We often compare the prices of industiral foods, with the price of food that’s produced with care. I question this. Why compare expensive healthy food to cheap, industrial foods like corn, wheat, and soy? These are two completely different types of food, with huge nutritional differences, so we can’t really compare them.
Most large-scale industrial crops receive huge subsidies, and their cheap price doesn’t reflect the real cost to produce them. This means healthy food is sold at fair market price, but junk food prices can be artificially low due to subsidies. Healthy soil makes healthy plants. It is more expensive to produce food that is alive with nutrition. The good work of real human hands costs more than industrial farming. We often don’t give small farmers credit for their contribution to our health.
What about the hidden costs? We don’t know how to measure the invisible costs to the environment and to future generations of chemicals, pesticides, gmo, and mono-crops that deplete the soil. It’s hard to quantify, but the cost is real. We don’t consider the long-term detrimental effects of poor nutrition to our health and well-being. How do we measure the cost of a lifetime of poor health? What’s the price of a life with diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or being incapacitated?
Instead of looking at the food budget alone, what if we measure the ALL the costs of health and food together? Over an entire human life? Do we include the pharmaceuticals and the high medical costs that result from poor food choices? What if we include all our medical expenses, pharmaceuticals, and the hidden costs of lost health? When we consider all these hidden costs, home gardening may be the most cost effective of all. Perhaps healthy food is the only reasonable choice, in fact it seems inexpensive!