I was not surprised to read this article that reveals just how hard it is these days in Nova Scotia (and other places too) to eat healthy. This is not a super prosperous province that I live in and I know that it has been hard for me to get by on a budget. Food and health are a top priority for me and my husband. We buy fresh food and take our vitamins and exercise as much as we can which is also challenging in a place where winter is half the year and the roads are too dangerous to be on.
As I was standing in line at the grocery store I saw a woman ahead of me with her two sons, putting her “food” on the conveyer belt: hot dogs, a huge container of oil for deep frying the chicken she was buying, white bread, bagels, buns, deli meat and bacon. No fruit. No vegetables. It upsets me but I can kind of understand it since my little cart here cost me $50. In our home we will go without movies, clothes, takeout…before we give up on our health but nowadays even I am finding it challenging to have any kind of a life and eat well at the same time. This winter our heating bills were a second mortgage that lasted seven months but I am still trying to live as healthy as I can.
On the news last night I saw that the cost of food in Canada has increased by 8% since last year and I believe it. My husband heard in the news that in Nova Scotia the cost of produce has gone up 20%! This foodie is feeling the crunch in her wallet but will not give up on healthy eating. I am planning to take advantage of where I live and buy more fresh fish. As well, I am going to make meat-free meals at least once a week. I have started to pay strict attention to flyers that come out right before our Friday sales begin and plan ahead. The reason my cart is so small is because these are the items I refused to buy at full price the night before when we did our groceries. I got them on sale and saved at least $6 which then went towards being able to afford our vitamins.
I hope as produce really comes into its season this summer and fall that prices go down so we can start eating real foods and not just cheap meat and bread. We deserve to be fed body-nurturing foods.
Genie Sea says
Oh how I know where you’re coming from. Healthy is at a premium. I have been struggling with the cost of eating healthy until I decided to start eliminating the middle man.
I buy produce at Farmer’s Markets now. There is one just down the street from where I work every Tuesday and that’s where I stock up on fruits and veggies at considerably less prices.
I have also started buying my health supplements online.
Here are two links to start you off honey.
Online Health Products You won’t be too surprised that they operate out of BC. If this one isn’t to your liking, there are others as well.
Farmers Markets in Nova ScotiaHope these help 🙂
and I thought I was the only shaking my head at other people’s cart in line at the grocery store! i find it really difficult too to eat healthy, with lots of fresh produce, on one income, feeding a family of 5..but like you, we go without other things to be able to eat healthy (2nd car, nights out, new sets of clothes every season, etc..) I think it is completely worth it 😉
I do too. And I get lazy about it which is NOT good. Suzie, I think it would be great to see what you buy, how much you spent and what awesome healthy meals you made.
I know that is a lot to ask, but it would help me and I’m a lot of your other readers too.
This is the biggest problem I have with trying to eat healthy– we just can’t afford it. We can barely afford to eat cheap and unhealthy. I made a wonderful vegan soup special for Imbolc this year and it cost me over $20 for the ingredients! I wish it weren’t so dry here, I haven’t had a successful veggie garden in 3 years now– which would help us eat better, at least in the summer months…
Gas prices have a lot to do with it. Its getting more and more expensive to truck food across the country to stock the stores. We (collective we) need to learn how to grow and eat more local.
I guess we all just do what we can. Health food shoudln’t be this expensive. If it were cheaper I’m sure more people would eat it over the junk food.
I agree Tori. It is expensive. Same with organic food. I’m thankful my grocery has started it.s own organic brand.
I’ve tried to eat ‘healthy’ for years now – began with a biologist hubby who ‘insisted’ on certain things – whole grains (we made a lot of our own bread) ‘real’ (not processed) cheese; I loved raw milk, so we’d drive to a dairy (rotate w/ friends) & garden, garden, garden. I am fortunate to live in Oregon’s Wilamette Valley, with year round gardening, & CSAs – I just joined one!
I try for local/organic & in season.
I’be been reading Jane Goodall’s ‘Harvest for Hope’ – she talks about seeing & smelling her first watermelon in a mkt in Africa – not having ‘shipped’ food when she grew up in England.
Jane talks about the ‘real cost’ of ‘cheap food’ to the land, environment, etc. & gives ways to change practices of stores & suppliers. (one fun image – a cart full of ‘store brand’ stuff, & asking the manager to guarantee that there are NO GMOs before paying . . .)
dont eat the token says
Good for you for keeping up with the battle!
I have neglected my health in lieu of quick/easy food for years. But more so than ever before I have a fruit or two a week, and open a couple cans of veggies. I know it’s not “enough” but it’s more than nothing!
Reading your blog gives me inspiration!
Bohemian Single Mom says
Oh! I know! Eating healthy is expensive!! It’s difficult to do with my budget, but like you, it comes before other expenses.
It kills me when some people fill their carts with processed dinners for the microwave and think it’s healthy because it says “lean cusine”……please!
Fresh local fruits & veggies….coming soon to your area! Yay!
And fish! – what a great local idea!
It is expensive to shop well. I get my organic veggie box every Wed for $30. I love it, supporting local biz and farmers and organic. They also have a store front on 6188 Allan Street(behind the house) where you can buy directly and it is cheaper than the supermarkets. http://www.hgof.ns.ca/index2.php
The Farmers Market on Saturday is also a great place to shop. Soon it will be 7 days a week.
I eat a lot of chickpeas and beans too.
Hi not sure if they exist in the HRM but they probably do if you look around enough. We joined a food co-op veggie & fruit box in Ottawa. It costs us between $35-50/week (we get it 1x every 3 wks & make lots of food to freeze) but we get a good variety. The only downside is you can’t guantee that you’re going to get a certain type of veggie or fruit but we always get romaine lettuce…my least favourite lol. Oh well…but it’s made for us a great alternative to driving to store, picking fruit and driving home–this is all organic, all chosen within a 100km radius and from a local farm who has a bunch of orders to drop into the city.
I’ve been eating Portuguese fish stew on rice this week (every day, I think) because I don’t want it to go to waste, and my kids won’t eat it. I thought it was pretty good. My Mum takes all the left over veggies of the week and throws it in soup (every single week, and she’ll add stuff: maybe beans or ground beef, spice. And I just discovered that chopping any vegetables fine, mixing it with cream cheese, spreading on a wrap, rolling tight and cutting into pinwheels is a great (cold) snack, and looks pretty if anyone visits. Also, Hamilton and the area is big on slow food…plan to visit a couple of farms this spring/summer, but actually there’s a listing of in-town venues that feature local slow food, and not just at the Farmers’ Market!