why should it cost so much more to eat healthy?

Eating Healthy - why should eating healthy cost so much money?
United States
January 30, 2007 5:47pm CST
Trying to eat healthy is an important issue...but if you live on 1 income or limited incomes, you really can't afford it...the price of the healthy foods, the special health drinks, the dietary aids, etc....everything is so much more expensive..even bottled waters and vitamin waters are incredibly high!..I think more people would eat healthier foods if the prices were lower....I know I sure can't afford them..even the price of fresh vegetables in the winter is outrageous! Maybe junk foods should become higher priced and healthy foods should be lower...that way it would encourage more people to eat healthier...what do you think?
22 people like this
73 responses
@lilaclady (28236)
• Australia
30 Jan 07
Yes that seems the way, anything from a healthfood shop is very expensive, I just try and buy the best I can from the supermarket and do the best I can...I know its not easy...
• United States
31 Jan 07
no it's not easy..seems like only the upper class can afford to really eat healthy..thank you
3 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
Gosh I know what you mean. When I first got the job I have now it was so convienent to get fast food on breaks and stuff because it was right next door but I gained weight from it so I decided I would start packing a lunch and eating healthy. Well that idea was shot because I went to the grocery store and I spent a fortune on fruits and veggies alone, and they aren't even good quality because of the season. I hate having to spend a fortune on food just so I can eat healthy! I really do wish the prices were lower, so many people would be eating healthier.
4 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
I love vegetables and can do without meat mos of the time...but you're right...the cost of eating vegetables is awfully high. Thank you so much for the response.
1 person likes this
@geejoy (344)
• Philippines
31 Jan 07
i don't think so samsonskola...you can just buy fruits and then, you will be eating healthy foods..maybe its just applicable in my country...coz the prices of fruits and vegetables in our market are in a way, lower.......the fact that you want to eat those kinds of food...you have to canvass on where to buy these kind of foods in cheaper prices...maybe you can scout your place also (not in the malls) and see if there are markets there that sell healthy foods with affordable prices...
4 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
it's not that easy..vegetables are definitely not cheap, there are very few markets anywhere, most tmes they are higher than stores, and i shop at the cheapest place possible and still can't afford to stock up on anything...it's nice that you can afford these things where you live and i hope you can continue to eat healthy...thank you so much for responding
2 people like this
@freak369 (5123)
• United States
30 Jan 07
That's pretty much what I think every time I go to the grocery store. The healthy cereal is three or four times as much as the junk stuff, vegetables cost as much as gas and good cuts of meat will cost you an arm and a leg. Even things like milk and eggs are going up in price while the junk foods or things loaded with preservatives are staying the same or dropping. But the bottom line still simple, even if junk food cost more than healthy food, people would still buy it.
4 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
i'm sure they would, but maybe the ones who want the healthier items could at least afford to do it once in a while..thanks for the response
3 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
I feel the same way. The government is so worried about our health now adays that they should make the cost of healthy foods less so we can actually try to be healthy. I never wonder why low income families are overweight. Every time I go grocery shopping I have to choose between getting healthy/low fat foods for myself (trying to lose weight) and feeding my 4 kids and husband. I can't afford to buy enough healthy food for all of us. I end up making two meals every day. I make one "normal" meal using regular butter or with white bread and white rice or what not and one for myself with low cal/low fat/low carb foods. It totally sucks because I want my kids to be able to eat healthier (although they eat pretty healthy as it is). I can't even afford to keep fruit in the house. I get bananas for myself and the kids eat them all in 2 days. And bananas are cheap. I won't go into the more expensive fruits and veggies.
3 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
you're right...bananas are the cheapest i can find, but they don't last long..i can once in a while afford a couple of vegetables or such, but the once in a while thing doesn't really help all that much overall....thanks so much for the response
@getnbuy (1314)
• United States
31 Jan 07
It is really a crazy system when yu have to pay more for a can of something that has no salt than for one that has salt added. Or, something that has less sugar as opposed to something with lots of sugar. The best thing to do is buy fruits and vegetables in season, but what can you do in winter? Perhaps canning our own in the summer would help. growing our own would help, too.
