Three adults squatted in the cereal aisle of the Key Foods grocery store in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Each had plucked a different kind of oatmeal from one of the lower shelves. They were trying to determine which was the most healthful and the most affordable.
It shouldn’t have been that hard. And yet, it took a good five minutes for three smart grown-ups to analyze the serving sizes, sugar and sodium contents and the price per unit before they could settle on a 2-pound-10-ounce drum of old-fashioned oats. It contained no sodium or sugar and was $1.06 cheaper per pound than the runner-up, a smaller box of quick oats.
It has become conventional wisdom that Americans don’t know how cook. But shopping for food, especially on a budget, is for many an equally daunting prospect. In a world where busy schedules mean that reheating a frozen pizza counts as cooking, shopping smart might be even more important.
Helping shoppers make good decisions was the goal of this supermarket tour. It was part of a course called Cooking Matters at the Store, developed by anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. The tours explore how to buy fruits and vegetables on a budget, how to read food labels and how to identify whole grains and compare unit prices. In 2012, 21,000 low-income adults attended a tour in 46 states; 68 percent of them were receiving some kind of federal food assistance.
Read the whole story at the Washington Post Web site.