The High Cost of Health

My friend Heidi Hall recently posted the following on Facebook:

“I want to eat organic and local, but a whole chicken, 8 oz. sirloin and four lamb sausages just came to $37 at Porter Road Butcher. I literally felt the blood drain from my face when the guy told me.”

My response: “It’s cheaper than chemo.”

Some may have thought I was being flippant, but I was serious.

Dead serious.

I recently watched the documentary Food, Inc. and I’m appalled at the way big business has affected our dinner tables and our health. Heidi is correct that eating organic and local can cost an arm and a leg. It’s difficult to dig deep and pay the extra money, especially when other priorities are competing for those same dollars.

So what are we to do? Well, we can start here. I’ve eliminated the diet sodas, breads and pastas. I can’t say I’ll never have another plate of spaghetti but it will be an occasional treat rather than a diet staple. Yes, there’s life after pasta thanks to spaghetti squash.

We can be mindful of foods that contain the most pesticides and buy organic, as the budget allows. Kroger has recently launched a house brand of organic foods. I’ve bought the chicken and eggs and will be comparison pricing other selections against non-organic choices.  Nashville has many locally owned health stores such as The Turnip Truck. I know the owner and trust him. There are probably local health food stores where you live. Take the time to get to know the store owner and learn about the farmers’ growing practices.

I plan to buy a 1/2 share in a local organic farm. That will not only support local, organic farming, it will ensure I’m not eating a boat load of pesticides with my salads.

Finally, we can get educated. I’ve begun following certain organizations’ Facebook pages where I can access links to articles about legislation that affects our food sources.

There’s a lot we can do to increase the odds our food is safe. And there’s one thing we can’t afford to do…

Be complacent.

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