The cost of a calorie

Eating right can be hard. And expensive. I constantly find myself calculating how many calories per dollar I’m getting. Sometimes I optimize health over money, but I only have finite money- so compromises must be made without losing too much of the enjoyment of eating bad-for-you foods. Yes, I could buy dried beans and spend my life cooking. But I’m not a great cook so I tend to buy a fair amount of premade lunch food.

Luckily, many brands are working to provide you with healthier options. Like baked Cheetos— eww. There’s always a trade off between calories and cost– and flavor. The most likely candidate for best calorie to dollar ratio is the McDonalds McDouble (see this lovely article at The Blaze about it.) The cost to calorie ratio is a real problem. A salad costs more than a burger and you get less calories. (Unless it’s covered in cheese- but that’s a different problem!) CornChowder

But the brand whose continually working to find lower calories versions of its food that bothers me the most is Progresso. Progresso has like 40 soups under 100 calories. SOUP IS ALREADY LOW CALORIE! Did you really need to develop a more watered-down version of Chicken Noodle soup so that instead of paying $3 for 100 calories, I can pay $3 for 70 calories?! So instead of getting 0.3 calories per penny, I’m getting 0.2 calories per penny. WHY WAS THAT NECESSARY? Even the Chicken Corn Chowder went from a raging 200 calories to supposedly more waist-line manageable 100 calories. Thus, doubling the cost of a calorie while simultaneously halving the flavor of the soup.

So, do yourself a favor, just buy the soup that tastes good. You won’t regret it.

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About Samantha from SocialMath

Applied Mathematician and writer of socialmathematics.net.
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