By Vasisht Balaji, India

Salads are one of the healthiest foods in the whole world. They are also very easy to make

and ingredients of salads are easily available as well. However, most people do not eat

salads as they think that salads aren't tasty at all. However, salads are ignored. There are

many facts on the rising prices of salads and the decreasing prices of junk food all around

the world. In the USA, the price of a salad is a lot more than that of a hamburger. An article

published in the New York Times stated a few reasons as to why the prices are what they

are. The production of salad vegetables is a seasonal process as opposed to the

slaughtering of cows, which can be done all-year round due to a high number of cows

available. Also, transportation and storage costs play a big role as well, since food like

ground beef can be stored or frozen a lot easier than salads can be stored. The article also

states that the government, whether directly or indirectly, supports the mass production of

foods such as meat and peanuts, which are the very same foods that cause large-scale

obesity and chronic diseases. Frankly speaking, red meat is rich in protein and can be

hugely beneficial if consumed in the right quantities. Peanuts, as well, are rich in protein

and carbohydrate and are very healthy when consumed in the right quantities. However,

as stated earlier, consuming healthy food in high quantities makes them unhealthy.

Americans consume humongous amounts of both red meat and peanuts, and most of that

is consumed with oil, which leads to higher average cholesterol levels, obesity and various

chronic diseases.

Filmmakers, too, have tried to spread light on this topic. An Oscar-nominated film, Food

Inc., shows the story of a poor family, who spend what little money they have for food on

fast-food burgers as they are cheaper and a lot more filling, then on vegetables. This

serves as a stop-gap measure, but in the long term, they will face health repercussions

that are a lot more severe. In 1978, a bag of oranges cost the same as a big bottle of

soda, whereas in 2016, the same bag of oranges costs three times the cost of a big bottle

of soda. This is a key factor influencing the decisions of many lower-middle class families,

who make up most of the world’s population. “the average 18-year- old today is 15 pounds

heavier than the average 18 year-old in the late 1970s. Adults have put on even more

weight during that period. The average woman in her 60s is 20 pounds heavier than the

average 60-something woman in the late 1970s. The average man in his 60s is 25 pounds

heavier.” From this, we can say that both adults and children are a lot more obese and

prone to chronic diseases. School lunches too, are filled with food that has a high fat

content, as quoted here. “Whereas the food pyramid recommends a diet rich in whole

grains, fruits and vegetables, the USDA usually provides schools with meat and dairy

products often high in saturated fat. Only 13 percent of commodities provided are fruits

and vegetables. Salads do not even figure on most school lunch menus.” In France, the

cost of buying fruits and vegetables for a month is 30 Euros whereas a bottle of Coca-Cola

or any other soft drink isn't even 2 Euros. This shows that most economies place higher

emphasis on products that are popular and sell well in the short-term rather than keeping

their countries healthy and prosperous in the future. Buying a burger with Coca-Cola is

only around half the cost of an equally filling amount of fruits and vegetables. Most people

prefer not to buy food that isn't tasty, and that kind of food also happens to be cheap.