Canada's Heart and Stroke Foundation just released its annual Report Card on Canadians' Health, where they did a study over several months having people investigating the cost of healthy food in 66 communities across Canada. They were shocked to discover that there was a much higher price discrepancy than they expected, a price spread that went beyond transportation costs and location. (It was most striking to see how much more expensive healthy food is in inner-city Toronto than it is in its suburbs, and how much of a price spread you can get shopping in different areas and suburbs of Vancouver.)
And it's not even a matter of fresh ingredients: dry whole wheat pasta can vary in cost between 99 cents and $7 (not counting sales) in non-remote communities across Canada, while pop, chips and cookies stay roughly the same in cost.
Here's CBC's report on it. I particularly like the interactive map that the Heart and Stroke Foundation has provided, and also their "Apples to Apples" chart, where they compare the price of six apples across the country, (Warning: pdf file).
So: am I being too much of a big old socialist that this sort of disparity makes me angry? Is this just a reality of the marketplace, that people in Calgary should pay so much more for healthy food than Edmonton? What do you think of the H&S Foundation's recommendation that the government should start implementing regulations, to make sure that everyone across Canada can afford to eat healthy food? Should we all just stick to the big boxes like Superstore, which seems to have nation-wide pricing, or can people in the inner cities even access these places?
(And now I'm going to bed.)