Prices devouring healthy habits

The Southerner

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By Maxwell Rabb

My parents, being in the restaurant business, have allowed me to see and eat a lot of different foods. I have been raised in an environment where my mother is constantly telling me that it is easier to eat healthier or to stop eating fast or fried food.

Every time I sit around my house eating a whole bag of chips or I go out to eat a $5 meal at Wendy’s my mother looks at me with shame. She continues to tell me and attempt to convince me that it’s easy to eat healthy but honestly it isn’t.

For me, I have an easy alternative to making Ramen at my house or spending any amount of money at a 5 star restaurant. Not everyone in the world, especially the lower class, have parents or family that own a restaurant that allows them to obtain free food.

The easiest and cheapest place to get food is of course at a Fast Food restaurant. You can get in and out with a full meal without even putting a dent in your wallet. In my book, it definitely beats the alternative, which would be getting a minimal amount sushi for a whole $15. Although $15 does not seem like a lot to some and even if I might be coming off as “cheap,” the fact is I don’t have a lot of money and I am not the only one.

With the huge amount of debt circling the economy not everyone has the ability to spend that extra money to eat organically. The debt actually affects the eating habits of United States citizens because the people just don’t have money to spare on eating healthy. The people need food and if the Organic alternative is a buck or two more expensive then we chose the non-organic meal.

The Food Research and Action Center discovered that the lack of money directly correlates with the kind of food that the low class can buy. Its report states “Low-income neighborhoods frequently lack full-service grocery stores and farmers’ markets where residents can buy a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.” The organic food is too expensive for even the grocers to buy, not allowing the customers to choose a healthier diet.

This may seem irrational for health addicts who have extra money to spend on organic food items but the majority of college students do not have the extra cash to spare. The Faseb Journal stated that low cost and good taste were the main reasons students consumed fast-food. With the student loans, debt and often inability to obtain a job it leaves many college students holding on to their money with great care.

One might think that the cost for a healthier food option should be lower but that is simply not feasible. Being raised in the restaurant business, it’s easy to understand that the better the food is and the healthier it is, the more expensive it is going to be.

The Food and Agriculture Organization brought this to light when they explained that Organic food’s price is necessary because production costs for organic foods are typically higher because of greater labour inputs per unit of output. This cycle makes it almost impossible for people who don’t have the extra money to spend to create healthy eating habits.

My mother believes that I should eat a healthier diet and change up some of my current eating habits but honestly I don’t have the money. So, before we accuse people of bad eating habits, we should take into account their economic states and realize that not everyone has a few extra bucks to eat organically.

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