The Huffington Post has a great piece in their Living section, written by Mark Hyman M.D., “Why Quick, Cheap Food Is Actually More Expensive.” He makes so much sense – as do Michael Pollan, Jamie Oliver, Michelle Obama – I am beginning to think that we’re at a tipping point when it comes what and how we eat.
In the article, Dr. Hyman explains how we’ve ended up with highly-processed food that is so much less expensive than fresh, whole food, namely, massive government subsidies for corn and soy crops. An abundance of both corn and soy makes the cost of food containing high-fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated soybean oil (trans fats) cheap when compared to the price paid for fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, beans, and nuts. The uses for these crops don’t stop there. “Corn and soy are also used to feed cattle for the production of meat and dairy.”
In addition to the food we choose to eat, how and where we choose to eat it, makes a difference. We don’t cook nearly as many meals at home as we used to – over 50% of our meals today are eaten out – further exacerbating the problem.
However, what Dr. Hyman argues is that that the price paid at the grocery store is not the real cost to the consumer. There are hidden costs that, when factored in, make the bag of spinach look like a bargain. Costs that are associated with the harm we are doing to our bodies (the statistics are alarming) and our planet, not to mention our society, just by the way we eat. He writes:
This is what you need to remember:
1. The true cost of unhealthy food isn’t just the price tag–in fact, the real costs are hidden.
2. Eating healthy doesn’t have to cost more.
Read it. You might believe it too.