I believe general interest articles sometimes word things in a way that gets confusing, but the article doesn't say it costs 36 dollars a day (2000 calorie diet) to eat healthy, it says that it costs $18 dollars for 1000 calories of low energy density food. As the low energy density foods are fruits and vegetables, and are the foods people are usually missing from their diets to make them healthy, that is the relevance of this calculation. The foods that make our diets healthy (balanced and complete) are too expensive for many to buy.
As to if it really can cost 18 dollars for 1000 calories of vegetables, it is EXTREMELY possible.
I'm going to use frozen broccoli as an example, because I remember the approximate price and calories. And this is a CHEAP vegetable.
1 pound of frozen broccoli costs ~ 1.29 at my local cheap grocery chain, for the store brand.
85 grams , 30 calories per serving
454gm/pound divided by 85 grams = 5.3 servings
5.3 servings times 30 calories is 160 calories
divide 1000 calories by 165 (calories per pound) , multiply by 1.29 (cost per pound) you get $8
$8. For a cheap vegetable, at a cheap grocery chain, for the store brand. That price increases steeply from there if you get something more exotic, like bell peppers, or don't have a cheap local chain, etc.
How much is that if you ate 1 serving of broccoli a day in a week?
7 servings times 30 calories/serving * 8 dollars /1000 calories is $1.70 per week.
Doesn't seem like much, but thats just 1 serving of vegetables a day, right? And it's recommended we eat 5 servings of veggies a day. You can see the cost start to spiral.
I would also like to say that I live in a Boston suburb, and I don't know where our produce comes from, but it ain't local farms. And farmers markets around here cost MORE than the grocery store. I shop at a chain called market basket, which is local and "inexpensive". Stop&shop is more expensive, shaws/star market costs about 50% more, and whole foods charges in gold bullion. At least Trader Joe's has made a comfortable home around here, as it is only moderately more expensive than market basket for certain basics.
I'm on the "Eat-as-much-as-possible-while-still-losing-weight" diet. It's working.
Last edited by Tarisaande; 12-08-2009 at 02:00 PM.