An article published in the March 2013 edition of Genetics in Medicine found that 50 percent of states provide either no coverage of medical formula and modified special low-protein products or only partial coverage of these required PKU therapies.
Those of us living with PKU do not need a reminder about just how expensive it is to remain on-diet; however, there is certainly a bit of vindication whenever a peer-reviewed, academic journal reiterates this point. Beyond specially formulated low-protein products, families dealing with PKU are often advised to experiment with herbs and spices. The idea being that some creativity in the kitchen can lead to flavorful meals that people with PKU will actually want to eat!
Yet, I have found that even buying fresh herbs on a regular basis can be costly. Plus, you generally have to purchase them in large quantities and then you are left tossing the left over herbs when they have eventually spoiled.
The solution? I recently started my own PKU herb garden and it features a handful of herbs that I have used most over the past three months: cilantro, basil and rosemary (and for good measure, I’ve also included two cherry tomato plants).
Here is a basic cost comparison (tax not included) for purchasing herbs at a local grocery store versus growing your own:
|Herbs at Home
|Cilantro, $1.99/0.66 oz||Cilantro, $2/plant|
|Basil, $1.99/0.66 oz||Basil, $2/plant|
|Rosemary, $1.99/0.66 oz||Rosemary, $2/plant|
|TOTAL: $5.97||TOTAL: $6|
There you have it; only a $0.03 difference for the initial upfront cost. What’s significant is you’ll have to pay approximately $6 each time you buy these three herbs at the grocery store whereas you’ll pay $6 one time for plants that will last you all growing season!
Of course, there is the added cost of potting soil and a planter, but you could also experiment by planting your own garden directly in the ground.
Have you also started a PKU herb garden? Perhaps you’ve planted more than just herbs. Either way, let me know how green your thumb is!