NPR recently did a story about chefs at the Culinary Institute teaching medical doctors and doctors to be how to cook low cost, healthy, and tasty meals. Well, I am sure that the meals are healthier than what is available on WIC, and I am sure that they are tasty. But low cost? Let’s take a look:
Meal 1: Summertime Fresh
* Salmon or Tuna Burgers with Spinach and Lemon
* Fresh Slaw
* Whole Grain Rolls
* Ripe Sliced Tomatoes or Roasted Red Bell Peppers
* Cost per serving: $2.99 to $3.09
Meal 2: Mediterranean Tapas
* Spicy Lentils
* Ginger Garlic Hummus
* Whole Wheat Pita Bread
* Mediterranean Chopped Salad
* Cost per serving: $3.43
Meal 3: Soup du Jour
* Curried Tomato Soup with Brown Rice or Quinoa and Shrimp
* Whole Grain Rolls
* Cost per serving: $2.88
These are the 3 meals NPR has on its site pertaining to this story. As you can see, they sound delicious. They sound healthy. (To be perfectly honest they sound like things I could never serve my family, but that’s another story . . *grins*) They range from $2.88 to $3.43 per serving. Okay, so let’s take this for a family of four: $11.52 to $13.72 for a single dinner. Now let’s take it out to one week of dinner: $80.64 to $96.04 for dinner every night for a week.
According to the US government, in February of this year (2008), that would have left $50.96 at MOST for the other 14 meals to feed your family under the Thrifty Plan. That is taking the weekly cost of food for a family of 4, with 2 children (6-8 and 9-11) and subtracting the cheap side of what the Culinary Institute deems a low cost range. Spending almost $100 on dinner alone seems to be more in line with the Government’s “Liberal Plan”, the most expensive, which spent over $200 per week on all food for that same family of four.
Maybe the Culinary Institute is trying to make a statement about how doctors should eat, because they will probably be the only ones likely to afford this type of menu.