3 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
Yes, I do grow almost all my own vegetables in the summer, I just don't have a lot of time for doing a lot of canning, and really no place to store them if I did. It's really a shame..you're right, there's less, costs more...I see no sense in it..thank you for your response
1 person likes this
@urbangirl (1461)
• Australia
31 Jan 07
I actually don't think "special health drinks" and "dietary aids" and "vitamin waters" are healthy. Looking after your health is more than a quick fix with a pill and anyway, most vitamins just get flushed down the toilet (your body works harder to expel all those extra vitamins you don't actually NEED). Trust me, I am coming from a place where I used to drink spirulina, halth shakes and take lots of vitamins etc. These are not only expensive but I don't think it's a healthy way to live because even they have additives in them you just don't need. I am now at the lowest weight I have ever been through the tried, simple and cliche method - exercise and eating less and fresh fruit, vegetables and cooking most of my food myself - including fruit and vegetables - I eat less and feel much healthier. I very rarely eat processed food (food from a pack)- it's expensive and not healthy for you and just makes you crave more food. I also enjoy desserts - I mean life is for living and enjoying food too right? I find if you eat healthy 80% of the time, you can allow for indulgences the rest of the time.
3 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
Actually, I'm not trying to lose weight, I just need extra things for the medical issues I have. I take a vitamin and calcium every day. I don't use the shakes and all, but I have looked at the prices on them. You do have some very good ideas, thank you so much for the suggestions!
1 person likes this
@ktroth (378)
• United States
31 Jan 07
I agree! My son has a sensitivity to corn syrup, which is in almost everything. So we buy natural foods as much as possible. But it's all so much more expensive. I don't get it! It has less in it--theoretically it should cost less!
• United States
31 Jan 07
I know how that is...I can't have a lot of sugar, (I do cheat now and then though not much)..and even with most flavored waters, they have some type of sugar...I don't get it either..thank you so much
2 people like this
@dhouston (417)
• United States
31 Jan 07
Eating healthy does not have to be too expensive. You have been suckered into some myths by people trying to make a buck on other people's legitimate health concerns. 1. You do not need expensive vitamins, supplements, pills, and special drinks. You can get everything from your own food if you choose well. 2. You do not have to shop in health food stores. They are a crock. 3. Healthy breakfast cereals are not necessarily more expensive. Consider plain Cheerios, Wheaties and plain, unsugared Shredded Wheat. Even better, get plain, old-fashioned rolled oats (none of the quick or single serve stuff) and make that. My DH used to love eating rolled oats raw, like cold cereal. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. Make your own whole grain bread and toast it for breakfast; that's way cheaper than bought bread and way-way cheaper than overpriced breakfast cereal. 4. I've never been to MO and know nothing of Branson, but I wonder why you find buying fresh fruits and vegs so expensive. Skip the chain supermarkets. Look for farmers markets. Look For leads to something local. Try this site: www.localharvest.org/csa/ Or this one: www.umass.edu/umext/csa/ Or: www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/map.htm 5. Are you able to grow any food for yourself? Even if all you have is a small balcony, you could try a little something. I was able to keep my DH in tomatoes in summer on a 17th floor urban balcony. 6. If you get fresh fruits and vegetables, even if they are expensive, you can make your own beverages by squeezing juices, or learning to like plain tap water. You do not need bottled water!!! It is not healthier than tap water in the US unless your local government has specifically announced a water purity warning! You do not need the vitimins they add to sme of the more expensive bottled waters! 7. Get in the habit of eating whole grains, esp. brown rice, whole (not pearl) barley, whole wheat (not just "wheat" bread--it has to be the kind where you can actually see bits of bran in it--much brown bread is just white bread with molassees added for eye-tricking color), and if you make your own, it is less than half the price, even if you spend a little more for top quality whole grain flours. Look for Russian whole grain rye bread; the brown deli rye is really the "white" form of rye flour--all the bran and germ have been milled out. 8. Can you radically reduce the amount of sugar in your life? That is a *huge* step toward healthier eating! Can you stop eating cake for dessert and switch to a fresh apple or banana? Please ask if you have questions or want more resources. I'll be glad to help. I can also offer menu plans and recipes if you like.
