You may not need a study to tell you that a grocery cart full of healthy food is pricey – but just how much more are you spending on all those organic blueberries and wild salmon each year?
A new study, published in British Medical Journal Open, provides a handy cost analysis of healthier versus less healthy foods.
The study’s authors found that $1.50 per day is "the price difference per person for consuming a much healthier versus much less healthy overall diet."
In other words, if you regularly fill your family’s grocery cart with whole grains, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, your family spends about $2000 more a year than those who opt for processed foods, meat and sugary refined grains.
Of course, the price can be much higher if you shop at Whole Foods versus No Frills, or if you buy organic versus non-organic foods.
I’m someone that frequents health foods stores, and I try to buy mostly organic foods. I also don’t even want to admit the monthly cost of my grocery bills.
What I do know is that I spend a lot more than the average person (and a lot more than an added cost of $2000 a year) but what I eat is important to me, so I’m okay with that. Ideally though, there would be a better solution.
The study’s authors suggest that creating an infrastructure and framework that facilitates production, transportation and marketing of healthier foods could increase the availability and reduce the prices of more healthful products.
They also say that taxation of unhealthy foods and subsidies for healthier foods could help balance the price difference between healthy and unhealthy foods.
I couldn’t agree more – after all, shouldn’t people who practice preventative health (and therefore save the government money on healthcare) be rewarded for their efforts?
Do you splurge on healthier foods? Do you agree with the study’s authors that unhealthy foods should be taxed?
-Katharine Watts, associate web editor