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November 2009 Fit 4 Ever Jimmy Page

The High Price of Cheap Food

"And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'" –Luke 14:27-30 (NIV)

Can the food we eat actually make us sick? According to an article in TIME magazine, we may be paying a steep price for the cheap quality of food we eat.

Typically I don't consult newsstands for good science, but this article had a lot of truth in it. The topic centered on how the American food system is bad for our bodies, bad for the environment and bad for our economy.


Think again. Consider the cost of living with these chronic health conditions that are linked to cheap food choices: arthritis, acid reflux, ADD, chronic fatigue, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, fibromyalgia and cancer.
It's a proven fact that the quality of food we eat has a direct impact on the number of years we enjoy in good health. For instance, this article in TIME made a case for eating organic food even though it's more expensive. Why? Because the long-term cost to our health and quality of life is so great. Literally, the food choices we make will become matters of life and death. The health of our bodies depends on the consistent infusion of nutrient-rich foods. So, if we eat cheap, unhealthy food, it will cost us.

You've probably heard the expression, "You get what you pay for." Personally, I've experienced this with everything from cars to clothes to toys for our kids. The cheap stuff always ends up costing me more in the long run. It wears out early, and I have to replace it more frequently than if I'd chosen the better product. I've finally decided to choose quality over cost and value over price.

At the onset, it's significantly cheaper to eat a high-fat, high-calorie fast-food diet than it is to eat a healthy diet of organic living foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and lean meats. After all, $1 buys you 1,200 calories of potato chips and only 170 calories of fresh fruit. However, when you consider the fact that direct medical costs of obesity have reached $147 billion annually, it makes you rethink those numbers.


When spending a dollar on food, it's not always best to get the most for your money. Yes, that 1,200 calories of fast food might seem like a good investment when compared to the 100 calories of fresh produce, but consider what you're actually paying in terms of your health. Turns out the burger bargain isn't always such a great deal.
In the long-run, cheap food also ends up being really expensive in more ways than just to our own bodies. Low-quality food also takes a tremendous toll on our environment making the use of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers a national concern. For instance, did you know that more than 23 million tons of chemical fertilizer are used in conventional farming? Consider this fact from TIME's article: "When runoff from the fields of the Midwest reaches the Gulf of Mexico, it contributes to what's known as a dead zone, a seasonal, approximately 6,000-square-mile area that has almost no oxygen and therefore almost no sea life."*

Stop and think for a moment about what these chemicals are doing to our health and our world. Studies are now showing that exposure to pesticides is linked to multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and some cancers. Not only are we damaging our own bodies when we eat this nutrient-void food, we're also contributing to the destruction of God's creation and the bodies of His people around the globe.

This month, as you approach the drive-through or the snack aisle of your grocery store, consider the real cost of your decision. What kind of difference will it make in the long-run? Is that a price you really want to pay? Truthfully, I doubt it.

--Want more? Catch Jimmy Page's 90-second "Fit Life Today" podcasts, now available at

*TIME magazine, Aug. 21, 2009

Medical Disclaimer: All information in this article is of a general nature and is furnished for your knowledge and understanding only. This information is not to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to your specific health and medical condition. Always consult a physician or health professional before beginning any exercise or nutrition program.

Copyright 2007 Sharing the Victory Magazine

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