Anyone who regularly shops in a grocery store can tell you that the pricier items tend to be on the perimeters of the store the area where nutrition experts tell us to stay. You know, the cooler areas where fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs and milk are kept.
The cheaper stuff resides in the middle aisles and tends to be processed, less nutritional fare.
This is not new. Studies have shown that junk food tends to cost less than fruits, vegetables and other healthful foods, according to the New York Times.
In her Well blog, Tara Parker-Pope says that this phenomenon is only getting worse as food prices rise.
She mentions a study led by Adam Drewnowski, director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The study compared prices of 370 foods at Seattle-area supermarkets and found that "energy dense" junk foods, which are high in calories but low in nutrients, were less expensive than lower-calorie, nutrient-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
When budgets are tight and remember, the families on food stamps typically are allotted just a few dollars per person per day nutrition becomes less of a priority.
Recently a couple in Encinitas, CA, Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard, blogged about their One Dollar Diet Project, where they tried to spend only $1 a day on food for a month. Gone were prepared foods and meals eaten at restaurants. Fresh fruits and vegetables were not an option.
The couple started to bake their own bread and roll their own tortillas in order to stick with the budget. After a full day of work, that's not easy. Wed come home after working 10 to 11 hours and have to roll out tortillas. If youre already really hungry at that point, its tough, Greenslate says in the article.
These are issues that many poor people face every day. Greenslate added: "I challenge anyone to try to live on a dollar a day and eat fresh food in this country."
And President-Elect Obama will face food as an issue. Michael Pollan has already made his case for a focus on food in the next administration. It's certainly an issue that affects us all. The Washington Post food blog quotes a Texas farmer who told a reporter for Scripps Howard News Service, As long as you put food in your mouth, have clothes on your back and you get in an automobile and turn the key and drive, you're involved in agriculture because we provide food, fiber and fuel for everyone.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.