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Why is it cheaper to eat unhealthfully...

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  • LorinaLynnLorinaLynn Member Posts: 13,591 Member Member Posts: 13,591 Member
    So should items that cost more to produce be less expensive than cheaper to produce items?

    Should a diamond ring cost less than a rhinestone ring? A silk blouse less than polyester?
  • kumitekgkumitekg Member Posts: 61 Member Posts: 61
    Everybody (or most) are missing the point!

    A package of 93% lean ground beef is MORE EXPENSIVE than the same size package of 80% lean beef.
    A package of multigrain or whole wheat bread is more expensive than a loaf of White wonder bread.
    A gallon of skim milk is more expensive than a gallon of whole milk.

    These are straight up facts - same package sizes, but cheaper for the "less healthy" items.
    How can you say that isn't true??

    I am not talking about how much it costs overall to feed my family with healthy foods, vs. fast food.
    I'm talking about the one-to-one comparision of buying these healthy items vs. unhealthier items.

    I have to agree with this (eating out at restaurants aside).... I know for sure that I am spending more at the grocery store making healthier (and fresher non-processed/frozen) choices than when I was not.
  • katysmellykatysmelly Member Posts: 391 Member Member Posts: 391 Member
    First off...im not sure that "unhealthfully" is a word...but, as the subject states: Why is it so much cheaper to eat crap than it is to buy healthy foods and prepare them yourself? You can go to McDonalds and buy a cheeseburger and fries for a lot cheaper than going to the grocery store and buying foods to make a meal. It just aggravates me...

    It's not just that it's CHEAPER, but it's certainly EASIER. Someone who has been working a full day stacking shelves at Walmart will find fast food appealing because it's cheap, filling, and doesn't require preparation when their feet hurt.

    It's true that you can eat cheaply if you buy bulk rice and lentles and fresh veg, etc, but that's not an easy thing to do for a lot of people. Also, that diet gets boring really quick. The fact is, people with money can afford to eat all sorts of delicious healthy delicacies from the deli counter at Whole Foods.
  • DragonwolfDragonwolf Member Posts: 5,631 Member Member Posts: 5,631 Member
    Everybody (or most) are missing the point!

    A package of 93% lean ground beef is MORE EXPENSIVE than the same size package of 80% lean beef.
    A package of multigrain or whole wheat bread is more expensive than a loaf of White wonder bread.
    A gallon of skim milk is more expensive than a gallon of whole milk.

    These are straight up facts - same package sizes, but cheaper for the "less healthy" items.
    How can you say that isn't true??

    I am not talking about how much it costs overall to feed my family with healthy foods, vs. fast food.
    I'm talking about the one-to-one comparision of buying these healthy items vs. unhealthier items.

    That's nowhere near the original comparison, but I'll bite.

    80% vs 93% ground beef - drain it, or cook it in a way that the fat can be removed (skillet cook it before putting it in baked dishes, grill it, etc). Also, if you're in an area with (non-factory) farms nearby, you can get far, far better meat (in fat content and quality), for cheap, because you can buy it direct from the farmers or butchers.
    Multigrain vs White - I'm not sure I'd even classify Wonder bread as actually being food, but aside from that... last time I was at Aldi (which, granted, has been a while), wheat bread was only about 10-20 cents more than white bread. There's also the option to make your own. Seriously, bread is dead simple to make - yeast, sugar, flour, water - mix together, let rise, bake. Want whole wheat bread? Buy whole wheat flour.
    Skim vs whole milk - again, I've never seen more than about a 30 cent difference. And that depends on the state (in some states, milk prices are regulated; in PA, skim milk ($3.27-$3.48) is cheaper than whole milk ($3.64-$3.85) - http://www.mmb.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/pricing_information/4744 ). If you're so poor that you're sweating over a 30 cent difference on milk, then perhaps you should be looking at canned or powdered milk (or rethinking your milk usage altogether; the same goes for bread).

