Why healthy food is more expensive than processed food
Why healthy food is more expensive than processed food
A well-balanced diet is one of the basics for the proper functioning of the body. Unfortunately, many people take it lightly and eat for pleasure, kill time, or improve their mood. Highly processed food is the basis of many people’s diets, and it does not take long to see the consequences of bad eating habits. No wonder that civilization diseases have literally become the plague of the XXI century; never before has society been so obese. Reaching for fast food, rich in refined sugar and trans fat, has become something ordinary. Such nutritionally inadequate food is widely available, cheap, and tasty because it is stuffed with chemicals designed to make us addicted. Artificial dyes, flavor enhancers, fillers, preservatives, and fragrances stimulate the senses excessively. They were created in such a way that you can’t tear yourself away from them and want to reach for more. On the other hand, healthy food is much more expensive, less promoted, and harder to buy.
The problem of expensive healthy food
Mental and physical health depends mainly on the way we eat. It is from food, which consists of multiple substances, that the body can draw energy, nourish cells, build tissues, and repair itself. If the body is provided with highly processed food, which is deficient in micro-and macroelements, it is only a matter of time before its health deteriorates. Various disease symptoms begin to appear, and multiple diseases develop. There is no question of energy, well-being, proper functioning of organs. Everyone should think carefully about what they put in their mouths, analyze their diet, and assess their health. Mad, conscious food choices are the basis. However, there is a problem that many people give up buying healthy food. It is about its prices, which can be more expensive by several dozen percent compared to conventional food. Not to mention the fact that usually in a discount grocery store, only one section is about healthy food, and the rest is… well, what? Fortunately, every year the public is becoming more aware, and the demand for healthy, organic food is growing. Along with the market, the supply is also increasing, so the stores expand their offer with new products and can count on more attractive prices.
Why are the prices of healthy food so high?
It might seem that since healthy food is the most natural and the least processed, it should be cheaper than food stuffed with chemicals, with various additives such as fillers, fortified vitamins and minerals, artificial flavors, and flavor enhancers. Unfortunately, the opposite is true, mainly due to the mass production of highly processed foods with low nutrient density and empty calories. Healthy food is more expensive, which is primarily due to better quality, more time-consuming production. Machines are not enough; manual work is most often used. Since no artificial fertilizers or plant protection products are used on organic farms, you have to reckon with reduced yields compared to industrial breeding and cultivation. Meat products do not contain growth hormones, and animals are not fattened to gain weight as quickly as possible to be sold. The prophylactic administration of antibiotics and growth hormones is unacceptable on organic farms. Therefore it is necessary to wait longer for the animal to grow up, so the number of meat products is limited.
Healthy fruits and vegetables are not sprayed with chemicals in artificial pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. It is easy to guess that this will result in lower yields from such natural crops and even at the 30-40% level compared to conventional ones. The production of organic food itself is associated with considerable costs, which translates into a higher final price of the offered products. Definitely, more work and time is required for manual weeding or collecting pests than using a machine and spraying everything with chemicals. Annual certification is a really high cost for an organic farm and processor dealing with healthy food production. You have to reckon with regular quality checks and compliance with all the reluctantly imposed standards handled by inspectors of certification bodies. The cost of certification is influenced by many factors, so it may vary from a few to several thousand pounds. Transport of healthy food is mainly dealt with by small producers, and it absorbs a large part of total costs.
More expensive, but healthier
Even though healthy food is more expensive, it’s worth reaching for it. It is better to eat less but provide your body with what it needs to function correctly. Organic food is certified, guaranteeing no harmful fertilizers, pesticides, heavy metals, preservatives, or GMOs in it. It has a low level of processing or is entirely natural, so it contains a broad spectrum of health-promoting values, a concentration of nutrients. It is abundant in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and many other bioactive substances. Consumption of organic food reduces the risk of food allergies. In favor of healthy food is also the fact that it has better taste and smell in comparison with conventionally produced products. The improvement in organoleptic properties may be due to higher levels of antioxidants in natural food. Choosing organic food supports your health and reduces the negative impact of agriculture on the environment.