Note: I am using organic veggies and milk that are relatively expensive. A person could probably find fresh veggies for less than I'm paying for mine. I believe WalMart now carries milk products without hormones and possibly some organic vegetables. One can also get relatively inexpensive organic veggies at farmers markets. Not to mention growing stuff in one's garden if one has some outdoor space. One could grow herbs such as mint and cilantro on the balcony of an apartment. The people who were interviewed in Food Inc. said they're at work all day, so perhaps they would not have time to tend a garden. Maybe the parents are both working two jobs or something. When I was young, I worked two jobs -- night audit in a hotel from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and in the office of an insurance company from 8:00 until noon. I had very little spare time, that's for sure, but I still managed to have a small garden that I tended on weekends when the insurance company office was not open. Of course, that was before I had a child to take care of. But the children of the family that was interviewed were in their teens, and it didn't appear that they had jobs. Maybe they could spend a couple of hours a week looking after a garden or a few herb plants on the balcony if they lived in a apartment.They didn't look like completely down and out people living in a motel or vacant lot. I'll bet they had a yard or at least a balcony.
I'm not saying it would be easy to get most kids to tend a garden or that it's a common thing. I'm just saying that it's possible for many people the grow at least some of their veggies and herbs, to further reduce the cost of fresh food so they don't have to eat foods with toxic levels of refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats.
My meals today were definitely not the sort of thing a hunter-gatherer would have been likely to eat, but still, there were no refined carbohydrates, and the calorie count was within reason.
Breakfast - oat porridge with milk $0.60 6 minutes 18 g protein
Cup of coffee with half & half $0.15
Lunch: 2 oz string cheese $0.25 less than 30- seconds 16 g protein
cold cucumber soup:
plain Bulgarian yogurt 1 cup $1.50 8 g protein
mint from garden (I don't know how much this would have cost at the store, but it could be left out and the soup would still be good)
chopped garlic $0.05
1/3 large avocado $0.50 3 g protein
Total cost: $2.85 time to peel and chop cucumber, gather mint, chop garlic, slice and peel avocado and run through food processor 8 minutes (this is rather expensive in terms of time & money, but it's very good, and it was so filling I didn't need an afternoon snack)
Supper: bowl of Tasty Classics Corn Chowder $0.25 with 1/2 ear fresh corn $0.12
Time to shell corn: 5 minutes; time to cook corn: 3 minutes; time to heat soup: 4 minutes
A few grapes $0.15 protein 6 grams for soup and 2 grams for corn
For mid evening snack I will have some freshly shell pecans. Free, because I gathered them from the ground, protein 3-5 g protein
For bedtime snack, a bowl of applesauce $0.25
Total cost to eat today: $4.57
Total protein about 57 g
Even though I ate rather extravagantly today, my total daily bill was still under $5. I believe it would cost more to buy three meals at McDonald's. Lessee ... a "value meal" with chicken mcnuggets, fries, and a drink is $6.39, but apparently you can get 12 chicken mcnuggets without the drink and fries for $3.00. You can get a sausage Mcmuffin with egg for $2.29. Looks as though a Big Mac is around $3.75. Looks like it would be very difficult, perhaps impossible to buy three meals at McDonald's for under $5.