Why is HEALTHY FOOD so EXPENSIVE?

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Welcome to ALUX.com! The place where future billionaires come to get inspired. If you’re not subscribed yet, you’re missing out. Hello Aluxers, and welcome back! Today, we’re taking a look at something none of us can live without – food. More specifically, we’ll be asking: Why is eating healthy so expensive? For anybody who wants to be successful, a healthy diet should be one of our top priorities. As the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘The first wealth is health’ – and since we are what we eat, having a nutritious diet allows us to perform at the top of our game, and live longer, more prosperous lives. But there’s one question that’s increasingly on our minds: How much does healthy eating cost? We’ve all heard advice to eat organic fruit and vegetables, or include a superfood like quinoa into our diet. But time and time again, it becomes clear that the healthier options require more cash. In a recent survey of young people in the UK, three quarters stated that while they wanted a healthier diet, they just couldn’t afford one. In this video, we’ll be looking at what makes some healthy ingredients so expensive, as well as asking ‘Does healthy eating really need to cost that much?’ Before diving into the high costs of some niche health foods, let’s take a look at how we ended up in the current situation, where we’re surrounded by food that’s cheap and convenient, but often really unhealthy. If you’d lived a century ago, chances are you would have been surrounded by a varied supply of affordable, healthy ingredients because most people lived in rural communities and worked in agriculture. Fast forward a hundred years, and instead it’s junk food, or at best, vegetables sprayed with chemicals that are within easiest reach. But how did this happen? In a nutshell, the 20th century happened. Food production transformed entirely, with farms producing crops on an industrial scale, replacing human labour with machines and using chemical inputs and genetically modified crop varieties. Meat and dairy farms placed animals in inhumane living conditions, feeding them antibiotics and hormones. The reason for this was to maximize output, and it did translate to a lower price tags, but there was a downside. Not only did food become less nutritious, but putting chemicals into our food chain led to a higher incidences of cancer. Already sounds pretty bad, right? Well, it’s about to get even worse, and that’s because of another change that happened. Food corporations had the bright idea that they could save people the time needed to prepare food by doing it for them, manufacturing anything from breadsticks or ready-to-made pizzas to sugary soda drinks. Processed foods do have a few plus points: the ingredients can easily be grown in vast quantities and then processed; they’re high in calories, ensuring that nobody goes hungry; and they’re easy to store and transport, making them a cheap and convenient fix. But there’s a catch; they’re also overloaded with carbs, unhealthy fats and sugars, resulting in steady rises in obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Relying on processed foods also makes it easy to neglect fresh fruit and vegetables, which contain vitamins that are essential for healthy living; but as they often need to be picked by hand and are difficult to store and transport, prices of fresh produce at the check-out are pushed up. And we haven’t even got onto processed meat, the type you’ll typically find in sausages and burgers. Which contain less desirable cuts, other animal tissues like bones, as well as the antibiotics and hormones that are fed to livestock, so it’s not hard to see how low cost leads to damaging impacts on health. It would only be a matter of time until people took an interest in returning to healthier and more natural food production methods – cue the organic movement. While its roots date back to the early 20th century, 1990 was a landmark year for organic food, being the year when organic sales hit 1 billion dollars in annual earnings in the USA and when US Congress set out the criteria for organic certification, providing farmers with an incentive to ditch the chemicals. Since then, we’ve witnessed an exponential rise is everything from home-delivered vegetable boxes to organically-reared Angus Beef. And the consensus is that organic food contains more nutrients and reduces the risk of cancer. On average, organic fruit and vegetables cost 10 to 30 percent more than non-organic, with a number of reasons accounting for this. Organic farms tend to be smaller, have lower yields per hectare, use more human labour, and require a rigorous process to be organically certified, all resulting in higher unit costs. We’ve also been witnessing rising demand for naturally produced animal products like grass-fed beef, and eggs from pasture-raised chickens. Animals raised naturally develop healthier fats and higher vitamin counts than those given artificial feed, and live far happier lives. But the space and labour needed to raise animals naturally and humanely, means – you’ve guessed it – a higher price tag. This all leads to a simple equation: healthier equals more natural, equals more expensive. A great illustration of this is a common fish-lovers’ favourite; salmon. Whether you like your salmon smoked or fresh, most salmon in supermarkets or restaurants is farmed, meaning that fish are raised in overcrowded pens and given inferior food, antibiotics, and even colourants to make their low-quality skin look pinker. Traces of chemicals end up on the plate, and many experts advise against farmed salmon altogether. The alternative is wild salmon, which is chemical-free but 3 to 4 times more expensive. So, where is the market for organic food heading? At the moment, sales are sky-rocketing: from €11 billion globally in 1999, it’s now close to €100 billion. 