Healthy Food Costs

1404 words | 5 page(s)


The United States government wants you sick! One of the leading causes of cancer in the U.S. is poor dieting, according to the American Cancer Society (2017). Also, according to Kip Anderson’s What the Health documentary, processed meats increases one’s chances of developing diabetes by 51%. In addition to this, James Levine of the American Diabetes Association states that Americans that live in impoverished areas are more prone to obesity due to a lack of access to fresh foods. Healthy food is unaffordable for a lot of U.S. citizens, and this is definitely a problem! The purpose of this essay is to analyze why the united states government makes healthy foods difficult to access. Hopefully these words create a spark in the minds of those in charge of food production along with the people who receive the short end of the stick when it comes to living healthy. The United States government makes healthy foods expensive so that they can benefit financially from medical companies, to control agricultural companies, and to control population.

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President and founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Dr. Neal Barnard states that the leading source of cancer causing carcinogens is chicken. With this information, why isn’t there a nationwide recall on the farming and production of chicken? In an article from Health Impact News, John P. Thomas claims that the cancer research diagnosis and treatment is an industry that makes too much money and employs too many people to actively seek a cure. Thomas also states that the average cancer medication costs around $10,000 per month of treatment. When analyzing this information, one has to consider the driving force behind the U.S. economy; money! The government needs cancer to exist because it generates billions of dollars. And if the American government is fueled by money, why would they make healthy cancer fighting foods affordable to everyone? The sad truth is that the Unites States government makes healthy foods more expensive for to profit from the health conscious and the underprivileged. They profit from the market sales of organics foods as well as the diseases accrued by individuals who can’t afford these healthier foods.

Monsanto is an agrochemical corporation that has placed genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), pesticides and weed killers in over 70% of the processed foods that Americans eat, according to Dave Murphy of the Huffington Post (2013). GMO’s and pesticides make farming and agriculture move at a much faster pace than traditional farming practices, which means that the product is generated quicker, allowing the profit to be generated quicker. Knowing this, it’s not shocking to see why the U.S. government raises the prices of healthy foods. If people are afraid to consume GMO’s and GEO’s, this will create an increase in demand for healthy foods (non-GMO’s). With this fear factor incorporated into the equation, it only makes sense for the government to raise the price of healthy foods. But even with this, there is still room for a better economic scheme that grants access of healthy foods to everyone. The question is, will the U.S. government implement it, or will they continue to exploit their citizens?

All factors considered, one can’t ignore theories of population control. When discussing the high costs of maintaining a healthy lifestyle in America, the economy, access to fresh foods, and access to natural resources must come into play. If the resources are scarce, the prices for high quality foods will rise. With a high price of healthy foods, those who can’t afford them run the risk of contracting illnesses and diseases. And in turn, they run the risk of dying at a much younger age. According to Maisonet-Guzman of E-International, as global population growth rates increases and agricultural rates decrease, a food insecurity is created. Simply put, there isn’t enough food for everyone on the planet. With this in mind, population control can’t seem so far-fetched. In terms of the United States’ agricultural practices, there is a very sticky situation at hand; genetically engineer and modify the food for the growing population so that everyone eats, but run the risk of causing illnesses and diseases that lead to poor lifestyles and pre-mature death.

Although I’ve given a lot of information on how agricultural practices in the U.S. are money driven, some might say that there are still some decent and honest farming companies that take pride in growing organic foods. Earthbound Farm is a company that doesn’t use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, and it aligns with the UDSA’s National Organic Program’s standards (Graff, Birkenstein, Durst, 2014). In addition to this, Earthbound is also the largest organic farming company (Graff, Birkenstein, Durst, 2014). In opposition to my previous statements about agriculture being big business with a disregard of the toxins used to mass produce food, Earthbound Farm’s farming techniques are designed to remove toxic chemicals (Graff, Birkenstein, Durst, 2014). They’ve managed to grow organic and healthy food while establishing themselves as a million-dollar farming company. One might make the statement, “why don’t most, if not all, of the farming companies grow like Earthbound Farm so that everyone can eat healthy?” This seems like a reasonable solution, but again, money, productivity and timing, and the scarcity of resources enter the equation and minds get swayed.

While conducting a survey about the price of healthy foods and the current state of the U.S. agricultural economy, I found out a lot about the common knowledge that people shared and the information that people weren’t exposed to. I asked questions that centered around the price of healthy foods as opposed to non-healthy foods, organic vs. non-organic, etc. Surprisingly, 75% of the people I surveyed understood the difference between organic and non-organic food, and they all mentioned that the lifespan of organic foods is shorter and more realistic than that of non-organic foods. This is interesting because it shows that people are cognoscente of their food choices. In addition to this, all of the people I surveyed were not aware that a McDonalds cheeseburger costs less than a head of cauliflower. But I asked them why they thought this was so, and they all had the same answer: “it costs less to make a cheeseburger than to grow cauliflower.” I found this very interesting. This means that people are aware that money plays a major role in their access to healthy food choices. After analyzing this survey, I’m convinced that money is really the motive when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle and the high price of healthy foods.

In closing, eating healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires more than just discipline and making wise choices. The impact that money has on the United States’ Agricultural business is so large that it has the power to strip people of moral reasoning and concern for their fellow human. After digging and researching this information, I’ve come to realize that people cannot depend on the government to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Although there are some positive entities that are all about healthy eating and organic agriculture, there are still large amounts of corrupt companies that hold more weight. Yes, the government should make healthy foods more affordable and accessible to their citizens, but the reality is that a lot of money will be lost to create this change. It is up to the people to make the right choices, learn about farming to grow their own foods, and staying aware of their environment.

  • Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. “They say / I say”: the moves that matter in academic writing. W.W. Norton & Company, 2017.
  • Levine, James A. “Poverty and Obesity in the U.S.” Diabetes, American Diabetes Association, 1 Nov. 2011,
  • Maisonet-Guzman, Olimar. “Food Security and Population Growth in the 21st Century.” E-International Relations, 18 July 2011,
  • Murphy, Dave. “The March to Stop Monsanto: Taking Back Our Food, Our Farms, Our Democracy and Our Planet.” The Huffington Post,, 28 May 2013,
  • Thomas, John P. “The Cancer Industry is Too Prosperous to Allow a Cure.” Health Impact News, 26 Apr. 2017,
  • “What Causes Cancer?” American Cancer Society,
    Anderson, Kip, director. What the Health. A.U.M. Films & Media, 2017.

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