Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
With the continuing economic squeeze, many Americans are concerned that the cost of a healthy diet is out of reach. However, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study, the cost of eating healthy hasn't changed as much as less-healthy alternatives. Eating healthy food within a budget does require smart shopping.
Farm Bureau's Food Check-Out Week, Feb. 15-21, is devoted to helping teach Americans how to stretch their grocery dollars with healthy, nutritious food. America's farmers and ranchers are committed to producing safe, healthy and abundant food. And they share a common concern with consumers when it comes to putting nutritious meals on the table while sticking to a tight budget.
To mark the occasion, MFBF will donate $500 to be used for food to the Ronald McDonald Houses of Rochester and the Twin Cities. The Ronald McDonald House provides a "home-away-from-home" for the families of seriously ill children receiving medical treatment in these areas. The food will be used to help feed visiting families staying at the houses.
In addition, the MFBF Promotion & Education (P&E) Committee will hold two state events: one at a grocery store in Rochester and the other at The Ronald McDonald House of the Twin Cities. The Rochester event will take place Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hy-Vee South grocery store in Rochester with a donation presentation to the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester occurring that day. A donation presentation to the Ronald McDonald House of the Twin Cities will also be made during that event. Several county and regional Farm Bureaus across the state of Minnesota are holding special events at local grocery stores.
The good news: a March 2008 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 pop. Therefore, as defined by foods in the study, the price of a "healthier" diet has not changed compared to an "unhealthy" diet.
"Farm Bureau's Food Check-Out Week is aimed at helping American consumers learn how to shop effectively to put nutritious meals on the table with fewer dollars," said Cynthie Wasburn Christensen, MFBF P&E Committee Chair. "Learning to use your grocery dollars wisely ensures that nutrition isn't neglected."
Now in its eleventh 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 (2007) 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.
For more information on Food Check-Out Week, contact your county Farm Bureau office or log onto www.fb.org.
Minnesota Farm Bureau is comprised of 78 local Farm Bureaus across Minnesota. Members make their views known to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public. Programs for young farmers and ranchers develop leadership skills and improve farm management. Promotion and Education Committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom and safety education for children. Join Farm Bureau today and support our efforts to serve as an advocate for rural Minnesota, www.fbmn.org.