You Get What You Pay For -- Part I

“Eating healthy, human foods as you define them is just too expensive for me and my family, so we can’t do it…”

Sorry -- that excuse doesn’t fly with me.

If you have the means to sit down and read this article, there’s a good chance that means you’re not struggling for survival every day. In other words, if you’re homeless or standing in line for a welfare check, this doesn’t apply to you since you obviously have other, more important things, to be worried about.

That being said…

I have heard too many people lately complain about not being able to do “paleo” or eat grass fed meats or buy organic produce because all that stuff is too expensive. And to be clear, I’m not ‘paleo’ or any other label -- I eat human foods (i.e. foods that humans are supposed to eat).

Hearing people say that doesn't do anybody any good. It scares people away from choosing a healthier lifestyle. It's completely untrue in just about every case.

In my opinion -- if you’re using that as your excuse to not eat the most healthy human foods on earth, then you probably need a budgetary reprioritization. OR being healthy isn’t your top priority, which is fine. But let’s stop using cost as an excuse -- if that’s the case, just say something like, “I’d rather spend that money on my car payment, or eating out, or on a vacation, or on really expensive stylish clothes…” which is TOTALLY FINE!

Also, just because something is cheaper, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a better or more economical option. All that money you’re saving buying cheaper food doesn’t just disappear, it WILL come back to nip you. It’ll just be in the form of a hospital bill or on medicine or in the form of time since you will probably spend your golden years sitting in waiting rooms.

If you buy the cheapest shoes over a more expensive pair, your shoes are going to wear out faster than the more expensive pair would. So yeah, you saved money at first, but you had to buy new shoes again more quickly than you would have if you would have bought the slightly more expensive pair.

It’s not rocket science. “You get what you pay for” covers a wide array of industries -- from healthcare to gasoline to event tickets to musical instruments to automobiles -- OK I can’t think of ANYTHING that is higher quality that doesn’t come with a higher value stuck to it. Can you?

Think about it another way, if your spouse or child was in the hospital after ingesting some horrible poison and needed an emergency procedure that cost $10,000, wouldn’t you pay it? Wouldn’t you do anything to get that money to pay for that procedure? You’d sign any document put in front of you. If the billing office said you could also pay your bill if you ran out into the street naked, you wouldn't hesitate. NOTHING would stop you from getting that procedure because of the high priority of your spouse’s or child's well-being, right?

Right. Obviously this an extreme example. So to me, making the decision to eat cheap food because it’s cheap is like the doctor running out saying, “we need to do ____ right now or your spouse (or child) will die. Time is of the essence. This poison is nasty stuff. We have minutes before he/she will die. We need to act NOW” and the healthy spouse (or parent) responding, “ok, that’s fine, but isn’t there a cheaper option? Can we thing about this before we jump to action? Maybe another doctor wouldn’t charge so much...would you mind if we got a second opinion? I think you’re a scam artist!”

That just wouldn’t happen. Unless of course you want your spouse or child dead and are the one who poisoned him/her. But if you're that kind of person -- I'll bet that food economics aren't high on your list of priorities either...

50 years ago, Americans spent 19% of their budgets on food and 5% on healthcare. Today we spend 20% on healthcare and 9% on food. And those numbers continue to diverge.

If eating real, whole, healthy foods is more expensive than the foods that you’ve been eating your whole life so changing would come with a major change to your spending habits, then before you dismiss the idea of getting healthy because of the up-front costs, lets think about what the costs are on the BACK-END of eating processed, refined, sugary, boxed foods. Or, the way I like to put it, what happens when you eat “non-human” foods.

Treatments are NOT cheap. So why do so many of us disconnect the idea that consuming, cheap, unhealthy foods won’t lead to degenerative health that costs a lot of money down the road?

Maybe it’s because so many of us have insurance? So the majority of those costs are covered by a good plan? I don’t know. That disconnect doesn’t make sense to me. A bypass heart surgery can cost as much as $170,000 or more. Just ONE surgery.

In Part II of this article, we'll break down the cost per day per family member of eating some of the most nutritious foods on the planet -- you may be surprised.

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