    And yep, I've been there. Most of my family is still there (my mom, as well as my aunt and uncle, hover in that no-man's land where they make too much for assistance programs, but not enough to really get away from living paycheck to paycheck). They've handled it by cooking at home, growing their own stuff and/or getting food from other growers, and doing crazy things with coupons (my aunt is borderline extreme couponer; most of the stuff, I personally wouldn't eat, but I can't deny her effectiveness on getting stuff that they eat for literally next to nothing).
  • NoAdditivesNoAdditives Member Posts: 4,253 Member Member Posts: 4,253 Member
    Everybody (or most) are missing the point!

    A package of 93% lean ground beef is MORE EXPENSIVE than the same size package of 80% lean beef.
    A package of multigrain or whole wheat bread is more expensive than a loaf of White wonder bread.
    A gallon of skim milk is more expensive than a gallon of whole milk.

    These are straight up facts - same package sizes, but cheaper for the "less healthy" items.
    How can you say that isn't true??

    I am not talking about how much it costs overall to feed my family with healthy foods, vs. fast food.
    I'm talking about the one-to-one comparision of buying these healthy items vs. unhealthier items.

    That's because it's more expensive for a company to use real ingredients instead of man-made chemical *kitten*. It costs more or them to use real ingredients, so they pass that on to the consumer. That's why it's important to avoid processed food as much as possible and just cook it yourself!

    And as far as milk goes, I've never seen skim cost more. But, it's possible since it requires more processing.
  • MyM0wM0wMyM0wM0w Member Posts: 2,014 Member Member Posts: 2,014 Member
    Everybody (or most) are missing the point!

    I think YOU'RE missing the point. The OP said:
    You can go to McDonalds and buy a cheeseburger and fries for a lot cheaper than going to the grocery store and buying foods to make a meal.

    80% Lean, White bread, and whole milk are STILL going to be better for her and her family than McDonald's.
  • KatahnaKatahna Member, Premium Posts: 326 Member Member, Premium Posts: 326 Member
    It's the same in my country!

    They keep encouraging us to eat healthy, make good decisions, but when it costs twice the price, WTF?
  • Topsking2010Topsking2010 Member Posts: 2,318 Member Member Posts: 2,318 Member
    A lot of excellent tips on eating healthy.
  • jus_in_bellojus_in_bello Member Posts: 331 Member Member Posts: 331 Member
    because cheap food is all fillers and cheap crops whereas "healthy" food (fresh veggies, good meats) often take up more land for less crop, need more care than other crops, are harder to transport than other crops, are a smaller portion of an animal, is a portion of the animal that tastes better or is simply prefered so there is more demand...

    Organic is more expensive because of the cost of being an organic farmer.

    Farming isn't the same for each crop.

    Shop at farmers markets, they're often cheaper than grocery stores.
  • GeekGirl23GeekGirl23 Member Posts: 517 Member Member Posts: 517 Member
    THIS IS WHAT I WANNA KNO! If you look at the store, the healthy stuff seems to always b more expensive than the junk lol

    Yes, if the companies that made junk food were more expensive people would either pay the higher prices because they are "Additcted" to them or they would go for the healthy food. Problem is (like I was a few months ago) many americans are overweight, make excuses, and state have "No time" to prepare healthy meals...

    Cut out 1 30-60 min TV show and you have time. There are these lovely things called DVR's now where you can just record and get to it when you can.

    I find that my issue was I had to break the relationship with fast food, excessive TV, and excuses in order to move forward. Our food bill prior was 500-700$ a month on mostly fast food... Now it's 300-500$ a month on healthy foods that give us energy and keeps us out of the doctors office!! You can find cost affective fast solutions... how long does it take you to slice an apple?
  • stellarcaniculastellarcanicula Member Posts: 50 Member Member Posts: 50 Member
    This is just my personal experience:

    I stopped eating out(drinking too) and started buying groceries on a regular basis (every two weeks). I have easily saved $300 a month.

    Nobody can tell me that eating fast food/unhealthy stuff is cheaper.

    And honestly if this is a lifestyle change, why not just adjust your budget to afford the cleaner, healthier food?

