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Vote with Your Fork

Create Change, One Bite at a Time


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Possibly the best article I've read yet on Spark. Thank you so much. I'm going to bookmark, Tweet, Facebook, forward, and print this one. Report
There are lots of healthy & affordable foods available at the grocery store if people just (1) make a meal plan (2) commit to following their shopping list (3) cook from scratch or at least partially. Besides fresh produce, low-fat dairy products and lean fish/poultry/meat look for whole grains: brown rice, barley, etc, and legumes.

The farmer's market and organic are great options if you can afford it. Produce in our small town's farmer's market is 2 to 3 times the cost of the same item at the grocery store. I do buy a few things every week to support the farmers but I can't afford to do all my shopping there. I know they are not getting rich. I do know the city is charging them a lot to be in the market & they have to pass that cost along to the consumer. Report
Thank you for this timely and excellent article. Even if everyone only made one change suggested, it would make a big difference. We do have the power to make changes in society! Report
I always vote with my wallet - if I don't support it I don't buy it, no matter what it is. I support natural, ethical, grown on the earth, not processed. Hope more start doing it. Report
I think this is an excellent article on an excellent day. It is important that we all remember that though we might be individuals, that our choices make huge impacts. We have to stop selling ourselves short, ignoring the power each and everyone of us has. We have to take time to make decisions everyday, let's make every one of them count. Report
While I'm not so optimistic as to say that we as consumers will "vote" places into being healthy, or put fast food chains out of buisness / change their menu... I would agree that all these tips are great in general and ones I try to adhere by! Report
Gosh, it's funny how things change. I commented on this article three years ago, and said I agree with Jibbie, but now I kind of don't. I mean, I agree to a point about government interference, but I question how little they are interfering the other way. I think it's your right to know what you're eating, so you can make the choice, but allowing ingredients like "natural flavoring" or it's not-necessarily-more-evil twin brother "artificial flavoring" to be a catch-all instead of allowing you to see what ALL is in your food is one example. Allowing food companies to label foods 0g trans fat, when there IS trans fat, is another.

There's also the matter of choice architecture. A great book on this is "Nudge." Check it out. Report
Great article! Report
This really makes me want to scream. STOP saying that healthy foods are more expensive than healthy. That's crap. Rice, beans, whole grains, etc. are definitely cheaper than processed stuff. What is really expensive is pre prepared convenience foods. What people really need to learn is how to cook and prepare foods that will fit into their schedule and adjust their tastes away from artificial flavors. Hand in hand with healthier eating is better portions. You may eat a dollar's worth of apple and be done, but it's much easier to sit down and eat $3 worth of Cheetos in a sitting.

I ran the concession stand at my school this fall season and I was excited to offer some healthy options. I got carrots and dip, applesauce, and string cheese to offer along with the other standard offerings (pizza, hot dogs, etc.) You know what? For the most part, the healthier choices didn't sell. Companies who sell unhealthy foods aren't evil, they are trying to succeed in business and earn profits for their shareholders (which just might be you - check your 401k and mutual fund investments) and wages for their employees. Report
"Part of the reason these foods are so prevalent is that people do buy them."

Exactly right. Report
This is a fantastic article. Corporations have a legal obligation to their shareholders, not their customers, so they are bound to do what is profitable for the company. That's why we have to make healthy profitable! If even 10% of the people who regularly order Big Macs and fries started ordering just a Big Mac or just fries, you can bet there would be a big change in the way McDonalds markets its products.

I also agree with the commenters who say that healthy is not really more expensive. I was once on my way back to my office from a meeting and I was starving. I stopped at 7-11. My options were: Baked Lays: 99 cents, a buffalo chicken rollup: 2 for $2.22 or a banana: 2 for $1. The healthiest, simplest option was also the cheapest. I think you will see this is true if you go to the market and really LOOK at your options. Also, asking for water at a restaurant instead of buying a soda is cheaper. Not getting popcorn at the movies is cheaper than getting popcorn. Not buying chips or ice cream at the market is cheaper. I think so many people are programmed to look to packaged, processed foods, or are programmed to think that you "need" to have snacks in the house that they don't really look at their costs with the right perspective. I think a lot of people also use the "expense" of healthy food as an excuse to eat as they please or to justify their weight. Report
This is a great article. Thank you. I am heavily involved in politics and have not yet made the 'vote with your fork' speech. This is a good one, one that I will share with many. Report
Great article! Thank you for spreading this message. Report
Healthy food is actually cheaper when you think about it. It makes me so mad when people say that like this article about a bag of cheetos is cheaper than a bag of apples. How many cheetos do you eat, but how many apples do you eat? Think about it! Not cheaper! So a gallon of milk is more expensive than the equivalent in soda? Seriously? How much milk do you drink, but how much soda do you drink without even thinking about it? A candy bar is roughly a $1, but I can grab a banana for $0.25. What's cheaper now? Do the math. It's cheaper to eat healthy. How much is a frozen pizza, but how much is a loaf of bread and PB? There you have it. Report
In addition to bringing your own grocery bags you can also buy reusable produce bags. I have Tazzy Totes brand. I use them for my produce and I also use them when I buy food in the bulk section. They're great and cut down on a lot of plastic! Report

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