Why Processed Food Is So Cheap

Why is healthy food is so expensive? Why is processed food so cheap? This may be one reason why America has an obesity problem. This means the average consumer may struggle to buy the really good stuff.

We have been thinking about this post for several months. We think many people tend to like processed food since it is cheap. The idea is that convenience food (manufactured food) is widely available in developed countries. These foods are convenient and cheap. We know this contributes to obesity, and overall generally poor health.

Today, I was reading a newspaper article by Associated Press Health Reporter, Candice Choi. The article confirms some first thoughts on this subject.

What’s so bad about processed food?

The AP article queries: “What’s so bad about processed food? Scientists offer clues”. One of the main points in the article is that processed foods tend to always be comprised of large amounts of salt, sugar, bad fats, and an admixture of “industrialized ingredients and additives”. Just the right combination of "sugar+salt" is something food manufacturers have discovered to be more-or-less addictive for the average american consumer.

Highly processed foods seldom contain anything close to whole food ingredients and also lack much in the way of nutrition. This is part of the reason it is cheap to manufacture. Therefore, this also means that junk food essentially is dead food with little if any nutritional value.

This brings us to another question. Why do most people not only like eating processed food...but seem to crave it? Price and convenience are certainly factors.

Sodas, packaged cookies, instant noodles and chicken nuggets are some examples of highly processed foods. But also included are products that can seem wholesome, like breakfast cereals, energy bars and some yogurts.

- https://apnews.com

Processed foods, convenience foods, and so-called restaurant “fast foods” actually make you crave certain tastes, smells and flavors. These foods make you want larger quantities, and make us eat more often. This results in overeating and taking in more calories then you need in a single day. We all know that this means weight gain for most people.

Do Government Policies Support Unhealthy Food?

Unhealthy food is cheaper because our government’s policies support its production. We’re spending nearly $30 billion a year to subsidize corn and soy production. Where do those foods go? Into our food supply as high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated soybean oil (trans fats), that are the foundation of almost all fast food and processed foods that are “manufactured” by the food industry.

- https://drhyman.com/blog/

Bad Food Is Not Good for Your Health

Additionally, as pointed out by Mark Hyman, MD in the article cited above, “bad food is not good for your health”. Obesity, one of the overriding results of a poor diet, can lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other debilitating health issues later as you age.

Other takeaways are that you need to learn new habits for shopping and eating. You need to make an effort to find lower-cost alternatives for produce, and animal protein. Eating healthy does not mean eating only organic foods.

First Steps and Tips

It may seem that eating healthy whole food is more expensive. However. it does not have to be. Whole foods are nutritionally dense, so you end up eating less. When you eat whole food style, the craving for processed food eventually goes away.

Now you know why processed food is so cheap!. This is anything in a bag or box, and includes most canned goods and products in bottles. Learn to shop for whole foods with marked down prices in the produce and meat departments. Shop the outside perimeter of the store. All the inside aisles contain processed food, boxed foods, and other prepackaged manufactured food goods.