Why is healthy food more expensive?

This week my friends and I had a conversation on the way back from the grocery store, on why “healthier” foods always tend to cost more. Fruits and vegetables can be very costly, where as simply grabbing meals at McDonald’s or Tenders might serve as more attractive options for students on a tight budget. However, in order to attain optimal health, the extra cash is required.

This phenomenon is no myth; the British Medical Journal found that buying and eating healthier food, is in fact more expensive. The study found that eating healthier, such as buying from stores such as Whole Foods, costs approximately $1.48 more per day or $550.00 more per year.

In this sense, we can see how food is linked to money and power. If one is able to afford to buy healthier options, they could be fitter and be perceived as more successful or higher-class in society. People with a lower income may not be able to splurge on healthier options, and therefore could more likely be overweight, which can lead to health problems of its own. In turn, food choice seems to reflect status and power in society.

If society can make healthier options more affordable and abundant to people of all economic classes, then perhaps this dynamic will fade or change, but for now, its Tenders for me.