I have listened to Mark Bittman's talk on what is wrong with what we eat a few times and really like the message he is sending. In this talk he details the current health crisis, how eating foods in their natural state helps improve health and that industrialized foods are not beneficial to health. He also talks about animals for food consumption increase green house gases, the food pyramid and the history of food consumption over the course of the last 100 years. Between 1950 and 2000 the world population doubled but meat consumption increased five times, who is eating all that extra meat product and what is the environmental impact? Mark's describes the meals his mother made for her family which made me think of our family who didn't eat that way yet oddly I was envious of my playmates for their family meals. Now that I am old enough to know better I am happy that we ate a clean home grown diet and continue to eat that way as an adult.
The common complaint of consumers regarding locally grown foods and organics is that is it more expensive. Unfortunately non organics, which are mass produced, might be more cost effective but mass produced foods are proven to be void of the full range of nutrients that organically raised foods contain. This concept of lower priced mass produced equals lower nutrient value products over higher priced organically raided nutrient filled products is definitely a "You get what you pay for" situation. If you playing a game show and had a choice of paying $5 for an empty box or $8 for a box packed with all kinds of goodies inside which package would you choose? Most people would spend the $8 and get the goodies and yet when it comes to the foods we eat people don't make that choice and instead go for the $5 box with no content. Cutting corners with nutrition is devastating to growing children and is a direct link to many future health issues many of which are very costly to manage and/or cure. If you applied the same theory of paying for insurance to help offset the cost of potential accidents then wouldn't the same be true for the foods you eat, shouldn't you be willing to pay a little extra for healthy food to thwart the potential for costly illnesses.