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Monday, February 7, 2011

The Cost of Healthy Living

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Did You Know...
...eating broccoli can interfere with certain medications? - SELFNutritionData

So the cost of healthy living is not cheap by any means! And it's also not fair. While researching for this post, I came across so many studies that proved it is cheaper to eat and basically live unhealthy than it is to consume good for you foods and purchase better for you products for our bodies.

Case in point:
The NYTimes ran an article on healthy living costs way back in 2007 and here are some of the stats back then from this study. (source: NY Times.com)
  • Junk food costs less than fruits and vegetables, and are less likely to rise in price as a result of inflation.
  • The highest rates of obesity are amongst people in lower-income groups. Most likely due to the fact that junk food lacks so many nutrients you have to overeat to feel satisfied.
  • Junk food munchies cost an average (back then) $1.76 per 1,000 calories vs. a whopping $18.16 per 1,000 calories for low-energy but nutritious foods.
  • A 2,000 calorie a day diet would cost $3.52/day if it was just junk food vs. $36.32/day if it were a healthy diet.
And these are all statistics from 4 years ago! We know the cost of food has skyrocketed since then, actually even some junk food prices have gone up a bit. Remember when a can of Pringles was 99¢? You'd be hard pressed to find one for that price these days.

So what does that tell us? It's even harder to afford eating poorly these days let alone eating healthy. Isn't that a terrible thing? I'd say so.

I know it is hard to sometimes fork over our hard earned money for something that is labeled organic and then feel it in the pocket at the register. But it is so worth it. Journalist Michael Pollan who was featured on Food Inc. (a movie that I heard was great but I still haven't seen due to my tendency to get outraged by the food industry and their lack of standards for the masses....see? I digress.), said on Oprah that "The less we spend on food, the more we spend on health care."

True story.

As of 2010, Americans were spending 20 cents on the dollar managing illness and diseases, and only 10 cents on the dollar for food. (source: the daily green) Yikes! So if we put our dollars more towards where the food goes in, that translates possibly in less Dr.'s visits. Healthy food, healthy bodies, healthy wallets!

Since I care about my fellow man and woman, here are a few links to some great online resources to help us navigate the Healthy and Organic produce world:

So when you are at the store and it's a choice between a $2.00 bag of these...




















Or a $4.00 bunch of organic these....











Please choose wisely, because your life literally depends on it.


My best,

4 comments:

Sunkissed Sister said...

Lynn, this article is beautifully written! Nutrition is definitely one of the most important gifts we can give to our loved ones, and ourselves.

Thanks for sharing!:)

Lynn said...

Thank you Sunkissed, I am constantly trying to stay on this track even if it may hurt financially now. My husband and I look at it as investing in our future.

My best, Lynn

Caren with a "C" said...

Visiting from SITS! Oh, I totally identify with 'Jane of all trades, and master of none'.
Your post totally hits home. That is why I am into gardening. Grow healthy food for pennies on the dollar. I am trying to be as organic as I can with companion planting (see http://preservinghomebasics.com/?p=46 for details on companion planting).
Now to work being physically active!

Scentual Soundtracks said...

Although there might be a short term low cost for junk food, in the long run there is a high health cost for eating cheap foods. Despite the higher initial costs, it's worth it to eat "whole" foods: natural, organic, and minimally processed. We can find creative and budget-friendly ways for eating well so that have good health, more energy, and a better life overall. Thanks for this informative post!

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