The answer to Jennifer Contreras question “Is Veganism Elite?” is “No!” [Food, Jan 9].
Although Contreras makes some valid points in her article, the idea that people fill up on processed junk only because they can not afford healthful foods is a little simplistic. People eat unhealthful foods for many reasons, including convenience, habit, and preference. Furthermore, convenience foods are usually not cheap. A trip down the supermarket aisles reveals that highly processed items like frozen pizzas and dinners, canned soups, and lunch meats are pricy. Ditto for fast food. In contrast, the simplest foods, such as dried beans, rice, pasta, and fresh fruits and vegetables are affordable, filling, and nutritious.
Soy ice cream and a few other vegan convenience foods are expensive, but they are certainly not necessities. In fact, the high cost of these goodies could be a blessing in disguise because people might consume them less frequently.
Some people, like children and the homeless, may not have much of a choice in what they get to eat, but most of us do. In light of the many diet-related health problems U.S. residents face, substituting wholesome and economical legumes, grains, fruits and vegetables for the fattening, over-priced convenience foods in our diets makes sense for everyone, not just the privileged.