author: taylor balfour | news writer
Healthy options out of reach for some
If you eat, you’re sure to be affected. Food prices continue to rise in Saskatchewan, which is leading to financial struggles for all. According to Dietitians of Canada, their stats show that families living in rural communities in Saskatchewan paid, on average, $246.65 per week on food in 2015. That’s $40 more than in 2009. They also report that in the past three years, since 2012, costs have risen 11.5 per cent. In Canada, “prices for fresh vegetables were up 18.2 per cent in 12 months” according to the CBC.
Jennifer Wojcik, who is Dietitians of Canada’s regional executive director, told Producer.com that “the cost of healthy food can make eating healthy really difficult for some people, particularly those residents in Saskatchewan who are receiving no social assistance, low-income earners, single-parent households, recent immigrants, and those living in remote and northern areas.”
This problem, however, has been persistent for a while. In Nov. 2015, the CBC released an article speaking about the health gap between the rich and poor in the province. They reported that a study revealed that “obesity rates among low-income women in Saskatchewan have increased by over 55 per cent since 2003, while the obesity rates for the top wealthiest women have declined slightly.”
Prices for gaining healthy food are a factor in the issue. According to Statistics Canada, this is the first “year-over-year food decline since March 2008.”
Probably the most alarming fact of all is the CBC’s report that the “average cost of food in northern Saskatchewan was $90 higher per week than the provincial average,” whereas in the North, “costs were 80 per cent higher than the provincial average.”
The largest inflation in the province was in Newfoundland and Labrador, to which the Leader-Post reports there was “a 3.8-per-cent rise over the last year.”
So, why are food prices rising and what does this mean? There are a few major reasons as to why and how food prices rise.
The first is that high gas prices lead to an increase in cost, as food needs to be transported from one location to another. The larger the population grows, the more expensive food becomes as more people need to have it.
If there is a shortage of a certain type of food, the price goes up as per supply and demand. The less of something there is but the more people want it, the higher the price is.
While these stats are alarming, Dietitians of Canada are asking for policies and organizations to be put in place so those without a lot of income are still able to get the healthy food they need.
Jennifer Wojcik told the CBC, “The bottom line is that Saskatchewan residents need to have enough money to afford basic living costs, including the cost of healthy eating.”
Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, eating can be a luxury everyone can afford, especially healthy foods.