Andrea Rondeau: Price not the real barrier to eating fruits and veggies

There were a number of complaints that vegetables cost too much.

Everything is going up but our salaries.

At least that’s the way it sometimes seems. We write about taxes increasing every year. Likewise with insurance — I know my home insurance skyrocketed by several hundred dollars this year. Car insurance always seems to rise, too.

Then there’s the cost of food. At the grocery store we’ve certainly seen our bills rise in the last decade. But I do dispute some of the responses we’ve gotten from a story on our website this week about the new Canada Food Guide.

The guide makes recommendations about what constitutes a healthy diet. Unsurprisingly, it recommended eating lots of fruits and vegetables, a smaller portion of whole grains, and more plant-based proteins than meat, eggs and dairy. And needless to say, it recommends against regular consumption of processed and prepared foods high in sugar, salt and saturated fat.

In response, there were a number of complaints that vegetables cost too much. Really? Have you looked at the relative price of the meat you buy lately?

While it’s true that the prices of all foods have gone up, including veggies and fruit, I think people’s reticence to pay for these items when they’ll happily pay top price for a good steak or even a mediocre microwave dinner has more to do with our societal view than dollars and cents.

From childhood it’s often reinforced that eating your vegetables is something you have to do to get to the good stuff. Some people never outgrow this mindset. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Children can be just as excited about veggies and fruit. One way to do it is to get them into gardening. If they can grow it and pick it themselves, they will look forward to eating it. And satisfaction is the best sauce. I think this principle doesn’t just work on kids either. Nothing is sweeter than a sun-ripened strawberry or peas in the pod you can pick and pop into your mouth, no matter what your age.

Which is another way you can cut down on your vegetable and fruit bill. Grow your own. A small garden in your yard will yield an astonishing amount of produce — in the summer months my family regularly gives excess to the food banks. If you don’t have a yard, you can consider getting a plot at a community garden.

All of which is to say that most of us have known we should eat more fruits and vegetable since long before the new Canada Food Guide came out this week. We just have a lot of excuses as to why we don’t want to change.

Andrea Rondeau writes for the Cowichan Valley Citizen.

Just Posted

Unplowed Roads parody song destined to be a classic

Move over Weird Al, Island elementary students on the same level

North Cowichan to pause all logging in forest reserve for 2019

Municipality expects decision to cause $150,000 shorfall this year

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

Sound of Music echoes with a surprising amount of cool

Chemainus Theatre review: my teenage self didn’t know what he was missing

Robert Barron column: Thanks to municipal workers during snow storm

I’ve always wondered how anything gets done when mounds of snow fall from the sky.

VIDEO: Massive elk herd runs across Washington State highway

Elk have been making an appearance in the Pacific Northwest

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Winter storm freezes U.S., halts air travel

Storm dumps snow or heavy rain, snarls travel in much of U.S.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Skier sued me to exploit my fame, wealth

The incident happened in Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

‘It consumed my life’: Inside the world of gaming addiction

World Health Organization classifies gaming disorder as a mental health condition

Most Read