Say you want to become a professional cyclist or perhaps a professional mountain biker. The proper gear, equipment and training that accompany this hobby can be quite costly. Doing a simple online search at REI.com, an outdoor retail store, I find that a woman’s mountain bike is $379.93. Ok, so now you need a helmet. A decent one is about $50. Women’s biking shoes are on sale for $69. At the very least this comes to a grand total of $498.63. We haven’t even talked about decent biking apparel and a comfortable saddle. By the time you are finished compiling all of the necessary accessories for this hobby you are looking at spending a minimum of $1,000 on the conservative side.
The same applies to eating healthy. If you want to go out of your way and buy organic food or anything that isn’t filled with hydrogenated fatty junk food, it’s going to cost you. Unfortunately the Whole Foods, Trader Joes and the Green Grocer’s (in Peterborough) don’t have the costs of foods on their websites. So I’ve compiled a quick grocery list of healthy foods that you could find at either of those stores and their approximate costs.
Organic, wheat bread: $4.00
Large container of organic yogurt: $3.00
Soymilk: 2 for $5.00
A bunch of bananas: $2.00
Pre-packaged bag of salad: $4.00
Tofu deli slices: $3.00
The grand total comes to $31.50. This is just an average, but somewhat expensive for only a few items. You can easily walk into Whole Foods or a similar grocery store and have no problem spending upwards of $100.
It’s almost as if leading a healthy lifestyle in many cases is an elitist choice. For some, especially in this economy, it is simply not a choice. The costs attached to choosing the healthier option can be quite inhibiting. It’s sad to think that you can grab a ¼ lb double cheeseburger at Burger King for only $1. While nutritional and medical organizations encourage us to eat healthy and be active, the majority of them aren’t helping us along the way to achieve it. It surely doesn’t help when there are always cheap unhealthy meal options at fast food restaurants.
Perhaps if the high costs of leading a healthy lifestyle were cheaper, more people would be inclined to give it a test drive. Cheaper options for healthy living could have people reducing their carbon footprint and being active participants in fighting the obesity epidemic that has become so prevalent in America.
I will leave you with this quote from the Trader Joe’s website:
“The ideas that have lighted my way have been kindness, beauty and truth.”
- Albert Einstein, one of many thoughtful, influential Vegetarians.
Others include, Socrates, Susan B. Anthony, Epicurus, Leonardo da Vinci, Alice Walker… you?)