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Why Eating Healthy is Cheap

Been to “Whole Paycheck” lately?

Most people think that if you want to eat healthy, you’ve got to spend a lot of money. This idea is so common that you hear it repeated in different ways. For example, people sometimes refer to the health food retailer, Whole Foods, as “Whole Paycheck.”

The reason this idea has traction is simple. Compared to your supermarket, prices at Whole Foods are higher.

But even if you compare the price of apples at both, you are not comparing “apples to apples.” The reason goes deeper than price. It goes to value.

Apples are a great example. They took the top spot on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list for 2011. This is a list that shows the amount of toxic chemicals present in conventionally grown foods.

The USDA did the testing. They tested 700 samples of apples. These apples had pesticide residue in 98 percent of samples. And there were two or more pesticides in 79 percent of them.

So much for an apple a day!

And the same is true of most other fruits and vegetables. Almost all conventional produce has some pesticide content. This is a problem because pesticides are poison. They stress the body and reduce health.

And it is not always easy to wash off toxins. Some of them get into the peel. So you would think you could peel them and be okay. You will lower toxins that way, but you will also lose nutrients. And there may still be toxins inside.

That means the best source of healthy produce is certified organic. These are raised with no poisons or artificial fertilizers.

What about meats? Naturally raised meat is not exposed to the pesticides in what they eat. Conventionally raised meat is fed conventionally raised feed. So not only are the animals exposed to toxins, they also concentrate the toxic stuff in their fat and muscle.

One reason given by those who defend conventionally grown food is that the amount of poison people are exposed to is small. But there is a flaw in that argument. I call it the “piece of paper fallacy.”

What this means is that a small influence (a piece of paper in the analogy) doesn’t add up to much by itself. But if you keep adding pieces to a pile, over time it weighs a lot.

If you only ate once in a while, your body would eliminate toxins with no trouble. But you don’t eat once in a while. You eat many times a day. So you can compare each meal with pesticide in it to adding a piece of paper to a pile. One weighs nothing. But over time it adds up. A ream of paper weighs a lot. And a case of paper is hefty. Five years of eating 3 meals a day is about this much exposure. It impacts health.

The problem is that your body has to process and release the chemicals. Year after year this puts a strain on it. This strain is energy that could go towards building health. Instead it goes to detoxifying.

So why is eating healthy cheap? It is because it reduces the health damage from eating lower grade foods. On top of that, it has more nutrients. That means in the long run you will have fewer illnesses. You will also have less doctor bills. That spells quality of life.

All the best to you for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

Dr. Bruce

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