Problem

Prohibitive cost of nutritious food

Other Names:
Prohibitive cost of healthy foods
Prohibitive cost of organically grown foodstuffs
Nature:
In general, the poorer the country, the greater the impact of rising domestic food prices; this is reflected in the heavy burden of food purchases on the budgets of low-income families. Political violence, natural disasters and curfews can all exacerbate this problem with little or no notice at all.
Incidence:
In many developing countries, food accounts for 50 to 70% of consumer spending.
Claim:
In UK between 1982 and 1986 the price of healthy food rose faster than unhealthy food. For the 4 million British adults and children who depended on income support, and others on low incomes, a healthy diet was beyond their reach.
Counter Claim:
In the case of vegetables, the very high premiums charged for organically grown foods are as much to do with the shortage of production and with undeveloped distribution systems, and the fact that the market is controlled by supermarket chains. The economics of organic farming are a victim of the way in which non-organic agriculture is supported. Nevertheless, vegetables in season from local outlets compare favourably with foods from supermarkets.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
12.02.2000 – 00:00 CET