Sunday, 24 February 2008

THE GRAPEVINE - The Price of Healthy Eating

Photo Credit: khancafee at flickr

A survey conducted by the food standards agency revealed this week that over 40% of people are still not getting the recommended 5 fruit and veg portions a day. The figures revealed a slight improvement on last year. Yet 70% of people in the highest social brackets managed to get theirs.

Those who find it hardest are from poorer backgrounds and I can see why. In most supermarkets 6 plums can cost around £3 and one pepper about 70p. A single income family with several children is likely to scrimp on more expensive items and opt for cheaper foods that will fill bellies. Not everyone can put nutritional value at the top of their list, some are lucky to be able to feed their families at all. In the UK food and utility costs are rising, so 5 a day is likely to slip down the list of priorities somewhat.

Delia Smith this week criticised Celebrity chefs who force the organic lifestyle;

“I certainly don’t like the way battery chickens are reared – I have put in my book to use free-range chicken – but on the other hand I am aware that we still have a lot of poverty, particularly among children in this country and I feel that is a disgrace, and somehow we’ve got to get everybody to have enough nutritious food in the first place.”

Delia certainly has a point. Organic and fairtrade foods are still more expensive than 'normal' foods. Celebrity chefs seem to try and make people feel guilty if they cannot afford to make the most ethical choices when it comes to what food they buy. Perhaps they should give the preaching a break, and help people feed their families healthy meals, on a modest budget.
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