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Thread: The Cost of Protein

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Birkenstocks & hairy arm pits.

    The Cost of Protein

    Lately, Iíve been thinking that now that Iím in the Primal groove, itís time to budget Ė which doesnít necessarily mean cutting back as much as it means being smart about how I spend my food dollar. My ultimate goal will be to see if one person can eat Primal-ly on $200/month without going over 75 gms of carbs per day. I arbitrarily chose $200/month because thatís how much in foodstamps the Fedíl govt gives a household of one, if they qualify by income.

    First step: learning the cost of protein based on whatís available to me without having to drive 50 miles to the nearest farm (which does have its impact on the planet). Your costs will be different based on where you live, whether or not you have the space for a large freezer, access to cow sharing, etc., so this is only a generalization. Iíve used an arbitrary need of 85 grams of protein per day.

    Notes: Anything that isnít labeled CAFO is either grass-fed, organic, pastured, or wild. The sardines are wild, caught off the CA shore, and in bpa-free cans, so you can surely find them less expensive. The salmon, on the other hand, may be artificially low because I had to buy 20 pounds to get the price I got. For CAFO products, Iíve factored in for not eating the visible fat/skin.

    I used protein because based on my experience, itís the most expensive macro. Carbs and fats are relatively inexpensive.

    So, hereís what Iíve found to be the cost of 85 grams of protein:

    CAFO lean pork/loin: $1.42
    Whey Protein Powder: $2.41
    CAFO chicken breast, skin removed: $2.66
    Eggs: $3.39
    Beef Shanks: $3.69
    Chicken livers: $5.05
    95/5 Ground Beef: $5.75
    Salmon: $7.95
    Sardines: $9.01
    Squid: $10.72
    Shrimp: $11.00
    Oysters: $23.90

    Some of these were an eye-opener (I love my oysters). Also, it floored me that CAFO pork and chicken were lower than eggs (nothing should be cheaper than eggs! Weíre all so getting screwed by subsidies.). But doing the calculations did show me that in a pinch, I could eat pretty inexpensively Ė however, I wouldnít relish the idea of eating CAFO all the time.

    Hopefully, this might give those of us living on a tight budget a jumping off place on bang-for-the-protein-buck.

    Next step: planning thirty days of meals that are healthy and seeing if I can actually do that on what the govt thinks I can.
    Last edited by JoanieL; 02-09-2013 at 08:37 AM. Reason: calculation errors
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


    Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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