At our Blogger’s meeting this month we talked a lot about the various forces at work behind every food purchase we make: the cost of the item, convenience, perceived nutrition, packaging, location in the grocery store, the media! It’s a wonder we are able to find anything other than kale that makes all the criteria we hear we should follow. We talked too, about how we’re not forced to become aware of what we’re putting in our cart until something happens to stop and make us think: poverty, health issues, an eye-opening documentary. How much sugar is in ketchup? Is it really more expensive to buy fresh produce? And how in the world did someone come up with the marketing genius idea of bottled water? We were inspired to write about these issues because of our Finer Diner event coming up at the end of the month (more info here). Where for two $85 tickets you can have your five course meal, but you can also feed a woman and her child for an entire month. It’s all about awareness and being an educated consumer!
We’ve got some really interesting posts coming up that bring to light some of the more serious obstacles to healthy eating; poverty, for one. We began to truly wonder:
Is healthy eating accessible to everyone?
Yes, I think healthy eating is accessible to everyone. For a while I was challenging myself to stick to a $25/week grocery budget and was able to make healthy foods to feed me for a week within this budget. It does require a little more time and creativity but people on all budgets can really make it work if the motivation is there. One of my tips would be to pick a few select fruits and vegetables for that week and then find different recipes to make with them rather than shaping your grocery list around your recipes. Beansprouts are a great option at around $0.99 a bag and can be used in many different ways, chickpeas are another low-cost, high-nutrition item and frozen vegetables and fruits can help you stay healthy while sticking to a budget (and preventing any food loss). Also, don’t be afraid to use coupons and apps like Checkout 51 to help make your grocery budget go farther!
Yes. However, eating healthy also depends on how resourceful and creative you are when faced with a tight budget. This is coming from someone who doesn’t cook – but is frugal and wants her money to go a long way.
With eating well a top priority in our household, we look at the weekly flyers for sale items and begin to plan our menu for the week from there – I must admit, it takes planning. Now with the warmer weather, we have planted our vegetable and herb gardens – where sun-warmed fresh produce will soon be ours for the picking. No room for a garden – visit your local farmer’s market downtown! Living in Niagara has its advantages.
At our downtown St. Catharines Market Square – you get a variety of fresh, local produce and in smaller quantities – which is great, and allows for more variety too. They even let you sample before buying – I love that!
Good food is an investment in your health – it is worth the effort and time spent sourcing out the best prices and looking for quality ingredients – then spending the time preparing your own meals.