by Allison LaBelle ’20
Whole Foods is one of my favorite stores. I can spend hours strolling the aisles and picking out delicious, healthy foods, but I have encountered a major problem.
As a college student, I have come to find that I need to be more frugal with my spending. The issue? The healthy food I love is expensive. A 2013 Harvard study found that it costs about $1.50 more a day to eat a healthy diet rather than an unhealthy diet. It is now four years later, and I am sure this cost has increased.
Why is it that an apple can cost more than a bag of chips? Why is fresh food that comes straight from the earth more expensive than food that is manufactured in a factory?
I am so confused by America’s food industry. The gap in price between healthy and unhealthy food is bothersome and causes a major dilemma for people who are on a budget.
Rather than an apple versus a bag of chips, let’s think bigger picture. A family is on a budget and wants to go out to lunch. Will they spend less at McDonalds or Sweet Green?
McDonalds. The issue with this is McDonalds is processed food, which is bad for a person’s health. This is a huge conundrum for so many Americans.
People are forced to choose between the money in their wallet and their health. In the moment, it can be so easy to prioritize money over health, but in the long run it is one’s health that is the most important.
It is frustrating that in order to eat well one needs to spend more. This situation can even be seen here on campus.
In Alumni dining hall, students can choose between buying something from the Take 3 station by using a meal swipe or buying something using FriarBucks.
I only have $165 Friar Bucks each semester and I know that I need to use them wisely. I could easily run through them within a month, but instead I try and stretch them out.
Friar Bucks can buy you a smoothie, a fresh salad, a grilled chicken sandwich, a deli sandwich, pretzels and hummus, etc.
Meanwhile, Take3 options consist of quesadillas, grilled cheeses, burgers, processed chicken patties, pizza, and if you are trying to be “healthy,” pre-packaged salads.
It is difficult trying to maintain a healthy diet at school when it feels as though there is such a limited variety of healthy food.
It should not have to feel like the only way to eat healthy is by spending more money. Leading a healthy lifestyle should be something everyone feels they can do.
I’m so sick of hearing “Guac costs extra, is that ok?” whenever I go to Chipotle. Guacamole is made out of avocados, which are a great source of protein. I do not want to choose between money and nutrition any more.
America is one of the most obese countries in the world. One way to try and fix this is to finda way to charge less for healthy food. People should not be forced into processed, unhealthy, nutrient-lacking food due to their budget.