There is a paradox running rampant in the world of food. Why is it that the poor and hungry are subjected to the worst foods in exchange for lower prices, and then asked to be happy about it? The healthiest foods, without all the processing and sugar-injecting, remain on the top shelf, out of reach of those who could benefit the most from it.
This is an epidemic sweeping the world, not just The United States. Everywhere, stores are cropping up promoting cheap goods for the “enterprising” family. What this means is budget stores offering food that’s had any semblance of quality of nutritional value processed out of them. Who is this good for? Certainly not consumers, forced to choke down food that can breed obesity and heart disease later in life. It’s a tragic irony that those with the least are treated with the least concern.
Academically, the explanation is entirely business related. You can make more from families with less by offering addiction-prone, cheaply made foods at steep discounts. If you think these million-dollar decisions are being made with the public good in mind, you are sadly mistaken. In this modern, business-driven world, we are just dollar signs to these industries until we become dollar signs to our insurer, paying off a lifetime of abuse with medical bills and diabetes.
Though this very cold, corporate way of thinking dominates currently, there are those who feel it’s time for a new way to see our food. Called “True Cost Accounting,” this method is meant to measure the cost, both monetarily and physically, that our food is incurring. Taken into account all the health problems that come with eating poorly processed foods, the cost of these so called “cheap” products turn out very different when applied to this model. After looking at this food in a new light, the next time you see a dollar menu, if you squint real hard, you may be able to see the real cost of those dollar burgers.