may be ok today, but 20 years down the road they’re going to have a zillion ailments, whereas the 150 lb person may have some genetic issue which is almost impossible to avoid.

I am guessing what some might say because previous discussions on Fluther have had these vehement arguments about fat people being healthy, which is pretty ludicrous. There’s also some kind of fat movement where “large” ladies insist that they’re healthy and happy, which may be the case now, but probably statistically not likely to last.

filmfann's avatar

No. Eating at McDonalds is less healthy than eating at a nice restaurant.

longgone's avatar

@JLeslie “My goal is not that people should be skinny, but on average thinner than we are now.”

But, see…why? I’d agree that obese people are less aestethically pleasing than those with an good body weight. For them, though, why is a healthy weight something to work toward? What’s the benefit? Longer life span, fitness? Nope. Those are benefits of eating healthy.

To clarify: Healhy eating, to me, definitely implies being able to keep a healthy weight. The reverse, though, just is not true.

I will tell you a story to illustrate:

My grandma has a brother who is clinically obese. He can’t walk more than a couple of steps. My grandma, though, is perfectly thin. She’s very proud of this -and yet, her diet includes a very low amount of vegetables, high quantities of cheap oil, and no fruit at all. She has to be a good candidate for a heart attack.
Which is something I worry about quite a bit.

Yes, she can walk and does not have to be embarrassed by her body. But in terms of health, how is that kind of hidden unhealthiness a worthy goal?

ibstubro's avatar

I do not.
Carbs are the cheapest and most satisfying of foods. Bread, potatoes, pasta. Starch. When I went vegetarian, I lost weight. Over time I picked it back up, plus some, when I realized that carbs and fat do not necessarily come from animals.

CWOTUS's avatar

This is a depressing question because of the mindset that it reveals. I’m not picking on the OP in particular; it’s a popular mindset among government and those who support “government as it is” and yet more government.

Let’s use smoking as an example. We generally agree that smoking tobacco is generally unhealthy, especially over a lifetime, and that people would be healthier, all other things being equal, if they simply smoked less or did not smoke at all. There’s very little disagreement about this; it’s not a controversial opinion.

So many do-gooders have gotten together via government and had the brainstorm to “make smoking more expensive” to discourage it. Taxes have increased accordingly, and additional restrictions have been placed on where and when people may smoke, including penalties such as loss of employment and high fines to be paid when the rules are broken. The way the taxes are applied is at the “pack” level (since collecting tax on individual cigarettes would be a logistical and accounting nightmare), and therefore cigarettes sold in particular jurisdictions need to have the “tax stamp” for that jurisdiction as part of the seal of the pack of cigarettes.

But not all jurisdictions charge the same tax. It’s easy to get cheap brand-name cigarettes (with very low tax) in one jurisdiction and then sell the loose cigarettes (because the pack has to be broken open and thrown away – the seller won’t want to risk the huge tax penalty for selling without paying the proper tax) in a high-tax jurisdiction such as, oh, let’s say “New York City”.

Now, the New York City tax enforcers understand very well that people selling “loosies” are undercutting their tax collection efforts, so they pass regulations, vigorously enforced by local police, that prohibit the selling of loose cigarettes, because “only tax scofflaws will do that”. So the police do their jobs. And when they find someone – already known to them for this very offense – selling loose cigarettes on the sidewalk, they attempt to enforce the law.

When the person who’s being prevented from selling cigarettes takes exception to this and the police become physical, jumping on his back and putting him in a headlock, among other things, and his general health causes him to have a heart attack at that time and for that cause, a heart attack that becomes fatal, we lose sight of the fact that this heart attack was caused by strict enforcement of tax collection protocols, and has nothing to do with “health” – it never did. (It also has very little to do with “police brutality”, because it’s really “tax collection brutality”, and police happen to be the mechanics who enforce the payment of the tax by not allowing untaxed competition.)

