Bite Sized Dollars

A well-rounded meal prepared by broke young folks

I graduated university a little over a year ago. One would assume that I also graduated from instant noodles, bagels, and the ever-mighty rice and beans combo. The truth is, I hardly ate like a stereotypical college student. Granted, there were many times when I ate cheaper, readily prepared foods, but for the most part, I never saw food as a place to cut corners in my life. I still don’t.

I recognize the importance of having an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, cheese, and yogurt. I also recognize my privilege to have access to a reliable grocery store, as well as my current economic means to afford such goods. That being said, even when I was living off student loans, it still didn’t make sense for me to not enjoy a wide variety of fresh foods. I think that the stigma of eating like a college student comes from the notion that young adults do not like to prepare their own food. However, many of my pals who make minimum wage are some of the healthiest, most creative eaters I know. It gives them great pleasure in concocting dishes with aesthetic flair as well as good seasoning.

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Having a low income due to being in school — or being a young adult in general — doesn’t necessarily equate to four years beholden to stale noodle dishes, as the American stereotype goes. I think what has always been important to me is to not only enjoy lots of healthy, fresh foods but also to “vote at the grocery store.” This means I reject the idea that just because I don’t yet earn a “typical” salary, I should see food as the bare minimum in terms of my budget. Other countries and cultures don’t view food as such; in fact, a good majority of an individual’s take-home pay in a country like France or Japan goes to groceries, whereas here in the U.S., convenience is king.

Now excuse me while I go prepare fresh butternut squash soup while simutaenously heating up a frozen veggie patty.