In the past 30 years the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables has gone up 40%. At the same time, the cost of soft drinks has gone down by over 30%. The graph below is taken from a New York Times article discussing a proposed soda tax. (The tax of a few pennies on sugary drinks will supposedly lower consumption and help the government implement various health plans.)
At least part of the price reduction can be attributed to high fructose corn syrup, which entered the market in the 1980′s. HFCS costs beverage manufacturers half the price of sugar.
What to do at the supermarket:
Although the price of eating healthy has gone up, here are a few suggestions:
1. Drink tap water – Stop buying and drinking soft drinks. A family of 4 will save $500 a year! Not to mention a nice drop in weight…
2. Buy frozen fruits and vegetables – instead of paying a premium for fresh produce shipped from the other side of the world, you get a product that retains the same levels of vitamins as fresh, and sometimes even more than “fresh” produce that has been traveling around for 3 weeks. Canned is also an option, but watch for added sugar or sodium.
3. Buy in season – tomatoes and blueberries will always be cheap in the summer. For off season – see #2.
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