Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union.
The recent health and wellness revolution combined with the rise of social media and online communication has led to an increased awareness of healthy dieting, exercise and self-care. People everywhere are making strides toward healthy dining and nutritious meals. However, one of the main obstacles to healthy eating is the cost. For many, the higher price of healthy food alone is the reason they choose to stay away from the organic veggie aisle or local roadside fruit stand and instead opt for the $1 cheeseburger at the drive-through.
So, the question remains — how can someone on a budget manage to eat healthily? Thankfully, the recent technological revolution has led to a variety of innovative solutions for affordable, healthy food, and more are developed by creative engineers and entrepreneurs every day. Let’s take a look at a few of the best ways technology is helping to make healthy food options more accessible and less wallet-draining.
1. Meal Kit Delivery Services
Convenience is one of the most significant factors in determining what people consume on an everyday basis, and subscription meal companies have capitalized on this demand. An industry that has blown up in popularity over the past few years, meal kit delivery services remove the most stressful aspects of meal preparation. They eliminate the need to do any grocery shopping and answer the ever-present question, “What’s for dinner?” — without all the guilt that comes with unhealthy fast food options.
These services offer regularly delivered, restaurant-quality, healthy meals at a relatively affordable price given the quality of the meals. Bottom line: Meal subscriptions can save you time and stress, and while they’re not the cheapest dining option, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value when it comes to quality, convenience, and healthy recipes.
2. Hydroponic Farms
Hydroponics is one of the most exciting revelations in the agriculture industry, not only for companies but also for consumers. Hydroponic farms can produce a higher concentration of crops faster, with a 90% more efficient use of water, all without the need to use any potentially harmful chemicals or pesticides. All this is made possible by keeping operations fully indoors in a climate-controlled environment, allowing growth year-round despite the changing seasons and outdoor weather conditions — which is especially beneficial in environments where the soil, geography, or weather patterns are unfavorable for plant growth any time of the year.
As the consumer, what’s all this mean for you? Along with future reduced produce costs as hydroponics becomes more normalized and cost-efficient, many of your favorite seasonal fruits and veggies can now be locally grown year-round, reducing increased prices due to import costs.
3. Food Waste Reduction
Reports show that Americans throw away over 40% of the food they purchase, much of which is likely from unused, spoiled produce. For companies, restaurants, and consumers alike, wasted food equals wasted money. By developing innovative ways to reduce the amount of food that goes to waste, companies can provide the same quantity and quality of food at a reduced financial overhead — leaving room for better deals and cost savings.
For example, companies like Froozer help reduce food waste by using the rejected produce that wouldn’t be suitable for display on shelves. By blending, flash-freezing and selling this supposedly unusable produce, they’re able to effectively reduce the overall amount of wasted food while reducing wasteful overhead costs for themselves — keeping the costs of available produce low for the consumer.
Foods classified as a genetically modified organism (GMO) are often burdened with a bad reputation, though many benefits can be derived from the biotechnology used to produce these products on our shelves.
From the research and genetic engineering involved in producing GMO produce and food products, we’ve been able to increase herbicide resistance, pest resistance and nutritional value. All this leads to increased production rates, larger yields and the ability to feed more people at a cheaper cost. While it’s important to keep an eye on your food labels, we’d likely be paying much more for groceries without GMO technology and years of genetic engineering research.
Healthy Food Available to All
We’ve been waiting for the day healthy food becomes more cost-effective for a long while, and that day seems to have come thanks to current tech trends. Keep an eye out for future trends too — you never know what might make the price of lettuce or berries more accessible.