By now you may have seen the Surviving Whole Foods article that has been circulating around the internets. It's written by Kelly Maclean, whose first title in her byline is 'stand up comic'. Unfortunately, I think many people will read the article and use it as fuel for the 'it costs too much money to eat healthy' fire.
I'll admit - I chuckled a few times when I read it. But for some reason I couldn't stop thinking about it after I read it and eventually I went from mildly amused to pissed off. I think it's because I'm always trying to explain to others how manageable a healthy diet can be. When I lecture in class on Health I ask my students the #1 reason why they don't eat healthy and the response every year is the same ... "$$$."
Articles like this, even written in jest, do nothing but perpetuate that myth.
Yeah - I called it a myth.
I know what's affordable to me may not be to others and vice versa but I spend under $50 a week to feed myself and think I do a pretty darn good job of eating real, 80% healthy, food. An average haul from the grocery store on the weekend may look like this:
I'm confident that even if my family size doubled to 2 I could still keep the grocery budget under 75-80 a week. I always find it so ironic when students tell me that eating healthy is expensive, yet they'll have a candy bar and soda on their desk that they just paid $3 for (which is more than the average cost of my homemade dinner.)
Even getting past the financial aspect people will then argue that eating healthy just takes too much time. The lure of being able to stop by a fast-food place, or pop some frozen meal in the microwave is just to easy. Wrong, again. I spend under 2 hours on Sunday prepping my food for the week and I spend less than 10 minutes a day reheating the meals.
Back to the article, I think the one part that pushed me over the edge was:
"Next I see the gluten-free section filled with crackers and bread made from various wheat-substitutes such as cardboard and sawdust. I skip this aisle because I'm not rich enough to have dietary restrictions. Ever notice that you don't meet poor people with special diet needs? A gluten intolerant house cleaner? A cab driver with Candida? Candida is what I call a rich, white person problem."
Yeah, because my Dad's Celiacs symptoms correlate with the size of his paycheck. I know she's trying to be funny, I get it, but I'm just tired of trying to help other's see that eating healthy doesn't mean buying kombucha (I've still never tried it), only eating oats if they've fermented in your fridge overnight, or giving up chocolate/gluten/insert favorite food item here.
Do you think it's more expensive to eat healthy?
Why do you think some people would rather argue against why it's difficult to eat healthy, instead of just doing it?