How to eat well and under budget—and also why it matters

It’s surprisingly inexpensive to eat good, healthy foods—as little as $4.50 per person per day—according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a Nov. 1 CFAES “Chow Line” column.

Costs and benefits of eating sustainably

“It is possible to eat a diet that meets the USDA dietary guidelines at an average cost of $1.50 per meal in central Ohio,” says Carol Smathers, youth nutrition and wellness specialist for CFAES’ OSU Extension outreach arm, who is quoted in the column. “And there are cost savings and health benefits associated with consuming fewer unhealthy items and eating in smaller portions.”

How is this connected to sustainability? Eating more affordable, good-for-you foods and fewer expensive and health-hurting ones can help sustain your life and your bank account.

But doing that is also good for the Earth and the other forms of life you share it with.

Food security, healthy life

Sustainable diets “are those diets with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations,” says a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

“Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable; nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy; while optimizing natural and human resources.”

Check out lots of food-related tips on CFAES’ Ohioline website. Here’s just one example.

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