Debbie Rudolph finds it hard to choose between costly food that’s good for her and cheap food that may be bad for her.
But volunteering to price out grocery store products for a study called Cost and Affordability of a Nutritious Diet in Nova Scotia, a report released yesterday in Halifax, has helped the 58-year-old make choices that better impact her body and her wallet.
“I soon realized that the food choices I had made were not always the best ones,” she said inside Mount Saint Vincent University, which led the project with help from the Nova Scotia Food Security Network and the Department of Health Promotion and Protection.
“When you shop for the month, you have to be very careful what you put in the cart – planning is necessary,” said the Port Hawkesbury woman, who has special dietary requirements since she's diabetic.
The study shows that a family of four living on minimum wage will be $134.52 in debt at the end of each month if they want to eat well, said investigator Patty Williams. The report assumes a basic nutritious diet for that family costs $673.62 per month.
Debbie Poirier of the Cape Breton’s Family Place Resource Centre said she “saw Debbie struggle buying food to provide for her family,” and asked her to assist with the research.
The overall goal of the project is to gather current and relevant data on the cost of a basic nutritious diet in the province.
“We’ve been able to better understand the issue of food insecurity, its impact and the steps we can take together to influence change.”