The High Cost of Healthy Food?

Moving the Conversation Past the Dead End Sign

It’s a mantra, said almost automatically any more:  “I can’t afford healthy food.  It’s too expensive.”

Like Time, Affordability is a dead-ender.  In other words, once raised, it effectively dead ends a conversation about healthy eating.  If we don’t have time or can’t afford good food, then we can’t eat well.  Period.

Do we really want to give up on our healthy eating dreams that fast?

Last month, I joined a panel at the Erie Library that discussed shopping at the Farmers’ Market.  Of course, affordability was a key issue, as everyone “knows” that the Farmers’ Market is one of the most unaffordable places to shop for groceries.

Sometimes a head of broccoli, pound of carrots, or bunch of chard is more expensive at the Farmers’ Market than at a supermarket.  But what if that’s not the end of the story?  What if it doesn’t

Apples to Oranges

automatically slam the door on your healthy eating dreams?  What if there is some room for discussion; we just don’t know it?

Because it is such a big issue, I’ve given affordability a lot of thought–and have found there is definitely a lot of room for discussion.  While it seems like vegetables could readily square off against each other pound for pound, there are actually a dozen other factors that prevent a head to head comparison, e.g., quality, freshness, nutritional density, taste density, local economics and environmental health effects that directly impact individual health.

I’ve begun writing about affordability so we can begin exploring all the territory that lies behind the dead end sign.  Obviously, food costs are a delicate subject; others can’t decide what you can or can’t afford.  The purpose of my articles is to simply prevent the conversation from dead ending and instead, continuing and exploring possibilities that could free and empower us financially to get whatever food we think best for our health.


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