3 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
I appreciate your suggestions, all very good ones I might add, and I will try to answer them. I do take cheaper vitamins. I don't even go near a health food store. At close to $5 a box for cereal, even the ones you mentioned, to me it is not cost effective. I do eat a generic brand of oatmeal though. I really don't eat a lot of plain bread,I do make some now and then though. There are 3 supermarkets within a 50 mile radius. Unfortunately, there are no farmers markets here,(oh how I miss the markets back home!!!). I do plant most of my vegetables during the summer, but have basically no storage to keep a lot of it for winter use. As for water, I don't want bottled water because it's healthier, I just cannot drink enough plain water to make up what I need to drink. All of your suggestions are very good, and wonderful ideas, but on my income only, which is not very much per hour, I have to make do on what I can. Thank you so much for the suggestions, and I will keep them for future reference..
3 people like this
• United States
30 Jan 07
there are many healthy meals and not expensive milk+cheese+eggs+fish+vegetables make any combination of these and you live health
3 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
i'm sorry, but the price of milk, fish , and most vegetables make it impossible to eat a lot of them...specially fish..i can NEVER afford fish, and very seldom vegetables...i wish it were that easy..thank you for the response
1 person likes this
@alchemistrx (2559)
• Philippines
31 Jan 07
Why don't you some backyard gardening where you can plant cucumbers, tomatoes and other vegetables.There are possible ways to do that. There is a technology that was developed in Japan for those living in apartments where there is no soil visible for you to plant fruits and vegetables.
2 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
I think that would be wonderful Idea..I just don't have any garden space;)
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Feb 07
yes, i do plant in the summer..it's the rest of the year that's so bad...and the stuff i can't grow myself..thank you for the response
@venshida (4837)
• United States
31 Jan 07
You are correct, I find healthy foods are very expensive. The junk food should definately be price higher. I like having fruits as my snack, and sometimes they are so expensive that I don't purchase them. I sometimes just purchase fruits in the can. I think the price of healthy foods contribute to the obesity problem we have in this country.
• United States
1 Feb 07
i so agree with you! i love fruits, raw vegetables, and can seldom afford them..i treat them like gold when i get them, ...they should be made of gold for what they cost!..thank you for sharing your views.
1 person likes this
@KrisNY (7591)
• United States
31 Jan 07
Absolutley-- I would agree with raising the prices of junk foods and lower fresh fruits and veggies. I swear more than half of my weekly grocery bill is spent on fresh fruit and veggies! And with the storms in the MidWest- our prices in NY are already close to double what they normally are. $1.99 head of lettuce- Come on! $3.49 bag of lettuce.. .99 for 1 Orange-- Yet you can get a whole pack of cookies for $1.00.. What are parents going to buy who don't have alot of extra $$ to spend on groceries? I guess it wouldn't be so bad if they had coupons in NY for fresh fruit and veggies- Anyways I'm always buying the healthy stuff and it does take a big chunk out of my grocery $$. Great post!
• United States
31 Jan 07
you're right..i would spend so much more on groceries if i bought all the healthy stuff, but there are other bills to pay, and you have to compromise in order to keep a roof over your head..thank you so much for the response
@patootie (3593)
31 Jan 07
I really do wish I had the money to eat more healthily .. not only are the healthy choices usually more expensive but they often come in small packages too so you can't make a saving by bulk buying .. I have a filter jug at home to filter all my water so can make savings there .. but the cartridges aren't cheap .. Fruit and vegetables can be pricey depending on where they come from .. and it seems these days we ship all our own UK fruit and vegetable off to other countries and then import foreign foods to put on the supermarket shelves .. that really is madness .. and means the fruit and veg is never as fresh as it might be if we sold our own produce .. Many junk foods are ridiculously cheap so there is no incentive for people to buy a healthier alternative .. even a humble apple is often dearer than a packet of crisps or biscuits ..
