Healthy Food vs. Junk Food $$$

Why is Healthy Food So Much More Expensive than Junk Food?!

Have You Wondered...

  • Why are healthy foods more expensive than junk food?
  • How can I be healthy when I can't afford it?
  • Why should we be healthy when junk food saves you time and money?

Have you ever wanted to get on a health kick and went to the store and saw how much a pound of vegetables cost? The price is enough to lead you straight to the pizza, ice cream, or chips aisle, which all together would cost the same amount as the one pound of veggies. Why is it that healthy food tends to cost so much more than other foods? Why should we even bother?

Researchers from the University of Cambridge in UK and those at Stanford University have wondered the same thing. They have discovered that the price gap between healthier foods and junk foods are continuing to widen. Healthy foods are $1.50 dollars more per item per person, which adds up to a lot of money over time.


Healthier foods and processed foods go through different processes and have a different supply and demand. The demand for processed food is high and requires low-labor, low quality work. This results into cheap junk food in large quantities. Healthy foods are limited and do not come in such large quantities because it is not processes. This creates a longer process, more labor, better quality food, and a higher price.

So what is the point? Why should we even bother to waste our money when we can spend less money on junk food? It is efficient, the food is cheap and delicious, and you get nice portions! What more could you ask for? Well, despite the "expensiveness" of healthy food, healthy eating will end up costing you less in the long run. How you view price depends on your perspective. For example: if you compare the price of a banana to a soda, the soda will end up being cheaper, as far as money cost goes. Yet, if you compare the two items based of nutrients, fiber, and potassium, the banana is the better option. A soda contains empty calories, meaning that it has no nutritional value. A banana has a lot of nutritional value and offers many benefits. Which is more important to you? Money cost or life cost?

Healthy foods result in better physical and mental health, which means a longer, happier, more productive, and less stressful life. Healthy foods also contain more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals than junk foods, which can lead to a decrease risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Although it may seem that healthy food is more expensive, all the pros outweigh the cons; therefore it is worth giving it a shot!

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Is it Really Worth It? Let's find out!

  1. Go into your kitchen (or a store) and find 3 junk food items (chips, ice cream, candy, etc.) and 3 healthy items (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc.) and record the calories, total fat, sodium, and total carbohydrates. Compare the items and write a paragraph on your findings.
  2. For a week, record everything you eat and the number of times you or your family goes out to eat or buys junk food.
  3. The next week, try to avoid eating sweets and fats. Try to get your plate as close as the MyPlate as possible. Record what you eat and how you feel at the end of the week. See if you feel better or worse than you started, and write 1-2 pages about your health kick experience and whether or not you will continue the journey.