The Cost of a Paleo Diet–and the Value Received

Robb Wolf, the current “It” boy of the Paleo movement, posted about the (mis)perceived high cost of eating a caveman’s diet.  This got me to thinking about how much money I spend feeding my family on a weekly basis.

I don’t skimp on food.  We are doubly fortunate in having in the means to purchase high quality food and having access to it as well.  Even though we live in Chicago, where “seasonal” produce means cabbage and potatoes for the majority of the year, specialty and ethnic markets provide an embarrassment of riches to those willing to seek them out.  I have a very part-time job that requires me to drive around different areas of the city and it’s easy for me to pop in and out of places to pick up king oyster mushrooms, shiso leaves, whole fishes, and various types of offal not usually seen in sterile suburban markets. Continue reading


Kohlrabi Slaw

In the spirit of health and economy, I wrote about cooking with an infrequently used plant part, kohlrabi greens, a few weeks ago. Most people buy kohlrabi for the sweet, crisp bulbs, so if you know what you’re going to do with the leftovers from the greens (roast them, mash them, eat them raw), you’re in good shape. Personally, I like to make a slaw out of them. Feel free to modify ingredients or proportions–I never make this from a recipe and it’s different every time, but never fails to be delicious. An added bonus–it can sit in the fridge for days and still be good. Continue reading

My Food Nazi

I have a friend who I refer to as a “food Nazi.”

She is a wonderful person, kind and insightful, and a hell of a lot of fun to be around–most of the time. However, she is a hard-line fundamentalist about certain foods.  This in and of itself is somewhat annoying, since she buys into the conventional wisdom (low fat is good, high carb is good, vegetarian is good, and raw vegan is best) without questioning its foundation and its relevance to her life. What makes me crazy is when she creates a byzantine series of exceptions to her rules that allow her to enjoy the food she condemns.  Wheat is bad but couscous and bulgur are okay.  Bread made from flour, yeast, water and salt is bad;  a gluten-free loaf wrapped in plastic and sitting in the freezer at Whole Foods is healthy.  If something is “fresh” or doesn’t have “chemicals,” it’s fine. Continue reading