The cost of eating healthy



Tl;dr: “here we have a figure that is undesirable for people who have a tight wallet, and this is the list of reasons this figure is biased or plain wrong.”

Really, why does this get published?


it got published because somebody payed for it, so don’t blame the publisher, blame the person who decided it was a good idea and payed for the study to be done.


Additionally, while $550 per year is certainly burdensome for many people, that cost figure doesn’t include any long-term healthcare costs as a result of eating a poor diet.

“This price difference is very small in comparison to the economic costs of diet-related chronic diseases, which would be dramatically reduced by healthy diets,” Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, the study’s senior author and associate professor at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, said in a press release.

That’s bullshit. You know what costs money upfront? Buying food. You know what doesn’t? Getting some chronic disease later in life. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, getting food boxes, living on food stamps, you literally cannot afford to think about the future. A dollar or two a day may not seem like much to most people, but for some, it’s impossible.


Fruits and veggies should be tax free making them cheaper for poor families and everyone in general. I would go so far as to say that fruits and veggies from farmer to distributor should be tax free, making them even cheaper at the supermarket. The benefits of this would far outweigh the costs to governments.


To be honest, I think you’re completely right.


In America, that’s not impossible. For other countries, it might require something radical, like moving to another country (somewhere in the EU, Canada, America, Japan, Hong Kong.) You can always afford to plan for the future, but sometimes it means leaving everything behind. My family did it 3 generations ago on one side and 2 on the other. They came to America to farm and mine from Norway and England, with virtually nothing but the clothes on their backs. One side of the family ended up relatively wealthy and stable in a mining community, the other side owned a farm, and became self sufficient.

The point is that no matter how bad things look, there’s opportunity in the world. You just have to be willing to pay the cost in time, losing familiar surroundings, sweat, and tears. Most of us that are fortunate in the world have had that cost paid for us.


For some it IS, impossible. When you have a family and living paycheck to paycheck that little extra very well may be impossible. $550 is a pretty healthy check for most poor people.
The lowest minimum wage in the US is $7.25x40 hours= $290 Even working 60 hours thats still only $435
The highest minimum wage in the US is $9.19x40= $367 60 hours just makes that $550.
And thats BEFORE taxes.
And what about the people who have kids and nobody to care for them other than when they are at school?
Do you know how much childcare is a month? Prices range from $3,582 to $18,773 a year. And youre saying it cant be impossible for some Americans?


It might require going on foodstamps. It might require going to a foodbank and sacrificing pride. It might require uprooting yourself from wherever you live and being homeless while searching out a new job in a city with a lower cost of living. It might require working a second job, or finding a work at home opportunity. I understand that poverty cripples your options.

It’s not impossible - but it’s painful. And honestly, poverty in America is a different beast than poverty in the rest of the world. We have far more opportunity here to change our situations. That doesn’t make it easy or painless. It’s one of the hardest things in the world for people to do, but it can be done. It’s not impossible.


Technically, the lowest minimum wage for some jobs in some states is even lower than 7.25 because if you have a tipped job (mostly people in the restaurant industry, even if they’re not servers and therefore aren’t really getting tips) can supposedly make up the difference in tips so their employer doesn’t have to pay minimum wage. Of course, that rarely happens (that they make enough in tips, I mean) but when you’re getting paid three or four dollars an hour (sometimes even less, and yes, this is legal) how are you going to afford to ever go after your boss for the money you earned? You can’t.
This is also assuming that people aren’t being paid under the counter or anything like that and have a full time job, which a lot of people don’t nowadays.
So yeah…it’s definitely impossible for a lot of people here. I don’t get how people think it’s not.

On another note, it is so completely and totally just fucked up that someone can work a full time job and not even make three hundred dollars. Jesus.


You guys are treating these situations as permanent. They’re only permanent if the individual chooses to stay where they’re at and suffer. There are places in North Dakota right now where you can get jobs working oil rigs, trucks, and make $15+ an hour. Move to a larger city where call centers are located. Comcast pays their employees $15/hr to do retention and customer service. If you can spell IP and get it half right, there are network tech jobs out there that will train you to troubleshoot commercial network installations for $19+ an hour. There are tens of thousands of these type jobs with horrendous turnover because people don’t like getting yelled at by customers. That means there’s always opportunity.

It’s absolutely wrong to say that it’s impossible for poor people to change their lives. It’s hard as hell. It means sacrificing your comfort zone, your pride, possibly time with your kids. I know single mothers who’ve picked themselves up out of minimum wage jobs, depended on their church groups, and moved to better places. It’s doable, and it’s a disservice to say that it’s impossible, because that implies that there’s nothing they can do to change their situation. That’s absolutely, 100% not true.


Do you know how much you get with foodstamps? One person gets a hundred and eighty nine dollars. That’s it. Less than six dollars and fifty cents a day. (Oh, and that’s assuming you’re eligible for the full amount, which you won’t be if you have a full time job or are in college.) Say you have two kids and you’re a single parent–you’ll get a whole four hundred and ninety-seven dollars. That comes out to about five dollars and fifty cents per person per day. For a grown adult and two growing kids. Kids eat a lot. Seriously, a lot.
The thing is here–we aren’t arguing about poverty. This thread started about food. Do you know how many fruits and vegetables and healthy things come in food boxes? Not many. It’s mostly the food no one wants anymore or stuff that basically won’t ever go bad…so fruits and veggies are out.
But back onto the whole poverty mess…it’s much, much, much harder to find a job when you’re homeless. Even if you don’t have kids, even if it’s just you. Where are you going to tell your future employer you live? Do you have a cell phone? How can you afford one without a job? Also, did you know that if you’ve been unemployed for six months or longer, your chances of being hired go way down?
I’m just saying, getting out of poverty is a lot harder than just moving to a new city and being homeless for a while.


That is not an option when you have children.


Then it is doable anywhere. Technically speaking NOTHING is impossible.


This is an interesting thought.

Is there a nutritionally complete meal that can be put together using cheap bulk ingredients available to poor families? Such as beans and rice? Lets set the parameters: a family of 5 with an average caloric need of 2200 per day. No deviations from the RDA - they’re average and relatively healthy.

With one breadwinner in the household, and no foodstamps or other support, at minimum wage he pulls down $1160 a month. That’s $1050 after taxes. $550 a month rent, that leaves $500 for power, gas, water, food, transportation.

$200 for everything but food, leaving us with $300 to pay for everyone’s food for a month.

Let’s hit up and using only Walmart ingredients, see how cheaply we can feed a family of 5 with 100% RDA nutrition.

Let’s take logistics out of it as well and have Walmart deliver it too.


I just looked up how many calories a 5’11 145 pound 16 year old male who engages in moderate physical activity would need to maintain weight. Its 2731 a day. If they play sports it goes to 3295 a day.


They are tax free. All food at the grocery store is tax free.


Not everywhere or for everything they are not.


yes but thats the producer. You dont pay tax at the store albeit the taxes they pay are folded int the price. However globalization should still keep the costs down as most berries come from mexico at this point.


Actually in a majority of the US states (I’m assuming you’re in the US) groceries are tax free.
A quick search and it looks like according to wikipedia its about 60+% of states don’t tax groceries.