How many Eric Garners and such are we willing to kill in the name of “promoting health”? I’m tired of it, really sick and tired.

Apply the same logic to drugs, to prostitution, to gambling … and now, apparently, to diet itself. How many people are we willing to kill to enforce our own notions of “how to be healthy” to a large population? (The North Koreans have tried famine, which also seems to work well to control obesity.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Some people are literally addicted to food. As with any other addiction, they’ll find a way.

zenvelo's avatar

People have to eat, so the demand for food is relatively inelastic. People will spend money or do what they can to eat. And they will choose calorie dense yet unhealthy food first to save money. Calories are cheap; protein is expensive.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Proper nutrition shouldn’t be a luxury.
Even if this made people “thinner,” most people are going to be malnourished. If you want people to stop being fat, then we should stop coddling their feelings and give them facts. This also ignores another big problem: income inequality.

zenvelo's avatar

@CWOTUS Blaming police brutality and disregard for safety by using illegal chokeholds is the fault of the health industry and tax policies? You have been listening to too much Bill O’Reilly and FOX news trying to always assign blame away from thugs in uniform.

And people like O’Reilly want more government, not less, just government that serves them and not the general populace.

Banning smoking and policies to discourage smoking by raising cigarette taxes are good in that they internalize the external costs of smoking. I don’t care if you smoke, as long as it is not around me and I don;t have to breathe your outgassing like the woman who sat next to me on a train. But why the hell should I pay higher health costs to take care of you?

And it is better for society as a whole to have a healthy populace.

ibstubro's avatar

The premise that eating healthy is expensive annoys me.

I went to Aldi’s this week and bought a box of fresh mushrooms, a carton of fresh grape tomatoes, a cucumber, 6 bananas, a large carton of sour cream and another item or two. When I opened my wallet, the options were 4 $1 dollar bills and breaking a $20. I had 4 more $1s in a bank envelope in another pocket. As I scrambled for it, the cashier said, “That’s $4.52.” Amazing.
A whole box of fresh food for less than $5.

Perhaps you can’t have a craving for ribeyes and get off cheap, but you can certainly eat fresh foods cheaply with little effort.

Cruiser's avatar

Eating whole fresh foods are more costly than canned, boxed or frozen, but I agree that you will eat less as whole foods are more satiating and filling and light years better for you.

CWOTUS's avatar

@zenvelo you’ve made several logical and factual errors in your rebuttal.

First of all, and aside from the fact that I don’t watch (or care for) Bill O’Reilly or FOX News (or any other television news), I also don’t care what he or they profess to want. So don’t make me out to be a disciple of someone that I don’t even listen to.

To disabuse your claim of “police brutality”, the police officer who put Eric Garner in a neck hold – not a “choke hold” – was acting in accordance with department policy. A neck hold is a legally mandated and entirely appropriate method for physical restraint; it’s even a legal wrestling hold. If the apprehended person can say “I can’t breathe”, then obviously he’s not being choked; he can breathe – has to breathe – in order to say the words. He wasn’t being choked. Unfortunately, what neither he nor the officers realized at the time was that he was having a heart attack. And though with interactions between ordinary citizens, if I cause someone to have a heart attack I’ll likely be held responsible for that, with police those rules do not necessarily apply.

I will certainly agree that people smoking less is a laudable goal, but I will not agree that “banning smoking and policies to discourage smoking are good” in the exact same way that I will never agree that The Drug War is a good thing because it makes people stop using drugs. The Drug War doesn’t stop people from using drugs; it makes drugs far more expensive on the black market than they should be, and it makes all of us less safe because of the associated crime and the increased government control and police action that it mandates. How can people still argue otherwise?

Finally, what logical assumptions are you making that “you have to take care of” someone whose health suffers because of his smoking – or drug use or overeating? I disagree with those assumptions, too.

zenvelo's avatar

@CWOTUS Society is burdened by smokers and overeaters and couch potatoes that don’t exercise because it drives up health care costs. To the extent that people who choose risky behavior affect my health care costs, I (and you) take care of them.

