We already know that axing junk food and making healthy food more affordable would save millions of lives and billions of dollars in health care costs, right? Right.
I came across and article tonight that will appear in tomorrow's paper edition of the NYTimes. Mark Bittman attacks this topic in a manner that is both insightful and thought provoking: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24bittman.html?pagewanted=1
In general, I know that I get frustrated when I read articles by people who claim that experts are being unrealistic when they advocate healthier eating since good food is so expensive. We made junk food cheap but we also made good food expensive. It's great that we're finally willing to start taxing unhealthy food, when it actually happens, but what do we do about the good stuff?
MB has great ideas and points. One of them, the cooking lessons, is actually happening here in NY for inner city children. Chef's donate their time, the kids come in, have 4-hours with Chef, make a meal using organic ingredients - many of which are local, then eat. Recipes to take home. To see a kid make their first meal that doesn't come out of a box and compare it to the box food stating "woah this is so much better this is all I want from now on" - to see that light go on above their face is amazing.
Was anything in this article new for you? Are things happening in your area that are "thinking outside of the box" food-wise?
I really thought about this topic a lot today and have seen/heard discussion regarding the article. It's all over Facebook, a couple on the train were talking about it. I hit the greenmarket this morning and was next to a woman who was complaining about the cost of squash blossoms. She was holding a coffee that I knew cost more than the blossoms. Instead of ignoring her, I very mildly pointed that fact out with a smile, also mentioning that the blossoms were organic and pesticide free. Instead of punching me she just kind of looked odd for a minute and said "I never thought of it that way." I told her to get the blossoms and make coffee tomorrow. She bought them.
Continuing to educate - especially kids, getting people to think "round" instead of so narrow is a key part in bringing change.. but of course people are going to have to want to change. The food industry is most definitely not going to want that and will fight tooth and nail. The bottom line will always be money.
I have thoroughly enjoyed what everyone has posted. One of the reason's I've really come to love about PH is all the sharing and opinions that, hopefully, broaden everyones horizons and perhaps brings a different thought process to a topic. So many of the posts I read or post to it always seems to be that way :) Thank you so much for all this collective insight!