One of our Greatest Challenges may be Making Whole Fresh Foods Affordable to Everyone.
Well I do not want to sound too much like a complaining parent, but I am genuinely shocked at the high cost of eating healthy and the high cost of feeding a child healthy food. Not only does it involve about 5 trips to the grocery store per week but the cost is through the roof.
My son used to eat things that are off limits for me, like bread, crackers and pasta. But you know boys; they model their Dad’s behavior. Erik now eats the same diet that I eat when I eat. No more BLTs! He wants fresh everything and no processed food and that includes bread, crackers, rice and pasta. Basically he, like me rejects anything made from wheat. As a parent concerned for my son’s health I should be happy, but what I have come to realize is just how many calories the cheap food, like crackers, bread and pasta was providing Erik. This stuff is the curse of our civilization. But if you plan on filling up your children with fresh vegetables, fruit and meat you better have some money.
Now my son rejects all that cheap food and eats exclusively fresh fish (mostly salmon), chicken, piles of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, cheese and eggs. He has to get all his calories from these healthy foods and the cost is through the roof.
In a typical day he will go through a package of spinach ($4.00), a couple crowns of broccoli ($2.00), a bell pepper ($1.50), cucumber and celery ($1.00), romaine lettuce ($1.00), tomatoes ($1.00), watermelon or cantaloupe ($4.00), bananas ($1.00), Salmon or chicken ($3.00), cheese (yes a whole package! $5.00), and eggs ($1.00).
That is $24.50 a day or $735 a month and only Erik eats; I AM FASTING! It would be $1,470 a month if I was eating the same as Erik and it would be over $3,000 a month for both of us if I thought we needed to eat only organic foods from the Whole Foods market or Trader Joe’s. Organic food for Erik and I would cost over $36,000 a year. A family of four would have to shell out $72,000 a year just to eat healthy while eating only organic.
None of this stuff keeps more than a couple days and that is why I have to make almost daily trips to the grocery store. When I am fasting and that is most of the time and this can be stressful. When in a deep fast I have had the aisles of the grocery stores almost vibrate with exciting sights and color. I am a starving man surrounded by food and yet I must abstain.
Eating healthy costs a lot of money and poor people cannot do it. They get stuck with macaroni and cheese, Big Macs, coke and French fries and as a result our children get fat and die young. It is really sad. We are supposed to be a wealthy country, but really few can afford to feed their children properly. Some day this will be seen as the crime of America.
This is dangerous and this could get a lot worse! With nearly seven billion people in the world to feed it would not take much to disrupt supply lines. Food could become more expensive than gas. Possibly the greatest challenge we have today is to make healthy food affordable to everyone and particularly our children.
I read that Americans are supposed to only be spending 17% of their income on food. How can this be? It means that Americans are eating junk! Junk food is cheap, but fresh whole food is not.
But to this discussion I should add that a family of four does not have to pay $72,000 a year for organic food. Personally I think organic is a crock. I have researched this pretty carefully also. Basically I think organic food is a waste of money. There are traces of insecticides on non organic veggies and fruit but the body is quite capable of dealing with such low levels. There is a lot of good research to back this view up. We would all be dead if our bodies could not tolerate such low levels of toxins. The liver is a great cleaner.
But what bugs me is that the government subsidizes high fructose corn syrup, a highly processed food that is added to almost all other highly processed food. This is really the same as subsidizing Coke or Pepsi. Indirectly it is the same as subsidizing even McDonalds. But there are no subsidies for wild caught salmon or fresh vegetables and fruit. Subsidizing cheap unhealthy food is still good politics in America, the world capital of obesity. But the cost of eating healthy in America remains very high.