As I just said a few minutes ago on a similar thread, let people do what they want as long as they don’t have access to health care to correct bad behavior.

Aethelwine's avatar

@ibstubro I’ve spent the last 20 years trying to find a way to buy healthy foods for my family that are affordable. It’s very difficult. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains are expensive. Your grocery list example might make one small meal for a family of 5. Where’s the protein on your list?

Whenever this subject is brought up on fluther someone will always throw out the rice and beans example. Sure they’re cheap and healthy, but who wants to eat rice and beans three times a day, 7 days a week? I can easily spend $20 for one meal if I want something healthy like lean ground chuck, bell peppers, strawberries and whole grain bread. I can spend $5 for hot dogs, buns and macaroni and cheese. I don’t see how anyone can deny a healthy diet is more expensive.

JLeslie's avatar

@ALL I am not talking about government raising prices. I want food to be as inexpensive as possible for the people. Big profits either go to corporations or government, and that is not where my head is at. It’s more of a theoretical question. It has been proven people will eat the portion in front of them. If prepackaged foods and restaurant foods are in smaller portions people might eat less. Or, maybe they won’t. Some would I think. Especially, if they are eating the smaller portion all along. When we get used to bigger portions it’s harder to cut back. People from Japan probably visit America and cannot believe the portion sizes in restaurants. They are thinner until they start living here. That has to do with type of food and portion size in my opinion. As far as NYC trying to enact laws about the size a Coke can be, I am against a law, but I do think in practice people would drink less soda if the law was in place. I know when I was little in NY we had to pay for a second Coke in a restaurant, there weren’t free refills, so we had one, and some water if we were still thirsty. We didn’t drink 25 ounces of soda in one sitting.

As far as at home. I think it all counts. I think restaurant portions help us get used to larger portions and more calories period. Also, possibly if a steak cost double, we would serve less to our families. Maybe not. When I look around the world I am pretty sure countries in Europe groceries are more expensive, and it seems they weigh less on average than Americans. Is their a relationship? I’m not sure, that is what the question is for.

I’m not talking about people changing their diets to unhealthy foods. That is the argument we use for the poor. I am saying maybe portion sizes will get smaller. When I “diet” I reduce my meat intake by 80% and I save a lot of money, but I am not saying everyone is going to cut down on meat because of cost. I don’t know.

@longgone If someone eats all healthy food, but too much of it, and it causes them to be overweight, the weight is stored as fat. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t consume a lot of fat, that’s just how the body stores extra calories once the muscles are at their fill for amino acids (protein) and the glycogen storage (sugars) is full. I’m not talking about exceptions where they do a lot of weight lifting and it is more muscle, I’m just talking about the average person. The good thing is the healthy foods provide good nutrition in terms of minerals and vitamins compared to a diet that has more sugar and fat and the two people are around the same weight.

Fat percentage is fat percentage, doesn’t matter much how you got there. My dad is obese. He is 95% vegetarian, mostly vegan, and the eggs he does eat are egg white only and the dairy is low fat. He started that diet after having heart bypass at 46. I do think he is healthier than he would be if he were obese and still eating meat and cheese all the time, but his obesity is what it is. In his 60’s he had to have a carotid artery tied off, because it was over 90% blocked. He is borderline diabetic, although I wonder if that is from his cholesterol lowering drugs. He also has blood pressure problems. His volkswagen shape, as my husband calls it, I am sure if you cut my dad open the fat is very visible in his stomach, probably around his heart and other organs too. My dad will eat everything put in front of him.

Aethelwine's avatar

oops. My disgust for mushrooms made me forget that they are a protein.

longgone's avatar

@JLeslie Well, a healthy diet, to me, implies that there can’t be overeating. Eating the right amount, OTOH, does not mean eating healthily. Do you not see my point? I’m confused.