14 countries now produce over 10% of their food organically, the top 5 places including Austria, Estonia and Sweden, with Samoa in second place, and Liechtenstein in the top spot. And with the upsurge of organic foods, corporations are likely to increasingly get in on the action, which could eventually lead to lower prices. There’s no doubt that interest in healthy eating is on the rise worldwide, and the organic movement is just a part of it. Plant-based diets are constantly gaining a bigger following, with over 10% of the world now vegetarian. As vegetarian diets avoid the antibiotics and hormones in most animal produce, they have huge health benefits; and they’re environmentally friendly, which means more good news. A further advantage of going vegetarian is that it’s cheaper, simply because plants require less resources than animals; one case where healthy doesn’t mean expensive. But most trends towards healthier eating are likely to cost more. Let’s take the vogue for superfoods, which generally have a high price tag. One of the best-known is quinoa, an edible seed originating in South America. With a high count of fibre, protein and minerals, it’s definitely worthy of the superfood label, but you can expect it to cost around three times as much as rice. This is down to the complicated harvesting and drying process it requires, and the fact that rapidly increasing demand has meant that supply hasn’t been able to keep track. We can also look at the trendy Atkins, Keto and Paleo diets, which help bodybuilders and movie stars shred fat and build muscle through a low carb count and a high intake of animal proteins and fats. Given that animal produce is a lot more expensive than most carbohydrate sources, less carbs and more protein is bound to cost more – especially when these diets recommend pricey ingredients like beef, salmon, and avocadoes. So it’s little wonder that Atkins has been labelled the world’s most expensive diet. Clearly, there’s a lot of money be made out of health foods – just take a look at Amazon’s purchase of the Whole Foods brand in 2017. So you might ask – is the health industry scamming us? One topic that polarizes opinion is gluten-free diets, which can boast celebrity endorsers including Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow and tennis ace Novak Djokovic. So, what’s the problem with gluten, which you’ll find in everyday foods like bread and pasta? Around 1% of the population suffers from gluten intolerance, but unless you belong to that category, the need to go gluten-free is far from proven. But what isn’t in doubt is that it will cost you more, in some cases 3 times as much, because of the complex process to give gluten-free ingredients the required consistency. Other health foods have caused controversy for different reasons. Avocado toast has been hailed as the breakfast for millennials, and the reason why many of them are broke. Avocadoes, packed with healthy omega 3 acids, are more expensive than less healthy sugar-filled cereals. But the boom in avocado sales has been blamed for deforestation in Mexico, with farmers cutting down forests for crop space, and the vast quantities of water used have been putting pressure on irrigation systems. There have even been reports that the avocado trade in Mexico is partly controlled by drug cartels, meaning that avocado sales worldwide may be funding violent criminals. So what does the future hold for healthy eating? Given current food trends and environmental concerns, vegetarianism, veganism and organic production are likely to go nowhere but up, which is good news all around. But where will we get our protein from if not from animals? There’s one possibility, and it isn’t a vegetarian option or, for most of us, an appetizing one. According to some experts, the future of food lies in insects. With a rapidly rising population, we need to ask how we can keep on feeding everyone. And insects provide lots of answers. They’re extremely nutritious, with high levels of protein, fatty acids, vitamins and fibres. You can also add to the fact that these creepy-crawlies require much less land and water than meat, and what’s not to like about insects – apart from the fact that, well … they’re insects … But there’s a growing number of gourmet chefs who are already onto the job of converting you, including Michelin-starred Punto MX in Madrid, which boasts ants and crickets on the menu. Keep in mind that many cultures have been eating insects for centuries and that demand for insect food has tripled to rise to 1.8 million dollars by 2023 – meaning that ‘entomophagy – or eating insects – may soon become part of your vocabulary. Superfoods, celebrity diets and insects aside, let’s return to our question – does eating healthy need to cost that much? You don’t have to go as far as eating wild salmon daily to be healthy. Instead, you could just stick to the basics: keep processed food to a minimum, replace it with fruits and vegetables, and perhaps non-processed meat, which many experts say is acceptable. For most of us, following these rules won’t leave us broke. A study by the Harvard Public School of Health estimates that eating healthy costs just 1 dollar 50 a day more than living on junk food. And factoring in the long-term costs of a poor diet in lower productivity and medical bills, that really doesn’t seem like a huge price to pay now does it? Alright Aluxers, we’d like to know: Let us know what you think in the comments. And, of course, for sticking with us until the end, here’s that bonus we owe you. We searched for the most expensive diet we could find, and in 2015, Hollywood action man Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson, revealed what he eats to maintain his musclebound physique; a daily intake of 7 meals and 5000 calories. A blogger who attempted the diet found that it cost $1,262 a month, nearly half of this spent on Johnson’s favourite fish, cod. But keep in mind, if you try the Rock’s diet without following his exercise regime, your body mass will increase, but it won’t be muscle you’re gaining. Thank you for spending some time with us Aluxers. Make sure to like and subscribe so you never miss another video. We also handpicked these videos which we recommend you watch next. You can talk to us on all social medias or ask a question on our website ALUX.com! Thank you for being an Aluxer and we’ll see you back tomorrow.

