Meal Prep Tips and Guidelines – Food cost and meal structure

Meal Prep Tips and Guidelines – Food cost and meal structure

January 23, 2020 40 By William Morgan


Hello and welcome to part 2 of our series
on Meal Prep Tips and Guidelines. This episode is all about food cost,
safety, and meal structure, so if you’d like to keep the price of your meals
low, without sacrificing their quality… well, you are on the right video. Let’s get cracking! It is a no-brainer that a plant-based
diet can be incredibly inexpensive, especially if you shop smart
and eat the right foods. Things like whole grains, legumes, spices,
greens and vegetables in general, happen to be amongst the cheapest
foods available in the world. We live in the UK, which was the 12th most
expensive country in the world last year, with a cost of living index
of 81 in 2016. Nonetheless, most of the ingredients
we use are still relatively low cost. To give you some examples, we can find brown
rice for less than £1 and 50 pence per kilo – which would be around $1 per pound in
the US at the time the video was made – dry pulses for about £2 per kilo
($1 and 25 cents per pound), and standard vegetables like carrots,
onions, broccoli and peas for about £1 per kg kilo on average
(around 65 cents per pound). To make everything more clear to those who
prefer the actual price of a final meal, let’s do some easy maths, which by the way is
the only kind of maths my brain can handle: 1kg of brown rice, plus 1kg of chickpeas, plus 1kg
of a random vegetable, like carrots or peas, provide about 7750 calories, which divided by 600 (the calories of a standard
meal we decided in a previous episode) makes a total of 13 meals,
give or take. Now, for the sake of being more abundant, let’s say
that we’d rather opt for meals of 775 calories each, so now it’s 10 meals in total and it’s
even easier for my brain to handle! Well, all of those calories would
cost me about £4 and 50 pence, or 45 pence per meal (about 55
cents for each meal in the US). Now, can you see how cheap a single
healthy meal can potentially be? Obviously I’m not asking you to thrive on brown
rice, chickpeas and carrots, but as far as I know, a meal that costs £1 in the UK, or $1
in the US, is pretty damn cheap, so according to the maths we
did just a moment ago, and assuming that they are correct (and
trust me, I wouldn’t count on that), you would still have 55 pence or 45 cents to invest
in any extra spice, herb, condiment you like, before hitting the £1 or $1 ceiling, and that is
if you do want to lift the flavour of the meal. And I didn’t even mention the frozen and canned
food aisles, the possibility to buy in bulk, and the opportunity to eat seasonally, which can all greatly contribute to lowering
the price of your food quite dramatically. We love the idea of consuming a variety
of different foods throughout the day, and these foods tend to be fruit and berries,
vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, greens, herbs and spices. This doesn’t mean that you
have to eat this way yourself, or to pack every single one of these
ingredients into each bite you take, but we believe it helps a lot to lay down some simple
rules on how the structure of a simple meal could be, and what staple ingredients should include
in order to be considered “nutritious”. Obviously, the food combinations you could
use to create interesting flavours are endless, but when it comes to nutrition, the rules are simple:
rotate the ingredients you use as much possible, try to be seasonal whenever feasible, and eat
a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables. I had a friend who used to carry a broccoli
head in his right pocket at all times, and munch on it whenever he desired. Although
this might be considered a healthy habit, it is also too extreme for most folks, and unlikely to
be necessary, even for more seasoned vegans, so I would recommend to stick to
more classic eating patterns. If you are wondering whether we made the illustrations
for this video ourselves, the answer is NO. We are good with knives, but not that
good with the pencil I’m afraid, which is why the artist Kesh kindly
helped us with his artwork. This young Indian man is incredibly talented
when it comes to art and film-making, and I would love it if you could take the
time to go check his channel out. I’ll leave his social media links in
the description below the video. We hope you enjoyed part 2 of this mini-series
on meal prep tips and guidelines, and if you found it interesting, make sure to give
it a thumbs up and to watch part three, Happy cooking and thank you
very much for watching!