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Many are forced to make choices there. grocery store, but at what cost to their health?

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Many are forced to choose junk food for economic reasons.

  • Frédéric Cammarano (View profile)Frédéric Cammarano

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Apples or chips? Carrots or soft drink? For many, including many middle-class people, the issue has become increasingly complicated. On the one hand, there is the healthy choice, but on the other, there is the economic choice.

In recent years, the price of a grocery basket, particularly healthy foods, has skyrocketed. In 2022, it increased by 10% and by 6% in 2023, according to the last two releases of the Annual Report on Food Prices.

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According to a Dalhousie University study, 63% of Canadians fear long-term health effects from the foods they can afford. forced to choose.

When leaving the Dieppe IGA Consumer Cooperative, everyone noticed this increase.

When I go to the grocery store, everything is expensive. Everything went up. You need to make selections of what you want, explains Patrice Mallet.

Meat, I can change it sometimes, but I’m not going to deprive myself of vegetables,” says Glenda Boudreau. She explains that, to still be able to buy them, she has to cut other items on her list.

I have nothing in my bags, and I have almost 60 dollars. That's it. Then I bought on sale, said Marjolaine Allard, pointing to the bags in her basket. Dalhousie University report released in October states that more than 45% of Canadians favor inexpensive foods over their nutritional value. 63% fear that this choice will have effects on their long-term health.

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ELSE ON NEWS: The Tren de Aragua, a growing criminal gang< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">For dietitian Véronique Guitard, these figures are worrying. She fears that many people will develop chronic illnesses in the long term.

Many of its customers are also worried about their food and what they can afford.

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Véronique Guitard presents some alternatives to meat that has become very expensive, such as lentils or tofu.

The conversation about how I can eat healthily without going to the above my budget, it comes up all the time, even if that's not the subject of our conversation initially, explains the one who is self-employed and who has a rather wealthy clientele.

This dietitian from Dieppe nevertheless believes that a few adjustments in the daily lives of many people could greatly improve the situation. She advises making a list of meals for the week and cooking rather than buying ready-made meals.

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The price of the grocery cart has increased significantly in recent years.

But, Véronique Guitard also believes that we must also change the perspective of consumers. Junk food, for example, does not fill you up as well as a balanced meal.

So, in the longer term, maybe less healthy foods will cost me more in terms of my grocery bill, compared to foods that are a little more expensive at the time, she says.< /p>

Liette Paulin, dietitian and lecturer in nutrition at the University of Moncton, is also concerned about the long-term risks, particularly that of developing a chronic illness, which can be costly.

When you get sick, you end up with medication bills, you have to take time off from work, she explains.

Her tips for saving are similar to those of Véronique Guitard, such as planning and preparing meals.

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Liette Paulin is a dietitian and lecturer in nutrition at the University of Moncton.

But, she believes that above all else, we must avoid wasting.

If you throw away food at home, we're throwing away money, she says. If you don't use your bananas, you can freeze them for use in making banana bread.

This advice, many consumers may have to take serious interest since, according to the Annual Report on Food Prices 2024, prices are expected to continue to rise over the next year, but less quickly.

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