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Old 03-19-2012, 12:50 PM   #71
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Woodland, CA
Posts: 11,712

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Height: 5' 8"


I do know that food costs vary depending on area, so again, for my food costs it makes sense, for others it may not.

I would venture that every area has SOME healthy food that is less expensive than junk food (either in smaller ethnic markets, or farmer's markets, or grocery outlet type stores, or even grown in a container garden). But I do agree that time is an issue, particularly for the working poor - the dishes you can make inexpensively with a slowcooker (which is a cost that some working poor may not be able to afford, although thrift stores often have them for a few dollars...though you can get the same effect leaving an oven on all day with a pot of food inside it) would get pretty tedious after a while (although a diet of junk food day after day would get tedious as well, I imagine). Another huge issue is that those in poor urban areas often live in food deserts - that is, there are no sources for healthy, fresh food within a reasonable distance. Without transportation, and in unsafe neighborhoods, walking or riding the bus to get healthier foods may not be an option at all. If the only food you can safely access comes from a convenience store or a fast food place, obviously that will affect both your health and your costs.

For the very poor, there are all kinds of serious logistical barriers to making your own healthy food - hard to do with no stove, or if the gas has been turned off for lack of payment, or if you don't have any pots and pans or any way to afford them.

I brought both of these up earlier in the thread, and they are major issues to be sure, that won't be easily solved. Those are both separate issues from the original question being posed in this thread though, I think, which was more "does a healthy diet, per calorie, cost more than an unhealthy diet". It may, and there may not be a lot of choice around that for some people with logistical-type problems (including those I summarized above). But it really doesn't HAVE to for most people.
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