Cheap food and the 4 white devils!

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http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1237866
http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1237866

Why cheap food isn’t really cheap

What are most processed foods made of?  What are the cheapest foods on the planet?  What foods make us fat?

The answer is, my friends, the same for each question:  I have affectionately named them “the 4 white devils” and they include:

  • White flour
  • White sugar
  • White salt and
  • “White” oil or processed, refined oil.

These foods make us fat and they make us addicted.

These foods are the foods of choice by food manufacturers because they keep the cost of food production down and the profits high.  They also last a long time without spoiling so shelf life is maximised and once again profits are ensured.  Why use organic, wholemeal flour which is expensive and goes off more quickly when you can use white flour which lasts forever and costs pennies?

So, when we’re struggling to make ends meet and cost saving is important, the appeal of cheap food is very great. Until, of course, you understand the cost to your long term health.

While difficult to quantify, we can estimate that the financial cost of poor health due to a poor quality diet over 10 or 20 years or even a lifetime is enormous.  Short term, we are likely to suffer with a few extra kilos, headaches, tummy upsets, fluid retention, low energy and poor skin.  For these we may take headache tablets, antacids, stimulants, laxatives, antibiotics, topical medications or high energy foods, chocolate or a pick-me-up coffee.

Already, even in the early stages of disease poor health is costing us money! Cheap food is not the cheap alternative.

Give it some time and we start to experience not life-threatening diseases necessarily but “quality of life-threatening” diseases such as overweight (not quite obese yet), arthritis, autoimmune conditions, constant colds and flu’s or chronic digestive complaints such as IBS. Now we’re forking out for drugs we need to use on a more regular basis, there’s income lost due to days off work and special equipment for making life easier with our illness. We’ll have spent money on weight loss programs by this stage, maybe many of them and perhaps there are expensive gym memberships that we’ve never fully used. Once again cheap food is not cheap.

Extrapolate that out over the years as we get older and sicker and the cost gets very interesting.  We’ll fork out for medications we need every day long term, expensive equipment such as sleep apnoea machines, medical specialist bills, house renovations to accommodate our limitations, and as we are now chronically ill, depression is a serious threat due to the serious limitations of being sick and obese and the unhappiness of not being fully alive.

So is cheap food really cheap or is it false economy?

If cheap food isn’t really cheap then you have to ask yourself: Is organic food expensive? Is seeing a naturopath expensive?  Not any more 🙂

Brenda Rogers

With over 25 years experience as a corporate trainer, naturopath, yoga teacher and wise woman educator, Brenda is the head clinician and coach at Quintessence Health.

"A healthy mind and body simply ensures you have the time and energy to fully express and manifest your life’s purpose – it facilitates the unfolding of joy."

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