100 comments

  1. Simple….. Poor people deserve to be unhealthy let em die so that those that "contribute" to society have room. (Not my personal opinion its pretty much most of the world's opinion they just don't have the balls to say it to your face)

  2. 10:34 Where will we get our protein from? First of all , all protein in human tissue is recycled. So we don't need a lot of proteins. ALL plants contain proteins (Aren't proteins the building blocks of life – plant life too?). Many plants are (too) rich in proteins (ahem, Soy, lentils, beans) So ALUX , please don't fall for that Protein Myth.
    Kindly watch Dr. Garth Davis – Bariatric Surgeon excellent talk right here on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im8JrwRS2fM

  3. Insect! Thats against in the Bible eating crawling creatures🤦 take usana instead even u ate chemically food products usana will nutralized bad chemicals and free radicals to ur body and much more cheeper, effective and safe

  4. WHEN WE EAT FOOD(S) MADE/PREPARED WITH RED DYE , WE EAT GROUND BUGS ; RED SHELLED M & MS ' RED SHELL IZ MADE WITH GROUND BUGS !!!!!!!!!!

  5. "Where will we get our protein if not from animal?" How do the cows we eat to get protein get their protein? By Eating Ants and Crickets?

  6. So the basic human right which is access to healthy food is being demolished by greedy tycoons & politicians. In future, no need to wonder if we see middle-class & poor people becoming obese & ill-prone. And I am vegetarian by the way, I get a lot of proteins from lentils & legume. Although it has less protein percentage than meat, it's still the healthiest. No need for insects! US government had levied additional taxes on beverage companies who pumps more sugar into drinks. Such an initiative is praiseworthy but is of no use if healthy food is still expensive & unaffordable. Kudos to Alux for shedding light on this controversial topic 👏

  7. I can imagine eating insects. We've all done so involuntarily. Our objections to insects are purely cultural. Some parts of the world include insects as part of their regular diet. We're already eating their relatives: crabs, lobsters, and the like.

    On a side note, growing a garden has put me a lot more in touch with my own food and made me a lot more conscious of what I put in my mouth…aside from the mental and physical benefits I get from a garden. And it's amazing to grow your own food and then eat an entire meal that comes from your back yard.

  8. Food is more than just only protein, fats and carbohydrates … Just checkout Ayurveda eating system … You'll find you need less food than you are told to eat.

  9. I Grow most of my green foods and spices home. And only buy what I can't grow or don't have space to grow lol 😂😂 😂

  10. Can someone please tell me why All Alux videos are not viral??? With all this valuable information that's given to all of us for free.

  11. The Billionaires you worship are the Ines responsible for starvation and the endless diseases and maladies of Earth's Humanity.

    Total disconnect in your part.

    Making money and associating with Psychopaths .

    Gross.

  12. I followed your advice, went to learn a skill I need to be successful.

    I chose salesmanship.

    Well, one failure of a job and a second job leading to a demotion has proven that I just suck at sales… I've read books and tried everything I was taught. I have moments where I do well, but most of the time I'm just sub par.

    As far as food goes. I'm limited to about $54 for two weeks ($4 a day)

    So I'm about to lose a bunch of weight, get sick of eating the same thing every day and then still not have much to put I to savings to invest….

    I'm still trudging along… But not much optimistic.

    Edit: my money is going to health insurance, dental, etc.
    Taxes
    Necessities for my son.
    Gas
    And then I have left over for food, of which I have to split to savings and food.

    And this is all with the help of living with my parents.

  13. everyone always says it, but show me where its proven that antibiotics and hormones are in animal products, beef specifically. because, as far as i know, there's none.

  14. There is specie of grasshopper that Cameroonians eat,which is very healthy and filled with lots of omega 3 oil.

  15. There is specie of grasshopper that Cameroonians eat,which is very healthy and filled with lots of omega 3 oil.

  16. You don't need to eat animals or insects to get protein. You need to just eat all 8 essential amino acids, which can be found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables

  17. Read The Grain Brain it opened my eyes to the truth about gluten. In reality there is a small amount of the population not allergic to it. Gluten is basically sugar to our bodies.

