When you’re on the Whole30, you’re going to spend some money on food. We are a family of six and our grocery bill seems to grow exponentially every six months. (I shudder to think what what it will be like when we have four teenagers). But since we’ve been on the Whole30 our food expenses have been climbing even though we are eating out much less.
This got me thinking…why is healthy food so expensive? We have an odd tradition in America where we like to penalize good habits by making them expensive. So, if you want to eat healthy, then you are going to have to pay.
If you buy the groceries in your home, this isn’t news to you. However, if you have any doubts check out this article that references a 2013 Harvard study on the cost of healthy diets:
A 2013 study from Harvard School of Public Health found that eating a healthy diet (rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts) cost about $1.50 more per day per person than eating an unhealthy diet (the kind full of processed foods and refined grains). Sounds like pocket change, but that’s an extra $2,200 per year for a family of four.
Our family’s healthy diet costs an additional $3,285 a year. But good news! If you want to eat lots of saturated fats, high fructose corn syrup, and soda you are in luck, it’s super cheap.
Is it a surprise that we are killing ourselves with our eating habits? It’s just cheaper to buy crap and eat it. Unfortunately, those who want to save a little money in the checkout line are probably costing themselves in the long run. Think about all the longterm medical expenses that come through obesity. Consider the long term medical costs associated with diseases that are triggered through unhealthy eating. Yes, we can have an extra large soda for a dollar, but we also get to pay for decades of diabetes.
Food is one of those areas where we have set ourselves up for failure as a society. I don’t blame people on a tight budget for buying inexpensive food. We’ve all been in that situation. But maybe we should spend more time considering the true cost of what we are putting in our mouth.
I’m writing about the Whole30 everyday. Today, I made my wife pause The Crown so I could finish this post. (I don’t think she was happy about that).