Who Can Afford Strawberries?
Yesterday I saw organic strawberries in the store. The strawberries looked red and juicy, $8.95 for a one-pound box. I took two boxes. Suddenly, I heard a lady’s voice behind my back. She and I had the following conversation:
— I was curious who buys this kind of stuff. You must be a millionaire.
— Actually, I’m not. Why did you decide so?
— Because you are wasting your money.
— Do you mean buying strawberries is a waste of money?
— Isn’t it?
— I think it is the best buy. And tomorrow my grandchildren come to visit me; they love strawberries.
— You spoiling your grandchildren, what do their parents think about this?
— They are grateful.
— My children always beg me to buy them expensive fruit, but I don’t allow them such things.
— Do you mean that your children are begging you for fruit and you won’t buy them because you think it is too pricey?
— Yep, I don’t want to spoil my children.
— What do you buy for your children?
— The most important for me is to feed them well so they don’t go around hungry. As you may see in my cart, I bought some milk, chicken, bread, rice, pasta, a little desert, crackers, and maybe I will get some apples or bananas. I would like to buy organic food but it is too expensive. I cannot afford luxuries. I have to watch my budget.
— Do you know how nutritious these berries are?
— They are an excellent source of Vitamins C and flavonoids. Strawberries have vitamins B1 and B6. Hmm, what else, strawberries contain iodine, which is important for your thyroid gland, as well as multiple other vital nutrients.
— I understand that, and that is why I eat them in the summer. I go with my children to the market and we buy strawberries then.
— It is winter now and we all experience a lack of nutrients. Strawberries, and many other berries belong to the most nutritious products available to us. Every time I come to the store I purchase organic strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or cranberries. I love when they are on sale but I always give my preference to the foods with high nutrient density.
— What do you mean by that?
— Nutrient density refers to the amount of nutrients per the given amount of food. Nutrient-dense foods have lots of nutrients, generally with fewer calories. What you showed me in your cart is mostly Energy-dense foods, which have more calories per the volume of food and generally fewer nutrients.
— What’s wrong with eating Energy-dense foods?
— Energy-dense foods can satisfy you faster, but they don’t nourish you. You will fill full but won’t receive an adequate amount of nutrients. This could result in a lower immunity and you can get ill easier. That is why so many people get the flu during winter.
— Both my children are at home with the flu right now but I never connected it to the diet. Do you think that if I will buy them these strawberries they will get well faster?
— The foods you eat can affect your health in a big way. To be healthy or unhealthy? The choice is really yours. And you make that choice every time you shop. Any brightly colored fruits and vegetables are big winners in nutrient density. I consider them to be super-foods.
— But even if I will take out most of my food I still won’t be able to buy enough of these strawberries to feed my children.
— If you don’t have enough money, you may purchase other Nutrient-dense foods, such as carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, apples, cherries, pomegranates, or oranges. And I think you might be surprised that your bill will not be so much bigger. I believe that health is priceless and that is why I chose to wear simple shoes and save on furniture but not on nutritious foods.
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