Why is natural food so expensive?

Fresh fruits and vegetables are more expensive to grow than the crops that will be processed. Products rely on human labor rather than machines, and machines are more efficient and cheaper in the long run. As one of the few systematic reviews of how low-income consumers perceive the cost of food, this document shows that the perceived cost is multidimensional. Respondents paid not only the fixed price, but also the unmeasured monetary costs, and multimodal respondents viewed prices in both absolute and relative terms.

Because structural explanations of decision-making frame the poor as deserving of support, while individual-level stories suggest that they themselves should make the changes (Gans, 199), the discourse on the affordability of healthy foods can influence public support for nutrition policy. In this case, food doesn't last long, not because it leaves needs unmet until more funds arrive, but because family members consume it faster than expected. FAO believes that, as demand for food and organic products increases, technological innovations and economies of scale should reduce the costs of producing, processing, distributing and marketing organic products. Debates about whether a healthy diet is affordable often overlook how low-income consumers themselves evaluate the cost of food.

This typology can provide an awareness-raising framework for studying other influences on food choices, such as access, time and convenience. In the absence of such changes, policies and programming can make strategic use of low-income people's perceptions about the cost of food. In developed countries, uncertified organic foods are often sold directly to consumers through programs that support local communities, such as checkout systems, farmers' markets and at the farm door. However, other parents mentioned moderating their children's rapid consumption of fruit, suggesting that the health consequences of controlled intake depend on the food in question.

These costs increased expenditures or depleted food reserves, creating a gap between resources and needs. To qualify, respondents had to live with their children for at least half a day and take care of most of the household's food supply. As with the heuristic “durable foods are affordable”, foods that are consumed quickly are expensive because they don't last. These findings expand on recent studies on how people interpret their material conditions of food choice.

Rather than diverting parents toward less healthy alternatives, these costs absorbed resources and thus restricted subsequent food choices. With absolute judgements, the respondents evaluated whether a food met the needs of their family, given their limited resources. Here are some tips for making the most of your shopping budget while shopping for nutritious food.

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