Healthy Food Costs Less

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Buying healthy foods is cheaper by the shopping trolley, a recent Heart Foundation survey has found.

This contrasts with a recent Sydney survey which claims that fattier foods cost less, therefore giving incentive for lower income families to buy that type of food.

‘We compared a trolley full of healthy food and one with less healthy food and found that the healthier trolley was significantly less expensive,’ Heart Foundation national
nutrition program manager, Mareeta Grundy, said.

The cost of a healthy food plan required to feed a family for a week came to $108.37, whereas the less healthy trolley was $137.05.

‘Healthy eating is not only for the well off and is not a disincentive for lower income families to eat a healthier diet,’ Mrs Grundy said.

‘Research that considered only a limited number of foods does not represent healthy diet and cannot be used to reduce the cost of healthy eating,’ she said.

So why was the healthier Heart Foundation option cheaper? Here are a few clues:

Filo pastry in the healthy trolley was $3.12 compared to $4.04 for puff pastry, and the filo will also go a lot further.

Pizza bases for families to create their own topping were $1.60 each, whereas the ham and pineapple pizza was $2.27, and garlic bread was more expensive than a French
bread stick, even with ricotta cheese and herbs.

The healthier trolley had a lot more vegetables and fruit, less meat and fats and contained ingredients such as herbs, flavoured vinegars and mustard for sauces and dressings rather than mayonnaise and bottled convenience sauces.

Even though slightly more expensive cuts of meat were included in the healthier trolley, the actual meat content (less the fat) cost marginally less.

A heathier meal will include more rice, pasta and vegetables so a little good quality meat will go a long way. Tinned and frozen fish and chicken breast (skin removed) added to the variety of the healthy trolley.

(Source: USQ English On Cue Level 3 Reading, pp. 9.6-9.7)