I hear it all the time. "Eating healthy is too expensive." The media talks about the rising cost of food all the time. On Friday, I was sitting in the waiting room at my chiropractor and CNN was talking about how even McDonald's is raising their prices. Before I talk about what really frustrates me, I'll say that I do understand how people are affected by the economic crisis. There are many families that really do have to choose between feeding their families and paying the rent. My heart goes out to them.
But here’s what really gets me fired up. People driving their gas guzzling SUVs to Sams Club to buy cases of Coke and frozen Stouffers dinners and Hamburger Helper, stopping at Starbucks for a $5 latte, going through the McDonald's drive-through while talking on their iPhones, and then driving home to order take-out and watch TV on their new plasmas. And then complaining about the rising costs of food and that eating healthy is not possible.
Think about it. When did it become acceptable to pay $300 for a cell phone but a few cents more for organic bananas seems outrageous?
I know this example may be a little extreme but you know as you read this you can think of a few people that do this to some degree. "Keeping up with the Jones" is something that many Americans struggle with. I admit, I am one of them as well. I like having a new Coach bag or a new Anthropology dress just like the rest of us. I love having DVR to tape American Idol.
For me, good quality food is a priority just like my DVR. The food that I eat becomes who I am. If I give it crap I will feel like crap. Food becomes our cells and our blood. It affects our mood, our body image, our self-esteem, our health, our future, our happiness. It ranks very high on my list.
So, why are food prices going up? In my opinion, it is a symptom of a much more serious problem. It is like my sore shoulder and neck after months of carrying Madilyn with pore posture and a absurdly heavy diaper bag. Hence the need for a chiropractor. The rising cost of food shows that our food system is broken.
Imagine a world where we all ate food that was grown and raised locally, that wasn't trucked across country using up tons of gas? How about trading in fast-food chicken and hamburgers for locally grown meat? How about cutting out processed foods for a week? That will save you some dough! Eating healthy doesn't have to be this huge financial strain.
Food has become more than just satisfying one of our basic needs to live. It has become very complicated. It doesn't have to be though. The more we get back to eating meals with simple, delicious ingredients the better we will feel and we will save some cash.
So where does food rank in your priorities? Leave a comment below. I want to hear from you!