Eight Ways to Eat Cheaper and Healthier

Foraging in the Food Desert 1 of 10

Have you noticed that for some reason it costs a lot more to buy organic fruits and vegetables than ones farmers shelled out extra cash to spray with fertilizer and pesticides? They should be cheaper, right? It’s the same with free range meat, the animals weren’t given hormones or steroids, and it should be reflected in the price. But it’s not.

In fact, it turns out that the healthiest food is the most expensive, while the most nutritionally void foods are the cheapest. Many neighborhoods have turned into what nutritionists call ''food deserts,'' which translates into poor areas without fully stocked supermarkets, just convenience stores stocked with cheap potato chips, candy, soda and cigarettes.

Adam Drewnowski, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington has dedicated his career to proving that what Americans eat is directly related to social class. According to Drewnowski, foods with both taste and nutritional value are all but completely unattainable by the poor. So how is it possible to discuss nutrition without addressing the basic issue of the access to healthy foods, and prohibitively expensive healthy foods?

More to the point, how did America go from a nation of self-reliant Do It Yourselfers, to a nation where some members of the population think food only comes from stores? That’s a long story for another time. The more pressing issue revolves around stretching the food dollar, regardless of budget, to include some stuff with nutritional value and maybe even promote a little self reliance.