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Price wars

(article, Culinate staff)

Mark Bittman's op-ed column in the New York Times yesterday tackled the current idea that fast food is cheaper than real food. 

No, Bittman's chief argument wasn't the familiar policy one: that fast food is only cheap at the point of purchase, ignoring the enviromental and public-health costs of producing the stuff. (Besides, he's already suggested sin taxes as a way of helping to even out those subsidy imbalances.)

Instead, he simply argued (as he's argued before) that supermarket groceries for, say, a meal of roast chicken and vegetables (about $14 total for four people) are cheaper than a meal of Mickey D's (about $28 for two adults and two children). 

Bittman even jumps on the anti-elitist bandwagon in his call for cultural change:

bq. Somehow, no-nonsense cooking and eating — roasting a chicken, making a grilled cheese sandwich, scrambling an egg, tossing a salad — must become popular again, and valued not just by hipsters in Brooklyn or locavores in Berkeley. The smart campaign is not to get McDonald’s to serve better food but to get people to see cooking as a joy rather than a burden, or at least as part of a normal life.