JLeslie's avatar

@longgone I am primarily thinking about overeating regarding this Q. Americans eat too much. Have you been to America? The portions are incredible at the majority of restaurants.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond This is why I was trying to exclude not being able to afford higher prices. Let’s say you easily can afford $20 or $30 worth of healthy food, and portions are very big. Would you rather spend the $20 and eat a smaller portion and not be stuffed to the gills?

I’m not talking about hot dogs or sirloin steak. I’m saying you can eat whatever healthy food you want, you can afford it, but are you going to not overeat as much if it is costing a lot of money? My impression is you are thin, so probably higher prices will just mean more money spent for you in my example.

longgone's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, I’ve been to the U.S. I agree about overeating being a problem – who in their right mind wouldn’t?

I’m saying that the focus has to be on eating well, not eating less. Eating less on its own won’t do squat.

JLeslie's avatar

@longgone In America I would say it’s both. I was assuming for the Q they won’t be switching from fresh fruit to fast food, but that is hard to prevent in Q’s like this. Unavailability of healthy food in poor areas, and also food being priced out of reach for the poor, are hot topics in America. I care about those topics, it just wasn’t my goal here. I tried to avoid it in my original details, but it didn’t work well. I understand why. My only point is, I saw it coming.

It might be very possible price won’t matter and people will continue to each large portions. I tend to think it would make a difference, but I could be completely wrong. I’m fine with being wrong if I am.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@JLeslie “Have you been to America? The portions are incredible at the majority of restaurants.”

Are you saying here that Americans serve portions at home in exactly the way that restaurants do? People whose food intake could be limited by menu prices are not eating in restaurants to begin with.

This actually changes the flavour of the discussion a bit. No one can walk into a restaurant and say “This dish is too expensive, therefore serve me 2/5 of the amount and reduce the price”. What they will do if the dishes are too expensive is eat out less. They have very little control over portion sizes, and whatever control they do have is worked against by social pressure; people can’t, on a large scale, start ordering only from the children’s or appetizer sections of the menu.

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves I am saying that I do think restaurant portions do affect at home portions. Not for everyone, but if people eat out regularly they become accustomed to eating the larger portion. Once you get used to the larger portions and higher calories your body likes to stay at the higher level. I saw it with my own body. In my 30’s I started eating out much more and vendors would bring me chocolates during Christmas, etc. During that year I gained about 8 pounds and lost my feeling that I could not fit one more bite in my stomach. Now I could eat and eat and not be panicked I was going to puke, something significiantly changed.

Actually, in my late teens I learned to eat more with my boyfriends family. They used to criticize how little I ate, I learned to eat more with him, I wish I never had. I guess I stretched my stomach during each of those times in my life. Everything they made was from scratch.

Edit: Some restaurants have been reducing portion size to keep prices lower. We do have a chain in America that everything on the menu is 500 calories or less. Appetizers, main dishes and desserts. In other words three courses is 1500 calories or less.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t think your premise makes sense. The people who would need to tighten their belts in response to an increase in food prices are not going to restaurants regularly anyway. They are avoiding restaurants altogether, because they can’t afford them.

Middle class diners wouldn’t serve themselves less at home. They would go to restaurants less often, and perhaps make a few more subtle changes, like buying different brands. I think maybe your perception of income and spending is a bit out of whack.

flutherother's avatar

If they taxed unhealthy processed foods it might.

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves Well, I’m middle class. I eat out about once a week now, because I don’t work full time anymore. When I go out for steak there often is a choice of how many ounces I want and I choose the smaller one usually. Price isn’t the reason for me, but it might be for some other people. For me I want to eat less meat in my diet. On the other hand if I have a choice of a small portion or large portion and meat isn’t a factor, I will often choose the smaller portion, because I feel like I should eat less and it is cheaper. As long as the value doesn’t change, I buy the smaller. If it is a situation where you spend $2 more and get twice as much food, then the value would influence me to get the larger possibly.

