“Real Food Costs Too Much” Myth: Egg & Beef & Kraut Tostada

Saturday, December 31, 2011

In a continuing series, I will keep posting these items about the real costs of real food, throughout 2012, to build a portfolio that will serve to combat the myths spread by folks who pull food cost information from their hind end in order to justify their own poor eating habits, as well as the habits of others. People who are uneducated about food seem to feel quite comfortable spreading myths about the cost and preparation time of real food, and these myths grow and grow as they are spread from person to person, or by the media. You can find all of these posts in this archive.

This was my kitchen creation, today, made for the purpose of using up some left over items in the fridge.

I slowly cooked some onions and fennel chunks in raw butter, then set half of that aside. In the same pan, I melted some beef tallow. I added two free-range, whipped eggs to the pan, like I would for an omelette, and I slow-cooked this on low. I sprinkled some Celtic sea salt and pepper on the eggs. Meanwhile, I warmed up beef and fat scraps from a previous day when I made beef broth in the slow cooker. The (very tender) meat scraps came from soup bones and beef shanks.

When the egg was just cooked just about right, I used a spatula to pull it from the pan and put it in my plate. I do not turn it over to cook the other side. Slow cooking the eggs accomplishes this. I threw the warmed meat/fat on top, then I added the rest of the fennel and onion mixture. I put three thin-sliced cheese pieces on top – raw garlic and herb cheese. I then sprinkled cold fermented sauerkraut around the sides of the plate. I put dill and cilantro on top, and a tiny dash of a quality garlic powder. The kraut, mixed with the beef and eggs, was quite a treat.

Now, for the real point. Here is the cost of real food:

- local, free-range eggs from chickens that eat flax and organic vegetables as supplements = $3/dozen or .25/egg, for .50 total.

- onions and fennel = approximately .20 total.

- three thin cheese slices from artisanal raw cheese that costs $10/lb = approximately .20.

- beef from beef shanks + soup bones that cost $4 for 2 large packages = approximately .30 for the amount I used.

-homemade artisanal (fermented) sauerkraut that I buy from an artisanal maker = $5/quart or .20 for what I used here.

- spices used = .10.

- tallow & butter = .5

- Time spent = 30 minutes.

- Total = $1.55 per serving for whole, delicious, real, fresh food. Family of four = $6.20. One Arby’s roast beef ‘n cheddar that fits in the palm of a child’s hand = $3.50. Family of four = $14 for an anemic sandwich with no side dish, no vegetable, and little to no nutrition.

The picture at the bottom is a photo taken at Melo farm, where I get my eggs. Those are my egg-laying buddies. When the chickens at Melo farm are on an egg-laying strike, I get the neighbor’s eggs.


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3 Responses to “Real Food Costs Too Much” Myth: Egg & Beef & Kraut Tostada

  1. Tom Mullen says:

    December 31st, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Ok, first of all, that sounds really good! Plus, you make great points about time preference and priorities. I’d like to comment further, but you’ve made me hungry. :D Happy New Year!


  2. pete says:

    January 1st, 2012 at 12:30 am

    nice flock of hens! hope there is a happy rooster in there. the kraut dish was right up my alley! thanks Karen!

  3. cory says:

    January 3rd, 2012 at 4:19 am

    A local winery that hosts libertarian events has some gorgeous chickens. The owner said that he sold the excess eggs for a while but ran afoul (pun intended) of local regulations on egg production and sale. Now he just gives them away.

    Real food doesn’t cost too much. I learned to stretch a dollar living in Eastern Europe with a family from rural Romania, but regulations can really screw up availability and prices. Produce distribution in California is getting hit hard by regulation and it’s about to get a lot worse with new truck regulations. Progressives care nothing about the poor, except as a means of separating producers from their money.

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