Last month I talked about how and why it is important to stay away from processed foods if you choose to stay healthy, but I only briefly touched upon why we are lured into buying them in the first place.

If you ask our grocery store owners/wholesalers why they import less than optimal foods, they will likely tell you it is because that is what sells. That is what people want.

Is this really true? Well it may be, partially because of the huge amount of money spent on advertising by the major food corporations in North America. People see it on TV and they want it. (Sometimes I think that the advent of cable and satellite television is one of the worse things that ever happened for Bermuda – particularly for our children, who are extremely vulnerable to advertising.)

But the bottom line IS the bottom line. Money! The only person that really cares about you and your family’s health is YOU.

I’m not saying that all food importers are evil. No, what I am saying is unless people demand better food, all we are going to get is junk. Because that is what sells and businesses like to make a profit.

So why do you accept highly processed junk just because that’s what’s for sale in the store?

There could be several reasons here. It MAY be cheaper, it tastes good, and it’s highly available.

But is it what your body needs? No, the only thing you’re feeding is your taste buds! (And those can be reeducated).

If we choose for things to change, it is up to US to ask. Vote with your dollar!

Get educated and get empowered! We are now in the age of information and there is no excuse to remain in the dark about your wellbeing.

Sign up for newsletters from people like Dr. Mercola. You could spend days on his website and still not read it all!

Then go to your favourite grocery store and educate them. I have found that Miles and Lindo’s are especially open to bringing in an item you would like to try.

Harrington Hundreds Grocery have been catering to the gluten-free market for years.

Or, ask at a health food store and you will likely find helpful people who are only too keen to share their knowledge and help you make informed decisions.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, I did a little investigating on convenience food prices.

“Lunchables” (Commonly fed to children for school lunch) = $3.79 for 4.2oz and $5.49 for the 10.65oz size at The Market Place.

Really! For one little packet of non-nutritious food.

Times that by five days and it adds up to $18.95 or $27.45 respectively for a school weeks worth of lunch. And don’t even bother reading the list of ingredients! And we expect our children to thrive and learn on this inferior food?

So here’s an idea.

A loaf of bread can be bought for between $3.00 and $5.00 dollars.
Boiled ham at $4.79 for 6ozs
Pepperoni at $3.59 for 3.5ozs
Cheddar Cheese at $5.99 a pound.

All this adds up to $19.37. Under $20.00. Enough to feed a child or two lunch for several days. You might even add in (or substitute) nut butter, an apple, carrots or celery sticks.

So, do you make your kid’s lunch and save money? Or do you buy the little convenience packs for a premium?

You choose!

Where there’s a will, there’s always a way!

By Lynda Hartley

Lynda Hartley is a Certified Health Coach at the Raw Food Edge, an entity which specializes in Individual Coaching, Group Workshops and Motivational Speaking for Healthy Living. She and her husband also own and operate Bermuda Green, a local business providing fresh salad sprouts to Supermarkets, Delis and Restaurants throughout the Island. For more information or comments email or telephone 2343535 or 3352981.