    My math: Diet - eating out/alcohol = Tons of money for healthy groceries!
  • AlsDonkBoxSquatAlsDonkBoxSquat Member Posts: 6,224 Member Member Posts: 6,224 Member
    its not as long as you buy seasonal, use your coupons, and go to your local or regional farmers market.

    Also, what you buy at the grocery store is generally for several meals, where as at the "restaurant" you're buying for one. You have to take the cost and extrapolate it out over the number of meals eaten. not to mention, making soup is CHEAP and filling. When funds start running low I get out the soup tourine.
  • ErinBeth7ErinBeth7 Member Posts: 1,637 Member Posts: 1,637
    It's actually much much much cheaper to eat wholesome healthy foods. It will just take you a While to figure it out. It seems like a learning curve everyone has to go through.

    I agree with this

    Chicken breast, oats, rice, beans, lentils all cheap
    I agree too, but chicken breast (in this area) is not cheap.
  • wewonwewon Member Posts: 838 Member Member Posts: 838 Member
    So many reasons. Filler being the big one. Chemicals and things like resin of wood fiber are cheap. Also varies greatly depending on location. For instance you pay 6$ for a gallon of milk in Alaska and buy a 50lb fresh salmon for the same price.

    So many things get factored into food cost. Manufacturing, shipping, storage, the list goes on. Remember, depending on location and time of year that "fresh" produce you're buying could have started life in South America or?

    The long term benefit to eating healthy is well worth the short term price though.

    Ditto.

    Processed foods also have a longer shelf life, versus say, produce that goes bad in a very short time.
  • slkehlslkehl Member Posts: 3,813 Member Member Posts: 3,813 Member
    I feel very fortunate to live in the San Francisco bay area. We can get fruits, veggies, and meat all for a pretty good deal since the central valley is so close. I imagine eating right on a budget is much tougher in, say, Hawaii
  • penrbrownpenrbrown Member Posts: 2,728 Member Member Posts: 2,728 Member
    That's because it's more expensive for a company to use real ingredients instead of man-made chemical *kitten*. It costs more or them to use real ingredients, so they pass that on to the consumer. That's why it's important to avoid processed food as much as possible and just cook it yourself!

    And as far as milk goes, I've never seen skim cost more. But, it's possible since it requires more processing.

    Again this is relative to where you live. Where I live the 4L jug of skim milk is actually cheaper (by like 30C) then the whole milk. So yeah... people are 'missing the point' because for some people healthy food ISN'T more expensive.
  • BirdieNYCBirdieNYC Member Posts: 26 Member Member Posts: 26 Member
    Watch Food Inc! It explains it really well.
  • carpar1carpar1 Member Posts: 211 Member Member Posts: 211 Member
    Pay the farmer now or pay the doctor later!
  • jenncazaresjenncazares Member Posts: 27 Member Posts: 27
    Watch the documentary Weight of the Nation- explains a lot. Pretty sad
  • CM9178CM9178 Member Posts: 1,295 Member Member Posts: 1,295 Member
    Everybody (or most) are missing the point!

    A package of 93% lean ground beef is MORE EXPENSIVE than the same size package of 80% lean beef.
    A package of multigrain or whole wheat bread is more expensive than a loaf of White wonder bread.
    A gallon of skim milk is more expensive than a gallon of whole milk.

    These are straight up facts - same package sizes, but cheaper for the "less healthy" items.
    How can you say that isn't true??

    I am not talking about how much it costs overall to feed my family with healthy foods, vs. fast food.
    I'm talking about the one-to-one comparision of buying these healthy items vs. unhealthier items.

    That's because it's more expensive for a company to use real ingredients instead of man-made chemical *kitten*. It costs more or them to use real ingredients, so they pass that on to the consumer. That's why it's important to avoid processed food as much as possible and just cook it yourself!

    And as far as milk goes, I've never seen skim cost more. But, it's possible since it requires more processing.
    I wasn't debating the reason WHY these items are more expensive. I understand why they are more money. But everybody keeps overlooking these facts!
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