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High price of a healthful diet

By Catherine Burgess

This year is shaping up to be particularly brutal on students’ bank accounts.

Every season we dole out the usual money for tuition, textbooks and rent, among other things. Being a university student is expensive enough without added financial pressures.

Recall that earlier this year, students forked out quite a few dollars on taxis during the Metrobus strike.

Now, we can add into this mix of expenses the increased price on food that is threatening to bombard grocery store shelves.

Anyone who has been following the headlines for the past few months is well aware of what is contributing to these skyrocketing costs.

For one, economists are reporting that poor crops have caused the price of food ingredients to jump, and an economic recovery is also playing a role in the price surge.

Sugar in particular has increased in cost, and wheat has doubled in price within the past year.

In Canada, the price of food could climb by seven per cent.

Then there’s the turmoil in Middle Eastern countries. Libya’s conflicts have led to a jump in the price of oil, which translates into higher costs for the transportation of goods.

Drivers filling up at the gas pumps aren’t the only ones feeling the oil pinch. How is this going to affect us studious folk here in Newfoundland and Labrador?
Some reports say that the price peak won’t hit stores until nearer to the end of the year, meaning that although we are currently beginning to feel the pressure with fuel prices, we will have a little more time to prepare for the potentially pricey ingredients required for a decent meal.

As students we know that with regard to grocery store options, a full-time university student living on their own may not have all of the same luxuries that were bestowed upon them when living under mom and dad’s roof and eating out of the family fridge Students frequently make Kraft Dinner and the like the go-to grocery selections.

Food prices — especially those of the healthier options found in the perimeter shelves of a grocery store — are already relatively expensive. These healthful foods are likely what will be most affected by price increases, so does this mean that a higher price will be put on a healthful diet?

Whether someone is an omnivore, vegetarian or vegan,whether they adhere to a diet due to ethical reasons, health purposes or otherwise, how could this translate for people who have become accustomed to a specific nutritional regimen?

With this in mind, and if the prices do raise as significantly as is predicted, then we students may be faced with needing to make some adjustments in how we purchase our food.

Better start saving those coupons, folks.