According to a sample issue of allrecipes (which arrived in my mail this week), you pay more for convenience foods. Are you astounded by the revelation that pre-packaged salad greens cost more than a head of lettuce, and that an envelope of taco spice mix is pricier than dumping in your own teaspoons of salt, cumin, and chili powder? What? You're not surprised by this news flash? Well, the magazine offers further encouragement to avoid convenience foods:
Going DIY in the kitchen only adds about 10 extra minutes to meal prep, according to the UCLA Center on the Everyday Living of Families.
It might only take me an extra minute or two to add my own spices instead of using a mix. But cooking from scratch takes more time than 10 extra minutes per meal. Shredding cheese. Baking bread. Making soup stock. Preparing dry beans. Rolling out pie crust. Snapping fresh green beans. Scrubbing potatoes, boiling them, and then mashing them. Baking granola.
Now, I'm all for the nutrition boost of real foods. And I think it's wise to try to avoid much of the crud that hides in pre-packaged foods. And it's definitely cheaper to do it yourself.
But c'mon, 10 minutes? If you make a pizza crust from scratch, make the pizza sauce from scratch, cook the sausage, grate the cheese, and then bake the pizza, that's not a mere 10 minutes longer than ripping the plastic off a frozen pizza.
And I'm not even counting whacko things like making your own butter and cheese, raising your own veggies, rolling out your own noodles, etc.
Oh sure, 10 minutes. Like as if do-it-yourself in the kitchen is a trifle.