2 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
yes, you're right..i can't see the sense in it all myself..thank you so much.
@superchook (1786)
• Australia
6 Feb 07
I would agree with you, they say they are worried about more and more people being obese, but the unhealthy food is cheaper. It makes no sense. The healthy food should be cheaper. I am quite often on diets and just trying to afford that is almost impossible. It is so ridiculous.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Feb 07
i know. whether you're on a diet, or just trying to eat the healthier foods, the cost of them is so much higher that myself and most people i know would have to give up something else in life just to be able to afford the super high grocery bill..thank you so much for your response
@Debs_place (10524)
• United States
2 Feb 07
I try to eat healthy and these things aren't that expensive - oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, beans. You do not have to spend a ton to eat healthy- forget special drinks, dietary aids and vitamin waters. If you would spend that money on fresh fruits and veggies, healthy meats you would not feel that you needed the items in the 1st sentence here. Just get a good multivitamin and eat better
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 07
i didn't say i buy them, i said they were expensive...of course i'd rather buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Yes, i agree that the items you listed are healthy, but i'd like to eat something else besides that. Thank you for the response
• Canada
1 Feb 07
I totally agree with you , we all want to eat healthier but unless you have a really good job you can`t afford to.
• United States
1 Feb 07
yes, it's a shame that everyone can't eat as healthy...thank you
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
1 Feb 07
Have you ever worked in or visited a food pantry? I used to volunteer for one. It was fully stocked with unhealthy foods. Yes, they had rice and beans, but the rice was white rice--no brown. When we filled a bag for a recipient, we enclosed the following: cans of tuna (healthy) peanut butter (healthy) dried beans (healthy) cereal (always sugar-laden brands) canned pasta (NOT healthy) boxes of macaroni (not healthy) white rice (no brown, just white) boxes of macaroni and cheeese (not healthy) spam (full of salt and preservatives) canned soups (high in sodium) canned vegetables (high in sodium) There were more items, but you get the idea. The items that people donated to the food pantry were mostly inexpensive foods. This is one reason why many poor people are overweight. You can fill up on cheap macaroni and cheese for $1 and gain a few pounds in the process, or you can use that $1 to buy an apple or two. What would most people choose?
• United States
1 Feb 07
exactly!...how awful. yes, in the past i have received food like that and you're right, i never thought about it at the time,it was just nice to have food...i always did miss the fresh fruit and vegetables, though..and the things that you could get that were healthy, there wasn't much of..thank you so much for sharing that
@jen_2006 (85)
• United States
31 Jan 07
This is not really feasible, even though the idea is a good one. There is no way for the government or who ever to tell producers what should be priced what. Thats what a free market is.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Feb 07
Thank you so much for the response
@brokentia (10395)
• United States
31 Jan 07
I say right on!!! I have to eat healthy because of being diabetic...borderline that is. If I eat healthy, I can avoid it turning. But essentially, I have to eat like I am a diabetic. So, eating fresh veggies and other things that costs more is a must. why is it that a head of cauliflower costs 2 bucks but a package of ramen noodles cause 12 cents? Or the low carb tortillas cost twice as much as the regular ones! And why can't the low carb tortillas have those wonderful flavors added to them like the tomato herb in the regular tortillas? You would think that when they add the flavor to the regular tortillas, it would cost more. But nooooooo. It is cheaper to eat junk food. A bag of apples...5 bucks! A bag of snack sized Snickers $1.88. I agree, if the healthy foods cost less, then more people would eat healthy. And on one income with seven kids, it is a huge strain! So, I know exactly how you feel!
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Feb 07
all very good and valid points!...it's ridiculous how these foods compare in price..something, some day has to be done..thank you so much for this response