Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Rant- The Price of Eating Well

It seems like barely  a day goes by in my life that I do not read or see some news story about how obese Americans are.  The evening news shows clips of random fat people's faceless bodies jiggling down the street.  Many times I wonder when watching is why do the news teams have to select the fat people who choose to go out in ill-fitting spandex pants and belly-baring crop tops.  Just once I'd like them to show a fattie wearing a sensible pair of bootcut jeans, lace-banded tank and a proper-fitting scoop neck.  However, if they started doing that, then I would have to live in fear that it is my jiggalicious ass being paraded across the news as the reporter states, "America is Ripping at the Seams Due to Growing Obesity Epidemic."   But I guess I am safe as long as they stick with their stock footage, because I won't be venture out in public in pants that the cellulite dimples are visible from anytime soon.

Anyhow, I have discovered why America is so fat, and I believe I know how to fix it. I can see the headlines now:  

"Fat Girl Solves Obesity Problem; Has Hot Fudge Cake to Celebrate"

All joking aside, I really that Hot Fudge Cake right now.  But back to the real issue: Where can I get a Hot Fudge Cake at 10:45 at night? 

For real though, where are the Hot Fudge Cakes?  No Help? Anyone? Okay, so back to my thoughts.  Plain and simple, the reason that our country is so fat is that it is very expensive to eat well in this country.  A trip to your local Whole Foods will expose that to you.  Since I have started this healthy-living thing, my grocery bill has gone up by almost 40% due to the cost of produce!  It's appalling how expensive fruits and vegetables are and quite frankly, it really pisses me off. 

I had to go to the grocery store today to restock my produce selection in house as I finished everything up before a wonderful weekend back in Ohio.I went to the grocery store today and purchased just a few of the essential fresh products- Apples, Bananas, Oranges, Plums, Green Peppers, and a few others.  Nothing exotic- no kumquats, no mangos or starfruits, not even bok choy.  I kept it basic, just enough to keep some roughage in my diet.  When I checked out, I was floored by the fact my total was almost $50!  For NOTHING BUT PRODUCE! And this was after I may or may not have deceived the self-checkout on the number of avocados I really had. Prior to eating healthy, I could easily cook get well over a week's worth of dinners on $50 for Will and I.  Now, I had nothing but snacks and side dishes.  It's ridiculous.

Tangent- Frequently I have heard people making remarks about those in poverty and the fact that they tend to have higher obesity rates, mostly snarky comments such as, "If they are so poor then how can they afford to eat so much?" I'll tell you how, because buying a .90 cent box of Mac n Cheese goes a whole lot farther in feeding a family than .90 cents put towards two bananas.  Processed food high in calories, high in fat and high in sodium is a whole lot cheaper than apples and broccoli. 

Times are tough in this economy, people cannot afford to eat well.  Processed foods are much cheaper, and much more convenient. I am willing to bet my Hot Fudge Cake that in a few years we will see a huge swell in the Obesity rate related to this economy, provided that it is possible for our country to get any bigger. Still awaiting official word on whether there is room for us to grow without having to invade Canada.

I can only conclude that it must be expensive to grow produce, package it and ship it while still fresh.  Why else am I paying out the nose for fresh fruit and vegetables.  So my solution is that the Government either starts dolling out coupons for cheaper produce to us Tubbies to encourage us to spend the money on veggies over the heavily processed foods or increase the subsidies given to farmers so they can lower the end cost of healthy goods to the consumer.  It is not realistic to sit and tell people to eat healthier when it is going to cost good money.  I also suggest giving a tax break to people who lose weight and get healthy.  Mainly because I did not get as big as a refund as I would've liked this past year.  In order to finance this, I advocate selling Texas to the highest bidder, turning the White House into a time share, and allowing Carnival  Cruiselines to rent out aircraft carriers for Military-Themed Family Cruises when the ships are not deployed. 

I am just terribly frustrated at how much it costs to eat well. We are a one-income family until I finish (and start) graduate school, and the military is not exactly known for their generous salaries. We are fine, and making the adjustment. But what about everyone else who is struggling, is it really realistic to expect them to choose fresh produce over having a few extra bucks? I don't think so. And it is just not limited to produce.  Ground beef, and beef in general, is significantly cheaper than chicken, turkey and fish.  I feel better now that I have ranted about how much I hate the price of healthy eating and solved America's Obesity Problem. We will return shortly to my adventures in sprained muscles and concussions. 

Now to go find that Hot Fudge Cake...


  1. I'm always surprised when people say it's not really more expensive to eat healthy - you are so right about the mac n cheese vs. bananas. Not to mention that produce goes bad quickly so I feel like I'm wasting a lot and therefore buying more.

  2. You're right about how much more expensive it is I'm always floored when I read that eating healthy is about the same cost as eating poorly. Ramen noodles are $1.00 for a 6 pack. Plus -- a box of mac and cheese will go bad after what? 9 years? Whereas if I don't eat my apples within the week, that's money down the drain.

    Do you have any local farmer's markets in your area? Prices there tend to be a bit better because you're not paying the upcharge of shipping the food across the country.

  3. I never considered a local farmer's market. I will have to check around, thanks for the great suggestion!

  4. I know I'm a little late to the discussion on this, but here's the reason healthy food is more expensive:
    Farmers ARE subsidized. Unfortunately, it's mostly CORN farmers that are subsidized. High fructose CORN syrup will wreck your metabolism (and is in all kinds of cheap foods as a preservative). CORN is fed to cows (instead of grass), along with an unhealthy dose of growth hormones and antibiotics, so they grow fat and quick in unspeakable conditions.
    For a really interesting article on the state of food in America, check out Time's August 31st issue.