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No, Healthy Foods Don’t Cost More

No, Healthy Foods Don’t Cost More


We’ve all been there — balking at the price of olive oil, experiencing physical pain at how much a pound of tomatoes cost. Indeed, it definitely seems like it takes a lot of cash to eat healthy. But, according to a study by the United States Food and Department of Agriculture (USDA), that commonly held belief is little more than a myth. Sticking to a healthy diet rich in nutrients is no more costly than eating a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup — in fact, it is less expensive to eat healthy!

Based on cost per calorie, portion size and weight, the researchers determined that healthier food options are more affordable. Getting to that conclusion, however, is a little more complicated than simply comparing the caloric content of foods. Based on cost per calorie, portion size and weight, the researchers determined that healthier foods are a more affordable option. Or, for example, as the study authors wrote,

“An average portion of potato chips might be cheaper than an average portion of baked potato, but if it takes two average portions of potato chips to make up a cup equivalent of starchy vegetables, then the baked potato might be a cheaper way to meet the recommendation.”

So what does that mean for consumers? Well, the the study authors suggest that, rather than looking at the base cost per pound of a food item, you look at the total nutritional value of what you’re purchasing.

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


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7:41AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Even in Asian countries cost of living is very high.To obtain organic food available in the interior villages.
In the city markets selling vegetables with toxic pesticides used stuff..
you have to wash the stuff thoroughly before cooking in order to prevent from diseases.
Gas prices also gone up.
Daily increasing cost of living but never go down.

10:03PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

Good to hear. Will use that explanation for people.

2:02PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012


2:02PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012


6:19AM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

I try to get my friends to look at it this way- $1 more now - or $50,000 in medical care later - it is an investment in your quality of life and from that perspective is quite a bargain. Thank you.

3:32AM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

Thanks for the article

8:11PM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Interesting. thanks for sharing

7:20AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012


7:51AM PDT on Aug 5, 2012

good to know

5:28PM PDT on Aug 4, 2012

We eat what I grow in our backyard garden. The rest of the year I watch for bargains. Organic can sometimes be found on a discounted produce cart. I don't care what anyone says eating full price organics is always expensive.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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