Cheaper to Eat Healthy

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My latest sprouts, assorted mung, lentil, broccoli and alfalfa. And for my afternoon smoothie, a handful of fresh strawberries from the back yard.

Finished Turbo Jam beginner phase – I’ve lost 7 #s and 1 dress size. Even better is my over-all tone and shape. I’m going to stick with the 20-minute  and ab-jam workouts until Herb & I start the Ultimate Reset on Wednesday.

I’ve added some more photos to my garden pages for Spring 2012 if you’d like to check that out.

One question I get a lot, even more than the protein question, is how can you afford to eat so healthy? Well I tracked that when I was on my 60-day juice-fest and my grocery bill went down %43.  Now since juicing once a day and eating normally otherwise, in general, my grocery bill is still quite a bit less than before while others experience their grocery bill growing & growing.  I found this info to back up my experience

Is it Really More Expensive to Eat Healthy?

By Linda Gotthelf

fresh produce

 

How often have you heard people say they choose fast food because it is less expensive than healthier foods, such as fruits and vegetables? While it sounds as if that could be the case, how much data is there to support that claim? The answer – not much!

A 2011 study by the USDA Economic Research Service estimated the costs of 153 commonly eaten fruits and vegetables, including fresh, canned, and frozen. They found that average prices ranged from less than 20 cents a cup to over $2 per cup, depending on the fruit or vegetable. On average, they estimated the cost at about 50 cents per cup.

The Produce Marketing Association found very similar results in 2010 assessing the cost per serving of produce from 13,000 stores. Their data indicated that, nationally, the average retail price was just under 50 cents per cup.

An analysis in a recent New York Times article found the cost of a typical order for a family of four at one popular fast food restaurant was about $28. The order included burgers, fried chicken, French fries (not a vegetable!) and soda. Reading that had me wondering what I could buy for $28, so I decided to take on the challenge. At my local supermarket, I paid $2.59 for grapes (on sale), $2.99 for honeydew (on sale), $1.99 for fresh asparagus (on sale), $2.50 for Brussels sprouts (on sale) and $3.47 for sweet potatoes. That left nearly $15 for either fish or chicken. My meal was far healthier, more filling, had more fiber, less saturated fat and included fruit for dessert (with some left over)!

It is possible to eat healthy foods without adding on extra costs. If you are trying to cut costs, there are some practical ways to keep food costs down, including:

  • Buy produce in season as it is usually less expensive or buy items on sale, as I did.
  • Some items are consistently less expensive – such as beans or whole grains. In the USDA study, for example, pinto beans were only 13 cents per cup, and packed with nutrition and fiber.
  • Check out canned or frozen foods – they may be cheaper depending on the item.
  • Try some meatless meals – meat is more expensive than fruits and vegetables and grains.

One last thought – being unhealthy can be expensive (more medical bills, more medications, etc.). Look at healthy eating with plenty of fruits and vegetables as a good long-term strategy for saving money. That might be a provocative thought but it makes sense to me. What about you?

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2 responses »

  1. You did a great job showing how the “fast food is less expensive” argument doesn’t hold up. I think there also is an issue of people no willing to take the time to cook. Some people never learned and say they have no interest! When I suggest they start by cooking the same meal they eat at a fast food place to see the difference in flavor they have lots of excuses. I think some people will always go to the easiest way through something without any thought to consequences of that decision.

    • Hi, you’re right, some people just do not want to hear it. They do not want to think their Gov’t is deliberately sabotaging their health or their children’s health for greed (in a way I don’t blame them for that, it is just so illogical!) and it is hard because the media sends so many mixed messages!
      btw, thanks for the kinds words. These are my thoughts, but I copied this article from Linda Gotthelf

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