The main question that many concerned Americans are asking is “Why is it so expensive to be a vegetarian?” In a country where food is cheap and the market is plentiful, why are we paying more to eat healthy?
Stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes are flourishing, but they serve only a small portion of the population. The rest of the country is shopping at other grocery stores where processed foods and meat are cheaper than almost anything found in the produce aisle. We should not have to wait until we have successful jobs and secure living situations before we can begin to eat three healthy meals a day.
During my studies in France, I noticed a big difference between their super markets and our markets, the produce was significantly cheaper than the meat. This did not cause families to remove meat completely from their diet, but it encouraged them to eat smaller portions while the rest of the plate was filled with grains and vegetables. I understand that it is difficult to eat vegetarian in the American economy. The cost of organic and locally produced meat is not within the price range of an average family. Their small grocery budgets are stretched as far as possible to fill their stomachs by spending money on cheap meat and foods with process fats and sugars. It is unfair that they do not have a realistic opportunity to eat healthy and fresh food. Research shows that the proportion of people choosing to purchase organic and local foods is increasing yet market demand has not caused prices to adjust. Businesses profit so much from the meat industry because they are constantly finding ways to decrease cost by using less space, cheaper hormones and inexpensive feed such as corn and other grains, which are not part of the animals’ natural diet.
It is difficult to find a way to fight the injustices of the meat industry while sustaining one’s family and managing the budget. If you care about this cause but aren’t yet sure how to act or can only afford to go meat free with your family a couple nights a week. Please follow this blog for cheap and hearty vegetarian meals for college students, young families and everyone interested in fighting this battle one meal at a time.