When someone is given the choice to eat a meal from the dollar menu or a healthy salad for $5.00, they will most likely choose the unhealthier meal due to the lower price. Many people choose eating at McDonalds over buying vegetables/organic food from the grocery store because they do not want to spend an excessive amount of money on food. Organic foods are generally perceived as more expensive, but people are defining price by the wrong factors. Society tends to prioritize the cost of meals above the quality of the food they are consuming. By understanding the cost of healthy food, people will see that the quality should be prioritized above the cost of it.
In an article from The Washington Post, a study was revealed in which consumers were asked to select the healthier type of chicken wrap; roasted, priced at $8.95, or balsamic, priced at $6.95. All participants selected the roasted wrap. After this test, a second one was conducted with the wrap prices switched. The results revealed that the new test subjects chose the balsamic wrap as the healthier one. The test subjects were not considering what each wrap consisted of, but rather focusing solely on the price of each one and basing their choice off that. They all assumed that the most expensive wrap was the healthier one.
There have been many studies done which reveal why eating healthy is more expensive. On the Harvard T.H. CHAN website, it says that eating healthy costs $1.50 more per day. The reason for this is because there is such high demand for the unhealthy food, this results in mass production. An article from Straight Health on eating healthy mentions that this demand has created a large network of farming, manufacturing, and transportation. The organic food brands do not have that big of a network, which makes it more expensive to buy.
Rather than thinking all organic and healthy food is overpriced, individuals should be looking at the overall health benefits. Eating unhealthy can cause various health-related issues. Diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease are just a few risks that are increased when living an unhealthy lifestyle. Many of these diseases are difficult or impossible to get rid of. The medication for these sicknesses outweigh the cost of eating healthy by a considerable amount. While shopping for healthy food is usually more expensive than buying cheap food, eating healthy will save you in the long run.
In conclusion, maintaining a healthy body should be the number one priority. People should not settle for what is on the dollar menu. It is important to equip the body with everything it needs to be sustainable. Everything that enters the body will either fight or feed it. People should be concerned with what they choose to eat because it will affect their health in the future. The easily accessible, and higher priced organic food is there for consumers to buy and benefit from.
Eating healthy can cost you money, but eating unhealthy can cost you your life.
- Haws, Kelly L., Kevin L. Sample, and Rebecca Walker Reczek. “Why is healthy food so expensive? Maybe because we expect it to be.” The Washington Post. January 05, 2017. Accessed April 18, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/05/why-is-healthy-food-so-expensive-maybe-because-we-expect-it-to-be/?utm_term=.8c14534c24a3.zxd
- “Eating healthy vs. unhealthy diet costs about $1.50 more per day.” News. January 13, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2017. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/healthy-vs-unhealthy-diet-costs-1-50-more/.
- “Why are healthy foods expensive?” Straight Health. Accessed April 18, 2017. http://straighthealth.com/pages/qna/healthyfoodexpensive.html.
- Fig 1. Burgers vs. Veggies. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/10/09/healthy-food-more-expensive_n_5957038.html