The following is a press release from the Montana Farm Bureau:
Concern about the cost of a healthy diet being out of reach remains on the minds of many Americans as the nation continues to work through serious economic woes. However, according to an Agriculture Department study, the cost of eating healthy hasn’t changed as much as some less-healthy alternatives. Eating healthy food while on a budget does require strategic shopping.
Farm Bureau’s Food Check-Out Week, Feb. 20-26, 2011, is aimed at helping American consumers learn how to shop strategically to put nutritious meals on the table with fewer dollars.
“Learning to use your grocery dollars wisely helps ensure that nutrition isn’t neglected,” according to Lillian Ostendorf, Montana Farm Bureau (MFB) Women’s Leadership Committee chair. “Fruits and vegetables – along with whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats—like beef—fish, beans, eggs and nuts are an important part of a healthy diet. Buying fresh produce when it’s in season and costs less, while buying frozen fruits and vegetables when they’re not in season, is a smart way to stretch that dollar.”
The good news is that a recent USDA report favorably supports the economics of healthier eating. Recent food price data show that prices for unprepared, readily available fresh fruits and vegetables have remained stable relative to dessert and snack foods, such as chips, ice cream and cola. Therefore, as defined by foods in the study, the price of a “healthier” diet has not changed compared to an “unhealthy” diet.
To celebrate Food Check-Out Week and promote the positive role of agriculture, the MFB Women’s Leadership Committee will be hosting an event Feb. 24 at the Capitol in Helena to promote agriculture to Montana legislators. They will provide warm cinnamon rolls and coffee to legislators and agency personnel while educating them about agriculture.
In addition, many county Farm Bureaus will be collecting food and monetary donations for the Ronald McDonald House in Billings or Missoula; or donating money to their local food banks, recognizing the need everyone has to find solutions to feeding families healthful foods on a tight budget. The Ronald McDonald House provides a “home-away-from-home” for families of seriously ill children receiving medical treatment. The food will be used to help feed families staying at the house.
Now in its 13th year, Food Check-Out Week also highlights America’s safe, abundant and affordable food supply, made possible largely by America’s productive farmers and ranchers. According to the most recent (2009) information from the USDA’s Economic Research Service, American families and individuals spend, on average, less than 10 percent of their disposable personal income for food.
Source: Montana Farm Bureau
Posted by Haylie Shipp