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

Fuller Lake Beach remains closed

High bacteria count prevents people from being in the water during warm summer days

Wildlife photographer Boomer Jerritt will host Ladysmith lecture

Fresh off a trip to Churchill, Manitoba, Jerritt will speak on how climate change affects the arctic

Get ready for the 16th annual Ladysmith Show ‘n’ Shine

The show will feature cars from the past, as well as modern day marvels

Excavators help cute kid who copied their dig with his toys stay “safe at work”

Carson Carnegie wakes up at 7:00 am every morning to watch construction work on his street

Ladysmith charitable foundation targeting $60K for students in need

Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation’s Stock the Lockers campaign goes until Sept. 3

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Most Read