Money is the currency to purchase any products and services except sincerity. Money ($$$) buys us food. Food cost are seen as the risk factors for food choices. So, what cost are we paying to get a healthy food?
$1.50 a day according to systematic review and meta-analysis by Mayuree Rao and its team published in British Medical Journal. That is less than the price of a cup of coffee. So, cut down a cup of coffee and get healthier, if that is not clear to you.
$1.50 sounds like a reasonable cost to better health. According to Mayuree, spending on high protein foods and more vegetables and fruits versus processed foods is where the $1.50 of food cost came from. Assuming that we spend $1,50 more of beans and nuts plus high protein low fat meat with recommended servings of fruit and vegetables, can we declare ourselves as healthier?
The answer really is not that simple. While an estimation of healthy food cost are a reference indicator of how much we need to spend to be healthier, it is really depends on how an individual make food purchasing decisions. I can spend that $1.50 getting costlier organic vegetables that makes me feel healthier but doesn't add much nutritionally. Stanford study show little benefit of organic products but organic is still a better way of eating non-chemical contaminated foods that are also commonly refer to toxic-carrier foods.
Money equivalence doesn't always translate to food cost. We know that food cost are influenced by seasonality, crop harvest, origin and harvesting practices. It is also influenced by packaging and branding strategy. We know that similar food sold at Safeway and local produce store have different price tags. While consumer look for bargain, my advice would be to consider the minimally processed items, fresh vegetables and fruits along with lean meat to complement a meal. 'Healthier' is a state of mind that has multiple factors that depends how healthy we really are. Whenever, I eat more vegetables, I felt myself as healthier despite if I also had processed foods that day. We are used to the reasoning that eating fruits and vegetables are healthier and thus, I felt the same way too.
If you can use the $1.50 on food that you think are healthier than coffee, why not use that money to purchase a healthier meal- organic, local, nutrient dense foods etc? Remember, your decision of how to use $1.50 is crucial in determining if you are really healthier.
Switching to Healthier Eating May Cost You MoreFollowing a healthy diet runs about $1.50 more a day than junk food, study finds. Retrieved from http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/economic-status-health-news-224/healthy-eating-costs-only-a-bit-more-682822.html.December 6, 2013.
Little evidence of health benefits from organic foods, Stanford study finds - Retrieved from http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2012/september/organic.html. September 3, 2012.