In our society of today, people generally tend to buy more junk food than healthy food, because of the idea is that healthy food costs more and cooking from scratch also costs a fortune.
This idea also gets strengthened by the fact that some takeaway meals are priced at below 5 euro. This doesn’t offer enough incentive for most people to change their eating behaviour – despite increased media attention and stories about eating healthy.
One of the reasons why healthy food is perceived as being more expensive is because there are studies comparing the price per calorie of foods. However, this doesn’t reveal everything. The manner of measurement is very important in this case. When using the price-per-calorie measure between two products with a different amount of fat, the one with the least amount of fat will appear more expensive. But this is a less important way of measuring. Since most people don’t think about the amount of calories they’re buying, but rather the quantity they’re buying.
This is why measuring the price per unit weight of food is more informative and this measurement suggests that healthy foods are cheaper.
Since 1975, the obesity rate has tripled on a global scale. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 1.9 billion adults are overweight, of these people 650 million are obese. The risk is especially high with children who are confronted with a lot of low nutrition and high calorie foods which contain high sugar, fat and salt levels which result in increased chance of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and tooth extraction. This is why it’s important to avoid creating bad habits for your children since they often remain for life.
The conclusion of this issue is often not the cost of healthy foods but the lack of time, knowledge and skills.
We came to think of healthy foods as expensive partly because of the high price of meat, fish and diary products, superfoods and bio products. But nutritious food doesn’t need to cost a lot. You can already get the basics with carrots, potatoes and lentils.
Poverty is another main reason why people choose for junk food. Nobody wants to make a meal after getting home from a long day of work. Promoting healthy eating isn’t as easy as it sounds since we’re living in a cash and time-poor society and only teaching people how to cook healthy won’t suffice.
How to do it?
Since meat and fish are usually some of the most expensive items people tend to buy, there are some alternatives for these. Plant protein is a cheap alternative which is found in beans, peas and lentils and contain approximately the same nutritional value.
Choosing for superfoods may be a tempting solution since they promote themselves as being the best healthy foods you can eat. However many claims related to these superfoods haven’t actually been proven. So it’s best to save some money and just simply increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in your diet to avoid illness.
Although not visually appealing, frozen, tinned and dried fruit and vegetables are cheaper than their fresh variants most of the time while still containing the same amount of nutrients and are able to keep longer.
With all this in mind, it’s clear that thinking about you food intake is important for your health and wellbeing and cost of food shouldn’t hold you back from eating healthy.
One thing is certain, healthy food being expensive is certainly fictive.