A macrobiotic natural foods diet is very economical and in the long run results in substantial savings in many areas of life.
According to weekly market basket surveys, the typical macrobiotic household, for example, spends about 35 to 50 percent less on its weekly food budget on grains, fresh vegetables, and naturally processed items than an ordinary family spends eating meat, dairy foods, highly processed foods, canned foods, frozen foods, and a variety of foodstuffs imported from distant climates. In a pilot program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture introduced a meal plan for low-income families in the Washington, D.C. area calling for more whole grains and their products, vegetables and fruit, and dry beans and nuts and calling for less meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, sugar, and soft drinks. Not only did the meals save considerably on food expenses, but also the new meals were readily accepted, found to be not hard to prepare, and families in the study felt there was, in some cases, too much food.
In addition, the macrobiotic family generally takes major responsibility for its own health care, requiring little or no insurance payments, medical costs, and pharmaceutical expenses. At the social level, a dietary change in this direction would result in vast savings. The direct medical costs, nursing expenses, and lost output due to cardiovascular disease alone exceeds $100 billion annually. As public health improved, the economy would improve. Government expenses for health and medical care, welfare and disability payments, and other social services-now currently greater than defense expenditures-would substantially drop. The national debt would lower, interest rates would fall, employment would rise, productivity and efficiency would increase, international trade would flourish, and generally people would take more pride and interest in their work. Lowered food costs as a whole for each family would further contribute to an increase in real income, more leisure time, and a general improvement in the quality of life.