Friday, 9 April 2010

Healthy is too expensive!

I constantly hear the excuse that healthy eating is expensive. I won't deny that some healthy options would work out more expensive, but if it makes you feel good and your body can get the proper nutrition it needs to function properly, it is a small price to pay.

People often compare apples with oranges when discussing healthy foods. They compare a supermarket chicken (2 for £5) with a free range organic butcher's chicken (£15 for 1). It is like comparing an Olympic athlete with a couch potato claiming there is no difference in their physiology. All chicken may look the same but it isn't. I guarantee, even if there were negligible health benefits from eating good quality meat, the taste difference should be enough to convince you to change.

There is an obvious price difference which would deter many people but this simply highlights what you consider to be important. It isn't wrong to want to save money. However, in most cases, the saving is negligible as the cost to your health outweighs the extra spending on healthy options. Also, any actual saving will most likely be absorbed and spent on other things which may have a negative effect on your health.

There are some things that are cheaper, but they do require a bit of effort. Buying from the greengrocer IS cheaper than buying the same (or sometimes inferior) goods from a supermarket. It takes a bit of organising and there isn't the convenience of going to the supermarket. Convenient doesn't mean good so if your priority is your health, check out a greengrocer. The selection in the picture above costs less than £8. Admittedly, I choose the more expensive options such as spray free tomatoes. You don't have to. However, with your purchase, you will also help to support local business and the natural farming industry.

Did I forget to mention better health? Well add that to the list. Fruits and vegetables are sensitive to heat and light. The more time taken from the soil to your plate, the less nutrients they have. You will get some goodness, but mostly will be fibre. Knowing all this, why would you buy more expensive, less nutritious, less flavoursome food?


  1. Hi Chris. I completely agree that organic food is better and I would choose to eat all my products this way not only for my health but also for the environment. However, I do feel that it is a luxury to be able to say it is a choice. If you have £60 to feed a family of 5 on each week there is no way you can spend £15 on one chicken which will last maybe 2 meals at most. It may be a small price to pay for those on a good income but there needs to be good quality food at a price that is accessible to those literally buying food because they have to eat something too. Of course many people just need educating and are easily fooled by the fast food industry in to thinking they are getting good food at a cheap price too!

  2. That's a great comment.

    I am yet to meet people who fit into this category. In developed countries, having 5 kids is a lifestyle choice (in my opinion unless who have triplets at your first attempt) which comes at a cost. I argue that people tend to sacrifice health. Lack of education may be a factor but everything comes to back to a choice. People saying they have no choice is just an excuse. I could make £60 go a lot further on food than those who claim it will not go very far.

    £15 sounds expensive as there is a cheaper option. If there was no option other than a £15 chicken then we would eat it far less or buy other things. It is a demand and supply problem, caused by the majority of people who demand cheap food. We need a world wide accepted minimum cost of producing good food. We have caused this and we need to take responsibility.