That is a question that Dr. Jennifer Russomanno addressed in a recent article for Salon magazine.
The article, written by Michael La Corte, is titled “Ultra-processed foods contribute to disease and early death. Why do we keep eating them?” In the article, La Corte shares some of the negative health impacts that research has linked to the consumption of ultra-processed food, which even includes cancer, diabetes, and cognitive decline. However, these foods are still very popular.
According to Dr. Russomanno, a major reason behind this is price.
“When people are trying to feed their families, cost is of the utmost importance. We are able to provide Ramen noodles (highly-processed) for $0.50/container and make a meal of it. Meanwhile, a pack of blueberries is $2 and is considered a snack.”
She also explores some of the reasons why unhealthy food is so much cheaper than healthy and offers simple advice on identifying healthier options at the grocery store.
The article is free to read on the Salon website.