There are a lot of factors. Take for instance a sub at Publix supermarket. 6 inch is $6, but 12 inch is $9 (I’m rounding). I buy the 6 inch for myself. If I bought the 12 inch (oh, I just realized this is another example in America of using imperial measurement haha) I definitely run the risk of eating more than 6 inches at one sitting. When my husband and I are together we split a 12 inch and I give him more like 7 inches and me 5 inches and I am still plenty full. I don’t even need the 6. Plus, I take a piece of meat and add it to his side and he gets double cheese and I take none. I take no cheese no matter what. I think a lot of people buy the foot long for the good deal though even for themselves. Some people might be great at putting half aside for later. Some people might be overeating because of it.

It’s similar to the supersize criticism of McDonalds. A little more money and get a very large portion of fries and coke. Were people learning to overeat because of it? That’s what a lot of America was in an uproar about. I never was on the side of blaming McD’s or making some sort of law about it. I shared the fries with my husband and the coke. Although, I still usually share the fries, even now when the fries are a smaller portion. I think the price, the “deal” does influence some people.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@JLeslie “Price isn’t the reason for me, but it might be for some other people.”

This is my point. There’s no reason to suspect that others of your class would be forced to make food buying choices based on price if you don’t have to.

talljasperman's avatar

Prices are already to high and I skip meals and have top ramen for supper

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves Price isn’t for me in that one situation, but it is in others.

prairierose's avatar

Overall food prices have gone up, when compared to several years ago and people in the US are as fat as ever. So.. no, an increase in the price of food will not make us thinner.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It is so easy to over eat at restaurants. For one, at many they do give huge portions. For another, it’s easy to order a bunch of stuff because you don’t have to be the one to cook it.

For example, Rick and I usually eat breakfast out on Saturdays. usually order two eggs and some toast and milk, which is what I’d actually have at home. (Last Saturday they also served up a plate full of hash browns with my food as part of the order. Just comes with them. I didn’t eat any of them.)

Rick, however, orders two eggs, sausage, hash browns, gravy on the hash browns and toast. Sometimes a pancake too. That is far more than we would make at home.

marinelife's avatar

How about raising prices on unhealthy foods?

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I think if you’re going to tax unhealthy options, you’d also have to subsidise the healthy foods that need to replace them. It’s not going to happen.

Dutchess_III's avatar

People just need to make their own decisions and quit trying to blame the results on someone or something else.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Eating healthy and eating less are fine and well, but there’s another large factor here that’s being completely overlooked – the sedentary lifestyle that most Americans lead now. We’ve shipped off most jobs that involve physical labor. And the jobs we do have are so from from our homes that we have to drive to get to them. So we crawl out of bed, drag our large asses into our cars, drive 45 minutes to work (stopping along the way a sugar and milk coffee-flavored beverage to wake us up), sit at a desk for 8 hours, drive 45 minutes back home, sit to eat dinner, sit and watch TV for a few hours, go to bed and rinse/repeat.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sitting at computers all day instead of delivering memos and stuff.

talljasperman's avatar

@all I just ate 1 and a half burgers. I’m full. It costs $25 dollars. $10 delivery $12 for burgers $3 tip.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Plainly the answer to the question is “No.”

talljasperman's avatar

@dappled_leaves Burp… yes i agree people will just spend less on other things, than to give up on food. My mom always said that you can save money on everything except food. Food is number one, even before rent.

ibstubro's avatar

I have the luxury of having time to shop @jonsblond. My point was probably that if you’re willing to incorporate what fresh foods are cheap into your diet, eating healthier does not have to be grossly more expensive.

Although I do not eat meat, I bought a whole pork loin to cook. $1.98 a pound. I’ll cut it in half and put ½ in the freezer. I’ll cook ¼ as boneless chops, then a few days later roast or grill the other unfrozen ¼. I’m not cooking for 5, so I’ll easily get 8+ meals out of a $13 loin. I know where the cheap food is, and I shop it for me and mine. Yesterday I scored a huge bag of chopped romaine for $1. Nothing wrong with it. The 12 pounds of pasta salad I got for $2 will be spread over 3 additional households. They also frequently offer chicken cheap here, too.

