When you look at the bigger picture, healthy eating is actually the more affordable option, especially in the long term. Here we debunk this misleading theory that healthy food is expensive and take a look at how our attitude needs to change towards healthy eating.
In October 2014 The University of Cambridge released a report saying that
'...healthy foods were consistently more expensive than less healthy foods, and have risen more sharply in price over time.' (1)
The question to ask here is how were they comparing and measuring these stats to come up with this report? Their methodology was based on price-per-calorie which is not only unfair, but also pretty damn misleading! Let us elaborate...
The prices of nearly 100 foods were assessed per 1,000 calories, but as healthy foods tend to have a much fewer calories per gram than less healthy foods, this process of measuring gives an unrealistic comparison. Basically, you would need to buy and consume around 30 cucumbers (!) to gain around 1,000 calories, compared to about one 200g packet of ginger nut biscuits. (2)
See what we're getting at here??!
However, when The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) measured food costs based on edible weight (instead of the flawed price-per-calorie method) they found...
'...the cheapest ready-meals, pizzas, burgers and sugary breakfast cereals cost more than £2 per kilogram, whereas typical fruit and vegetables cost less than £2 per kilogram. And whilst £1 will buy you one cheeseburger, that same £1 could buy you a kilo of sweet potatoes, two kilos of carrots, two and a half kilos of pasta, ten apples or seven bananas.' (3)
Basically you get more for your money when you measure food value by weight instead of calories. Think how many meals you could make out of all those veggies!!
We're not going to deny that in some cases healthy food does cost more, but what is important to consider is what you're actually getting for your money.
Put it this way...you're buying a house and you have found two that are the same size, look the same and are in the same location, but one is more expensive than the other. Why would you buy the more expensive one??
The more expensive house was made by experienced builders, using better quality materials. The cheaper house on the other hand was built using the cheapest materials with the builders goal being as many houses as possible for the most affordable rate. Whilst you'll see immediate savings by opting for the more affordable house, in the long term it will cost you more as the building deteriorates and you'll miss out on the premium benefits!
It's the same when choosing food at the supermarket. Do you want the cheap snack bar filled with additives and refined sugars or the slightly more expensive snack bar that uses nothing but natural, ethical and organic ingredients, that will not only keep you fuller for longer, but nourish your body with much needed vitamins and minerals.
View your health as an investment not an expense!
Forget 'why is healthy food so expensive', the real question we should be asking is:
Why is unhealthy food so cheap??
What corners are they cutting? What is the quality of ingredients like? What are additives and fillers are they using to bulk it out? Are their manufacturing processes ethical?
Money shouldn't be the only thing to consider when choosing the food to fuel your body - consider what are you putting in your body and how will that affect your health!
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