Today I thought it would be fun to explore whether or not healthy food actually costs more than…how should I say it? Unhealthy food? Would you believe me if I told you that I discovered that most healthy food does not cost more? Some healthy foods actually cost significantly less! Who knew?
I don’t even like to call it healthy and unhealthy food, simply because not every person’s dietary needs are the same. Sometimes what’s healthy for me might not be healthy for you.
So as we talk through this subject, let’s switch the word “healthy” with the word “nourishing.” I always encourage people to focus on eating food that offers nourishment. Don’t just eat edible stuff that fills a hole. Work to eat real food that offers nutrients and provides the body with goodness to thrive.
Want to read more on this subject? Read this —>
Now back to our initial discussion about the cost of nourishing food vs. the cost of empty calories.
I’ve been crunching some numbers this week because after all my years of working to make a nourishing diet affordable for my family, I still hear so many people talk about how they can’t afford to eat good food. I always cringe at this declaration because I no longer believe it to be true.
Does Healthy Food ACTUALLY Cost More?
In an effort to get to the bottom of this debate, today I decided to compare the prices of basic, real foods to the price of a big box of Goldfish Crackers from Walmart.
Obviously this comparison doesn’t factor in coupon use or off brand options. But spoiler alert: Would you believe me if I told you that an ounce of Goldfish Crackers costs only a little bit less than an ounce of Grass-Fed Organic Hamburger Meat?? This blew me away! Is it possible that we’ve been wrong all these years about the high cost of real food?
Check this out! You’ll be amazed at my findings!
Goldfish Crackers = 30 ounce box for $6.46 = $0.22/ounce
Keep this price point in mind as we look at the costs of other basic, real, nourishing foods most of us love. We’ll start by comparing average costs of favorite fresh fruits and veggies.
Cost of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Here’s the breakdown of produce price points I usually shoot for. NOTE: These are the prices I pay. Prices will vary from city to city.
- Grapes = $2.50/pound or less = $0.16/ounce
- Apples = $1.50/pound or less = $0.09/ounce
- Strawberries = $2.30/pound or less = $0.14/ounce
- Bananas = $0.59/pound or less = $0.04/ounce
- Carrots = $0.99/pound = $0.06/ounce
- Cuties = $1.50/pound or less = $0.09/ounce
- Peaches/Nectarines/Plums = $1.50/pound or less = $0.09/ounce
These are all much lower in cost compared to Goldfish Crackers. How fun is this?!
Cost of Fresh Meat, Milk, Eggs, and Cheese
This was a little bit more difficult to measure as we don’t calculate eggs or milk in pounds. Still, it was interesting to note some price breakdowns of these nourishing foods. Notice how many of these prices are significantly less per ounce compared to Goldfish Crackers! NOTE: These are the prices I pay. Prices will vary from city to city.
- Free Range Eggs = $2.50/dozen or less = $0.21/egg
- Cheese = $4.00/pound = $0.25/ounce
- Raw, Grass Fed Milk = $5.00/gallon = $0.04/ounce
- Grass Fed Beef = $5.50/pound = $0.34/ounce
- Naturally Grown Boneless Chicken Thighs = $3.00/pound or less when I see mark-downs = $0.19/ounce
- Naturally Grown Chicken Legs or Whole Chicken = $2.50/pound or less when I see mark-downs = $0.16/ounce
Wow! Bring on the nourishing, real foods!
Cost of Whole Grains
- Freshly Ground Organic Wheat Flour = $1.00 per pound = $0.33/cup = $0.06/ounce
- Organic Brown Rice = $1.10/pound = $0.07/ounce
- Organic Rolled Oats = $0.87/pound = $0.05/ounce
- Organic Whole Wheat Pasta = $2.55/pound = $0.16/ounce
Healthy Food Does Not Cost More
With the exception of fresh cheese and grass fed meat, which is only a few cents more per ounce than Goldfish Crackers, we see a lower price on all real, whole foods compared to this empty calorie snack. I am so encouraged by this!
This isn’t to say that we should never eat a goldfish cracker. Some moments in our life call for fun convenience foods! But we should never feel discouraged or defeated about the cost of purchasing wonderful, nourishing food for our family!
I can do it! You can do it!
Are you surprised about these price comparisons? What are some of your favorite inexpensive real foods?
Free Simple Ingredients Printable List
We’ve created a wonderful, practical, basic real food ingredients list for you to download and use as a guide. Now that you know that real food is so affordable, this list will be even more helpful than ever! This resource is free and it’s for everyone. Get yours here!