  18. No to insects.
    An honest and scientific look at human teeth easily shows that humans are designed to be omnivorous. Some animals have herbivore teeth, others carnivore, and others omnivore. Humans easily accept such facts in animals, it is odd to try to deny this scientific truth in humans.

    Thank you.

  19. Insects are essential to the ecology of the planet. They keep pest insects in check, pollinate crops we rely on as food, and act as sanitation experts, cleaning up waste so that the world doesn't become overrun with dung. I think Growing your own food, or Mandatory Community Gardens
    in cities is a more optimum approach to this problem. How many of us have seen vacant lots
    just sitting there for years even decades? When it could be put good use in growing healthy
    organic local food, instead of being commercialized, or turned to a parking lot.

  20. What are you talking about? If you know what you do you can eat super cheap. Fermented cabbage, frozen Broccoli, Beans, canned Sardines and so on are healthy and cheap. Just don’t eat the fancy stuff

  21. Government spending $38 billions each years subsidies on meat and dairy.
    Also only $17 million subsidies on fruits and vegetables, that’s only 0.04 percent of that.

  22. The biggest problem when it comes to sustainability seems to be over population, so the solution would be to eliminate most of the people. Then who would do the slavery for the 1st world countries?

  23. As a dietician,I can point out that avocados are rich in omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acid,not omega-3 like you've mentioned. Another good source of omega-9 is olive oil, an important part of Mediterranean diet, scientifically recognized as the healthiest.
    As for avocados, nowadays they contain a lot of pesticides.
    Think twice.Or more:)

  24. You forgot to mention that the insects produced today for consumers are mainly processed food and that is by definition… How far are you going with your stupid marketing techniques…??

  25. The other thing that this video didn't mention is that you almost always eat more processed foods because they lack fiber. When you eat whole foods, you eat less because you feel full sooner; so the cost advantage of cheap foods isn't as much as you might think.

  26. Depending on where you live, eating healthy isn't necessarily expensive. There are plenty of inexpensive, healthy foods, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, peas, bananas, brown rice, cabbage, oatmeal, and so on.

  27. While in theory, wild salmon is better than farmed salmon (tastes better IMO) but wild is still affected by what we put in our oceans. Mercury levels, anyone?

  28. Sounds like a lot of research has gone to this video which shows development always has advantages and disadvantages. Yes healthy food these days are expensive but eating is only one of the aspects we need to think about. Others we need to think about is mentioned by https://healthfitnessforus.wordpress.com/ which I think is logical.

  29. It might not related to the title, but it is related to Alux.com channel.
    What is success? Im confused about it, and help me get the answer.

  30. People can get used to anything…including insects…it's just a question of time…and menthality(Which will change in time)

  31. Cuz animal ag and some junk food is subsidized with tax money to a large degree and vegetables arnt as subsidized as animal products. So the price at the store is lower than the actual price.
    Convince gov to let everyone have an acre of free tax free land to grow a food forest on and live on.
    End farm subsidies. End tax
    breaks to farms exsept those who grow healthy vegan food for human consumption exsept no large mono crops.

    Beans oats potatoes and rice tend to b pretty cheap.

  32. I'm a healthy eater but whenever I go to high end restaurants too often I find myself putting on unwanted weight gain merely because the foods are not prepared the healthiest no matter the price. Even at get togethers or social events most of the food is fast food to some extent. I just prepare my food at home these days, I feel better and I know exactly what's going into it and how it is prepared. I plan my meals and I decide what to buy. Healthy food is expensive all right but once you have a meal plan the ingredients can be chosen. Go healthy, believe me you won't regret. The rich and famous are paid for food advertisements, behind the scenes they eat the healthiest and most organic – they know what's up!

  33. No one will mention how the byproducts of crude oil are used in fields as fertilizers and pesticides just because some corporations have presented their research and the results that farmers get is dead soil and products.

  34. When I think of eating organic/ healthy food, I don't consider only organic fruits & vegetables, I think about other "foods" that go along with this kind of lifestyle. Meaning, my daily vitamins, Super foods green powder, super reds powder, consuming bee pollen, Manuka honey instead of regular honey, consuming as much quinoa, flax seeds as possible in my diet. Consuming Nutritional yeast. All these things are not Food. But they cost a lot. So yes, it's expensive to eat healthy.

  35. The best way for all of us to eat healthy I think is to grow food in our own farms. Here, in India, we don't face any price issues as organic food is in abundance & is available here at affordable prices.

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