I stopped to see the new Aldi specials today. The pork will be cooked with multi-colored peppers and Roma tomatoes. I peeled the grape tomatoes and cuke, marinated them on Italian dressing. Will be a great topping for the romaine.

I think the additional time it takes to eat fresh food [reasonably] is probably greater that the additional money.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@talljasperman

You could have gotten a bit more than 1 and a half burgers out of that $25.

talljasperman's avatar

@Dutchess_III No.. but I skip breakfast and lunch and have top ramen for supper… I just really wanted a burger. @Darth_Algar I was sick of pizza and KFC.

talljasperman's avatar

…edit I ate the last half.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. You did not pay $25 for a hamburger. For 20 hamburgers maybe, but not for 1 and a half.

talljasperman's avatar

@Dutchess_III $6 each of Mozza and Teen burger. $10 delivery the rest was a tip.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@talljasperman

You know you have options other than fast food, right?

talljasperman's avatar

@Darth_Algar Just really wanted a burger.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s insane. Wish I had your money!

talljasperman's avatar

I make $1588 a month. I have low overhead, no kids. I don’t smoke or drink. I rent. No car.
@Dutchess_III Why what do you make a month?

Dutchess_III's avatar

My husband makes about $4000 a month. Currently I’m unemployed.

talljasperman's avatar

@Dutchess_III Your family just has different priorities. Your family makes 2.5 times what I make more if you change it into Canadian dollars.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have NEVER been one to waste money like that! Never! I still buy the cheapest stuff at the grocery store and hunt for sales. I buy my clothes at Goodwill.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@talljasperman

With that $25 you could have bought the stuff to make several burgers. I’m just saying that you live on a fixed income, I’ve seen you mention money concerns quite a few times, yet from what I’ve seen on your postings it seems like just about all you ever eat is fast food, and delivered at that. That’s expensive. You could make your money stretch a lot further if you weren’t ordering pizza, KFC, burgers all the time. I mean that’s fine every so often, but not as a regular thing (not even getting into the health aspect there).

talljasperman's avatar

@Darth_Algar If I cooked the food myself I would get food poisoning. It’s the best I can do until I get back to veggies with dip and fresh fruit. I got a GST(Goods And Service Tax refund) check from the government for $100. I get them 4 times a year. I just splurged. I love A&W burgers I worked for them as a Fry/Cook (like spongebob squarepants) and I charged $750 a month in burgers. I want to work at A&W again for the cool pop on tap and 50% discount. I bought the Black shoes just in case I get hired.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Wait…..what? You were a short-order cook but can’t cook a burger for yourself because you’re afraid of food poisoning?

talljasperman's avatar

@Darth_Algar Yes. I made the bacon and onion rings, and prepped the stations. My burgers were all using the chart point by point with timers. I was fired for preparing the cheese wrong.

jca's avatar

@talljasperman: What kills me about what you just ate is that your food was $12 and your delivery fee was $10 plus the $3 tip. You paid almost as much for delivery, not counting the tip, as you did for the food. I would never every be willing to pay 10 dollars on a 12 dollar food order. I live near a nice restaurant (not luxury restaurant but what they call “dressy casual”), and I was going to order something from them in a snow storm. Between the minimum food order required for delivery, the delivery fee, the tax and the tip, I figured it was going to be $40. I thought about it and I thought “oh hell no, thank you. I’ll just make do with whatever I have in the house.”

If I were you, I would probably either have walked to get the food or walked someplace closer to eat, or made something at home.

jca's avatar

I think someone did a comparison once on here about cost per calorie, and foods like my example way above, mac and cheese for less than $1 per box of about 2 servings is unequaled by anything like green salad or other fresh and healthy options, based on typical prices.

