Can you make this 7-day menu with your grocery budget?

Friday, June 3, 2011

"WASHINGTON, June 2, 2011 – First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today unveiled the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going to The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups." excerpt from the USDA Press Release

Let me first say I am completely in favor of an updated symbol of healthy nutrition, the new-ish food pyramid (not pictured above) was confusing. This new plate graphic does work, but I'm sad to see the pyramid I grew up with go.

I was quite surprised by the Sample Menus for a 2000 Calorie Food Pattern. This document can be found on under News & Media.

The menu says that "While this 7-day menu provides the recommended amounts of food and key nutrients, it does so at a moderate cost. Based on national average food costs, adjusted for inflation to March 2011 prices, the cost of this menu is less than the average amount spent for food, per person, in a 4-person family."

This menu uses over 100 ingredients and quite often just a portion of a canned item... And, while I understand you would need to multiply that quantity by 4 I don't think the math makes this cost effective.
So - I've made a summary of all of the ingredients, and during lunch today I am going to try and price common sizes. What do you think, could you feed your family this 7-day menu on your current grocery budget?


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