Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What would you do with an unlimited food budget?

Inspired by this comment from Kelly and this one from Jen on a previous post about cooking from scratch, I thought I'd ask:

If you had an unlimited food budget -- that is, you could spend as much as you liked on feeding your family but had to spend it feeding yourselves and couldn't use if for any other purpose no matter how much you'd prefer to give it to charity or save it for a rainy day or buy other things -- how would you eat?

Would you eat nearly every meal in restaurants?

Order pizza or pick up Thai food most nights?

Buy convenience foods because that's what you really prefer?

Shop for the best ingredients and cook most meals from scratch?

Hire a personal chef?

I guess the bottom line is: how does our food budget affect our eating decisions? As food prices continue to increase (and prognostications say it's going to get worse), how will that change our food choices?


For me, my food budget is one of the less important issues in my food choices. That is, it affects the details (Chicken vs. beef? Hamburger vs. steak? Go meatless a few nights a week?) but there are other things I'd cut out before budgetary concerns spurred me to buy cheaper, lower-quality food.


And if I had a truly unlimited food budget? A personal chef sometimes sounds like a tempting idea, but then I remember I live in my kitchen anyway. I might as well cook. So even with an unlimited food budget, I'd probably do pretty much what I do now.

6 comments:

Kelly said...

I think that if I had an unlimited food budget, I'd go wild with cooking! I'd buy all the best ingredients, experiment with meats and veggies I hadn't tried before, start making my own cheese ... hmm, could I also have an unlimited time budget?

vudutu said...

Interesting post Val.
Hummm I am not sure as I eat pretty well right now, I would take my SO out more, not too much as cooking and entertaining seem to be what she loves to do. I would take her to Europe and eat our way from England, down through Spain and into Southern France then down the coast through Italy. Then we would go to cooking classes all over europe. I would drink mobetter wines and Champagne. I would hire Bruce French as my personal chef for a while just because cooking with him would be fun. I am really dating myself here but remember Bistro on Vine or Cocos house salad? That's Bruce, he left here to move to my fave town on earth, Telluride Colorado and became a rock and roll chef. Bruce brought tears to my eyes with his food and again when the South east Asian tsunami hit. Bruce dropped everything and flew flew to Sri Lanka to help. Bruce was the original Anthony Bourdain, he can cook and tell some stories. Have not seen Bruce for a while, I need to look him up.

http://citybeat.com/2005-03-16/diner.shtml

http://www.peraliya.com/

This is a tough read but the best detail of what Bruce went through.

http://www.howardwfrench.com/archives/2005/09/20/dropping_everything/

valereee said...

Kelly, as long as I'm handing out unlimited food budgets, I might as well include unlimited time! :D

Debs said...

I eat pretty well now, and I prioritize buying good food over most other things.

I think I'd buy even more raspberries in July, though. Like, more than the half flat I devour in some weeks. I'd keep buying most of my food from farmers' markets and cooking myself, although I'd try some nice restaurants with good company too.

Food Is Love

Jen (Modern Beet) said...

I had to think about this one for a little while, but after some consideration, I decided that if I had an unlimited food budget, I would continue to shop and eat as I do (most everything at the farmer's market and cook things from scratch), BUT, I would deliberately pay MORE for the clean, fair food I buy.

I am grateful that some farmers/food producers choose to produce food in an sustainable, earth-friendly way, and I think that those food producers should be able to earn the enough wages to live comfortable lives and keep doing what they're doing.

Mati said...

At first, sustainability would go out the window. I'd have sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then move on to the traditional delicacies - caviar, truffles, wonderful cheeses, wine, and chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. I'd travel the world eating. But eventually that would fade to background music and I'd eat, mostly, much the way I do now, locally, just with better fish and cuts of meat, making cheese, and as Debs said, great lashings of fresh berries! Vats and vats.