Andrea Rondeau: Price not the real barrier to eating fruits and veggies

There were a number of complaints that vegetables cost too much.

Everything is going up but our salaries.

At least that’s the way it sometimes seems. We write about taxes increasing every year. Likewise with insurance — I know my home insurance skyrocketed by several hundred dollars this year. Car insurance always seems to rise, too.

Then there’s the cost of food. At the grocery store we’ve certainly seen our bills rise in the last decade. But I do dispute some of the responses we’ve gotten from a story on our website this week about the new Canada Food Guide.

The guide makes recommendations about what constitutes a healthy diet. Unsurprisingly, it recommended eating lots of fruits and vegetables, a smaller portion of whole grains, and more plant-based proteins than meat, eggs and dairy. And needless to say, it recommends against regular consumption of processed and prepared foods high in sugar, salt and saturated fat.

In response, there were a number of complaints that vegetables cost too much. Really? Have you looked at the relative price of the meat you buy lately?

While it’s true that the prices of all foods have gone up, including veggies and fruit, I think people’s reticence to pay for these items when they’ll happily pay top price for a good steak or even a mediocre microwave dinner has more to do with our societal view than dollars and cents.

From childhood it’s often reinforced that eating your vegetables is something you have to do to get to the good stuff. Some people never outgrow this mindset. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Children can be just as excited about veggies and fruit. One way to do it is to get them into gardening. If they can grow it and pick it themselves, they will look forward to eating it. And satisfaction is the best sauce. I think this principle doesn’t just work on kids either. Nothing is sweeter than a sun-ripened strawberry or peas in the pod you can pick and pop into your mouth, no matter what your age.

Which is another way you can cut down on your vegetable and fruit bill. Grow your own. A small garden in your yard will yield an astonishing amount of produce — in the summer months my family regularly gives excess to the food banks. If you don’t have a yard, you can consider getting a plot at a community garden.

All of which is to say that most of us have known we should eat more fruits and vegetable since long before the new Canada Food Guide came out this week. We just have a lot of excuses as to why we don’t want to change.

Andrea Rondeau writes for the Cowichan Valley Citizen.

Just Posted

North Island drug deaths spike, rate second-highest in B.C.

Area spanning north from Comox Valley trails only Vancouver in fatal overdose rate

Dead Vancouver Island man identified, shoes and backpack missing

Investigators say body found in Saanich was Victoria’s Andrew Michael Sidor

Four years, no answers in murder of Deedee Brown

Chemainus-area teen was last seen with friends on Penelakut Island in summer of 2015

Protester threatens citizens arrest during morning federal funding announcement in Oak Bay

$4.3 million to protect at-risk species and their habitats, Uplands Park declared heritage site

Victoria homeless woman facing losing her truck

Willi Boepple fears losing one of her last possessions after being inundated with parking tickets

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Restrictions ordered to save fish in parched Cowichan Valley river

Province says Koksilah River fish populations under threat due to low water flows

Tow strap trips up Victoria cyclist

Police looking for witnesses to incident where cyclist hit line connecting vehicles

North Island wildfire listed as out of control

But Sara Lake blaze near Port Alice expected to be under control soon

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Graffiti clean up costs Victoria businesses roughly $1M a year

Business association teams up with city in campaign to reduce graffiti in downtown

PHOTOS: Hundreds welcome HMSC Regina home to Vancouver Island

Navy ship returns to Esquimalt after nearly 6 months at sea

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Most Read