Friday, July 20, 2012

We can't afford to eat healthy

During discussion with my neighbor, it was mentioned that they had started eating Healthier. They went back to eating junk food  after a few months because they could not afford to eat healthy. It made me sad.

I know of alot of people who are of that same opinion  "healthy eating has to be expensive and I can't afford it". There was a study done that compared the cost of junk food and healthy/real food. It came up with a cost of $1.76 for 1,000 calories worth of junk food, and $18.16 for the same amount of calories worth of real food. So the conclusion that people come up with is that I can't afford to eat healthy. If you compare it like that, it does makes it sound like you can't eat healthy.

1,000 calories of junk food is really easy to find. That is just a couple of dounuts and a soda. Two king size candybars, or a bag of potato chips, but 1,000 calories of real food is a whole lot more. It is15 apples or pears. It is 12 cups of berries. It is a pile of 10 sweet potatoes, or 25 cups of green beans.  Yes junk food is cheaper if you count it that way, but you get a whole lot more out of 1,000 calories of real food.

The other problem we have is the way "healthy" is marketed to us. If you buy the "healthy" cereal it costs alot more. But what is healthy food? Processed foods are not healthy. No matter how they market it, it is still processed food. For years they have been saying "Do not eat processed foods, they are no good for your health. Processed foods are full of chemicals, sugar and fat, stay away." The processed food company neatly left off the part about the product itself being bad, and made it so you only hear "fat and sugar not good for you" Labels started popping up everywhere "low fat" Fat free" "sugar free.Now it is on to "no trans fat" no high fructose corn syrup" "high in fiber" We buy these things up like mad trying to be healthy. But are we really eating healthy? 

Processed foods are still processed even with a "healthy" label.  I see a bucket of frosting labeled no trans fat. I think to myself "How have they taken shortning out of the frosting? What have they put in instead?" I read the label. Sugar and hydroganated oil are the main ingredients.It is still shortning even if they make it "healthier" by using a different kind of fat. People don't get it. "Oh it has no trans fat, it must be ok for me to eat." We end up eating twice as much because we see it as being healthy.  The fact is: Frosting is still fat and sugar, no matter what kind of fat it is. Processed foods are still processed and lacking in nutrition.

That conversation with our neighbor sparked a converstation with my husband and I about our own food. My husband said. "I think they went back to junk food because of the convenience. I know that it is not convenient for you, but I appreciate that you try and feed us good food!"  It is not always convenient to make whole foods a part of our world. It takes time and planning. We do have to go out of our way to find the good foods.We do have to make time to cook it. For me and my family it is totally worth it for the health benifits that we get from it. We are not perfect. We still eat processed foods, just alot less of it. We are making strides to be different. We do not listen to the drum of marketers, we listen to the beat of our own family drum. We live our own version of healthy not some marketing companys version of "healthy".  We choose to eat a large portion of food as natural as possible. Fruits and vegetables as themselves, grains in their whole and natural form, nuts seeds and berries whole and natural. It is a wonderful thing.

linked at fight back friday and keep it real thursday


  1. Such a good post! I have been trying to explain this to my hubby for months now.

  2. I wrote a post similar to this as well!

  3. I know that many people think that people who are frugal or use coupons must eat a lot of processed foods. It seems so silly to me!! I make food from scratch at least 5 days a week and if we eat any prepared foods, I keep thinking that they are better then eating out in restaurants. I am sure that most families would "find the money" to pay for healthy food if they just cut out cable or some other luxury. Maybe you should help your neighbor learn some new recipes :)