We Can Afford Healthy Food –We Choose Not To

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • He’s calling it the corruption of availability of cheap food and he says it has made US consumers refuse to buy reasonably priced healthier food.  Whole Foods co-owner John Mackey presented to attendees at the Taste Tomorrow Event in Chicago recently, and a reporter from Food Navigator was there to capture his words and his sentiments on this trending discussion.  There are those who say that individuals in lower socio-economic situations simply cannot access healthier food because of affordability issues.  Mackey maintains that you can’t use the ridiculous pricing that fast food and processed food makers have been able to achieve as a guideline for what foods should cost.  Maybe he has a point.

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    All of us have had a moment in our lives when we went for the bargain and it backfired, big time.  Maybe it was some cans of paint so ridiculously priced you couldn’t pass it up, only to find the old awful wall color you were masking, shining through within weeks of applying the new cheap paint.  Or maybe it was a used car with a stellar price and supposedly "well-vetted' user history, that ended up costing you a fortune to keep running becausse of numerous post-purchase defects and issues. There has been an ongoing argument that if you consistently feed on affordable and tasty fast food, you will ultimately pay the price down the road in healthcare costs and a less optimal quality of life.  John Mackey contends that the argument is really about the corruption of lower food prices, because fresh fruit and vegetables simply cannot compete with corn, wheat and rice, which happen to be well supported by subsidiaries.

     

    Mackey hopes that a movement has begun to seek authentic food and transparency, when it comes to sourcing and especially ingredients.  he also hopes that the desire by consumers for food to be: natural, organic, local, global, ethical, healthy and sustainable will shift the food scene.  I might take a personal moment to point out that the definitions and even the science behind some of these health and sourcing  terms is not 100% clear, but his contentions as a whole have merit, when it comes to what we are putting in our mouths, and especially in the mouths of our kids.

     

    Whole Foods Markets define one of those elusive terms, natural, as: free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners or hydrogenated fats.  Or more simply put, as minimally processed as possible.  Mackey's speech also referenced the 80% of deaths in the US that are mitigated by lifestyle choices, poor lifestyle choices to be precise.  He challenged the bakery markets to seize the opportunity to go more artisanal and healthy in their approach to baked goods.  He conceded that when it comes to patisserie and chocolate makers, people need indulgences.  So for them to try to create healthy desserts is really not worth the bother.  We call that balance, right??

     

    One last point that needs to be mentioned, because of Hurricane Sandy, is that chefs like Mario Batali on the show, The Chew, have been offering healthy recipes created from foods families can access at the local food pantries that have been set up around the New York tri-state area.  You can cook "healthy and nourishing recipes" from food pantry ingredients, during financially challenging times, or after a weather crisis like Sandy.  This kind of food will support your body as you deal with the challenges.  it is especially important during a stressful time to try to eat healthy foods that support your physical and mental health.

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    (Some information source from: www.foodnavigator-usa.com/content/view/print/691678/

     

Published On: November 05, 2012