In the U.S., Our Economic Status Determines the Quality of Food We Eat

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By Rebecca Palermo, Writer/Editor

In recent years, education about healthy eating has risen dramatically in the U.S. We know about the risks of refined sugars and chemical additives. We’ve embraced the term “superfood”, learning about the benefits of kale and quinoa. We’ve watched, in horror, documentaries on how some of our favorite fast foods are produced. And yet, with all of this education, America’s poor are still eating a largely unhealthy diet filled with processed foods and lacking in fruits and vegetables.

National Geographic has run a disheartening story on the state of the American diet, highlighting the drastic disparity between the way middle class and wealthy Americans have improved their diets, while lower middle class Americans are trapped in the same unhealthy eating patterns that have persisted for decades.

The takeaway here seems to be that education is not enough. When the U.S. placed restrictions on the sale of trans-fats in recent years, all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic position, benefitted. But the same type of systemic overhaul may be needed in order to provide fresh produce and sustainably raised meat and poultry to supermarkets in low-income areas, at affordable prices. PSA’s and healthy eating rhetoric may not be enough, when the healthy superfoods available at Whole Foods are not available at reasonable prices for economically challenged families to enjoy.

Source: National Geographic


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