• Anita Vandyke

Pay now or Pay later

Do you have no qualms about spending big on a designer handbag but won't spend money on quality food? That was me a few years ago, nowadays I buy the best quality produce I can afford because I've learnt that in terms of health, if you don't pay now, you will pay later...

If you want to know what your values are, look at your bank account. Look at how you've spent your money over the past week, month or even a year. I remember a time where I would lust after the latest Givenchy shoes and would spend my monthly salary on a pair, thinking I could compensate by eating instant noodles for the rest of the month. I was not alone.


When I was nineteen, I went on a bus-tour around Europe. The tour was aimed at the early-twenties crowd, and the latest 'It' girl was Paris Hilton with her Louis Vuitton Marakami handbags. A girl on the tour hopped off the bus on our first day in Paris and went straight to the Louis Vuitton store and spent all her savings on one of those bags. She ate canned vegetables for the rest of the trip.


At the time, I just laughed and tried to help her, offering to buy her a beer in Germany or a gelato in Italy, but now, looking back, I see it as a reflection of our society's relationship with food. When did buying a designer handbag become more important than eating good quality food? When did instant gratification become more important than long term health?


I am a full-time student and I know the realities of budgeting, but nowadays, instead of buying more 'stuff' I choose to buy the best quality food that I can afford. I buy organic where possible. I keep my costs kept low by choosing imperfect produce and getting a delivery box. I have limited choice in what fruits and vegetables are delivered to me every week, but I relish every bite and embrace trying new fruits and vegetables that are in-season and selected by the farmers.


It's so important to me to eat quality food, because the long term consequences such as obesity, heart disease, Type II diabetes are diseases which can cost me my life.

It's time to change our values, we need to eat better and buy less stuff. None of the status symbols of wealth will be of any use if we don't have our health. The latest Louis Vuitton handbag will not matter if you have a chronic condition that destroys your quality of life. Nothing else matters if you're not healthy.


It's time to vote with your dollar and vote with your food. Let go of short term material gains, and instead, strive for long term health.

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