JLeslie's avatar

In going to concede after reading all the responses and say higher prices probably would not lead to thinner people.

I never was considering purposely raising prices hoping people would eat less.

Junk food is taxed in some states while basic groceries aren’t. That is nothing new.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Yeah and raising cig costs will cut smoking ~

Aethelwine's avatar

@ibstubro You are speaking to a stay-at-home mom of 12 years. I have the luxury of spending four hours in the kitchen each day to cook a healthy meal. I said it wasn’t cheap. I didn’t say I can’t afford it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@jonsblond Oh shit, I read that wrong. At the risk of incurring jons wrath, I thought it read I’m not cheap. But relax jon, you have a great lady.

ibstubro's avatar

How far are you from Mt. Sterling, @jonsblond?

Aethelwine's avatar

^ 54 miles.

Stinley's avatar

Going back to the original question. I don’t think it would make much different to the middle classes as they already have the choice what they eat. Some choose to eat out/takeaways/big portions, others choose to eat healthily. The poorer people possibly can’t afford to eat healthily because the food is more expensive and generally isn’t as long-life as cheaper, processed food.

If the cost of food went up then this state of affairs would continue, or even that diets overall would get worse as people could afford less and resort to buying the ‘unhealthy’ cheaper foods.

If the cost of processed foods was raised or the prices of fresh healthier foods reduced then I could see a change happening. But that would never happen in any capitalist country as it goes against free market economy. I can’t think of any circumstances where it would happen naturally.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@talljasperman why do you think you would get food poisoning if you cooked at home?

@Stinley That depends on how poor. Really poor, and they get food stamps out the wazoo.

talljasperman's avatar

@Dutchess_III the last burgers we expired and someone stopped me from eating them. I don’t like storing meat.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Don’t you have a freezer/fridge?

talljasperman's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’m uncomfortable talking right now can we let it go.

jca's avatar

I hear the Frozen theme “Let it go, let it go!”

Pandora's avatar

As someone who grew up in a poor neighborhood, I can tell you that people will go for the most filling food. People will buy less fast food and load up more on starches that are filling vise buying veggies and fruits. My parents had 5 kids to raise and both only had minimum paying jobs in the city.

We didn’t have food stamps so we had to live on what they earned. So we ate , plenty of beans, rice, sandwiches, hotdogs, and meat that was on sale at the market and drank milk and concentrated orange juice that you had to make into a pitcher of orange juice because the ones fresh in bottles were too expensive.

Fruits were a little pricey back then so it was a special treat to get some apples or oranges. Bananas were within my parents price range. Cream of wheat, and oatmeal and eggs. We also ate salads and can veggies and plantains but that was cheap back then. Back then a little bit of money could go a long way. Now it is nearly impossible to stretch that dollar to go that far. Oh, we did have help from someone who gave my mom a block of cheese or a package of hotdogs or left over bread that was going to be thrown out because it reached its expiration date at their job. So rather than throw perfectly good food out, they gave it to us.
But I remember buying junk food at lunch in school rather than eat the crappy, so call healthy food they served, and when I didn’t have money, I just chose not to eat anything at all.

Pandora's avatar

I meant, I chose not to eat the free crappy lunch.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Raising prices on food will not make the US a thinner nation. Food is ingrained too much in everyday living. Food here is so abundant celebrations are geared or created just around food. Food is used for entertainment. Just as higher prices at the pump have not cleaved people off their big, cumbersome, guzzling, SUVs and tankish trucks, they won’t slim down. As said before, they will find a way to keep the food trough going, even if they have to ditch the cable, go back to 3gb data speed or even use less heat, they will still find a way to keep their pie hole stuffed with food.

Coloma's avatar

No, I don;t belive so and everyone has done a great job of explaining why. Now, I’m hungry, going for a 9 pm slice of gourmet Pecan Pie. haha

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