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NEWS: Healthy Eating, Not For The Price-Conscious

Salad Mix

Save money on low-calorie food: Buy and cut
your own romaine instead of pre-cut salad mixes.
  This will come as no surprise to those who strive to cook healthy meals, but researchers at the University of Washington have found that junk food not only costs less than fruits and vegetables, but it is also less likely to rise in price as a result of inflation. As reported in The New York Times, the study compared the price per calorie of 370 different foods in the Seattle area. The results are somewhat alarming: The higher-calorie, energy-dense foods (e.g. candy, pastries, baked goods and snacks) cost an average of $1.76 per 1,000 calories, while low-calorie, nutritious foods averaged at $18.16 per 1,000 calories. Moreover, these low-calorie foods grew 19.5% in price during the course of the two year study while the high-calorie foods dropped 1.8%. According to the study, a 2,000-calorie diet of junk food would cost a mere $3.52 per person, per day; a 2,000-calorie diet of low-calorie, dense foods costs a whopping $36.32.
The data indicate that it is easier for low-income individuals to sustain themselves on junk food rather than healthier alternatives. In response to angry posts from many healthy eaters who make do on food budgets of $15 to $20 a week, Tara Parker-Pope, who wrote the story, responded that it showed “…extreme examples to make the point of the price disparity between energy dense food and more nutritious food….The average American spends about $7 a day on food, while low-income people spend $3 to $4 a day.” Read all of the responses. For our favorite healthy foods, check out our NutriNibbles section in THE NIBBLE online magazine—the products may cost more than a bag of potato chips, but your body will thank you.




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