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Dead Prez's Stic and wife Afya talk why they eat 'good on a hood budget'

Sticks and M1 of the group Dead Prez perform onstage at the 2007 J.A.M. awards and concert at Hammerstein Ballroom on November 29, 2007 in New York City. 

When we grow up and create a new way of living In response to the bad habits of those around us, going against the grain can be exactly what we need to move forward. With that in mind, this blog caught our eye: "7 Ways To Eat Good On A Hood Budget."

It was authored by musician Khnum Ibomu, better known as Stic from the hip-hop group Dead Prez.

Stic and his wife Afya*, a nutritionist, joined Marketplace Money to talk about how their family breaks bread without breaking the bank.

On if 'healthy' food is more expensive

KI: "A lot of people feel that it's tougher. It's more expensive because of our concept of what health food is. And we think it's all the packaged foods and the whole foods aisle, but really the most dense nutrient-wise foods are the cheapest. It's the produce aisle, so you know, lettuce, apples, carrots, things of that nature is the cheapest thing in the whole supermarket. So that's the first thing about health food being less expensive is, what is health food?"

On what they ate growing up

AI: 'I actually was very sick as a kid, and I became vegetarian at 15 due to health issues. I grew up ... my mother, she was a single mother, she worked 3 jobs so we were kind of on our own. So it was fast food, soda, twinkies you know. That was my main food. And just being sick all the time, I finally found a doctor who said it could be the foods that I was eating. And that is really what started my journey.

KI: 'Well when I grew up, soul food was the thing. We ate fish fries and the soul food fixin's. That's how I grew up. Until I read Malcom X's autobiography, I never thought [about] food as it relates to our health. And Malcolm would talk about the pork [and] its relationship to hypertension and high-blood pressure. And I started thinking [about] my family, my uncles, cousins and all the different health issues. And it made me say, "Wow, I didn't know." At that point I got radicalized. Our son, he's 12 now, he grew up vegan, he was born vegan, he's jumping off the walls and turning back flips. And he's aight"

On finding the time

AI: "I have to think ahead, make big meals ahead. I''ll make, like, a big pot of soup. That will be my lunch, our dinner, our son's lunch. Sometimes, it's about priorities. If I want to watch [TV show] "Scandal," can I do that and be making some food at the same time?

On affording healthier food

AI: "I just want to say something here. If you drink alcohol, if you smoke cigarettes, if you have more than basic cable, if your kids have video games, [if] you're on name brands, if you can afford to do these things, you can afford to eat healthier. Again, it goes back to priorities."

KI: "I really value feeling good. I really value having energy. So, when I have to make a choice between this or that, I'm always going to choose the organic source of nutrients, you know."

AI: "Farmer's market, that's one of the most inexpensive places to purchase food, because it's not marked up like a regular grocery store would be. And usually those foods are in season. So if you buy what's in season, that's usually cheaper as well. And once again, buying in bulk. Not so much packaged, pre-made foods, and not that you can't have that. That should just not be the main thing in your basket. And one of the cheapest ways to get food is to grow it yourself. It costs about a dollar for a whole pack of seeds. And you only need a few seeds to get a whole bunch of produce."


*CORRECTION: The original version of this article mispelled nutritionist Afya Ibomu's name. The text has been corrected.

About the author

Carmen Wong Ulrich is the former host of Marketplace Money, APM’s weekend personal finance program.
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