Many folks feel that they can't afford healthy, local, organic, whole foods. True, it is often more expensive than its conventional counterparts. But there are two things to keep in mind when making this choice: What are you paying for, and what are you getting?
When you buy local whole foods, you're paying more because you are paying for labor. It takes more knowledge and skill to figure out farming systems that are safer for the environment and, in the case of meat, the animals involved. It takes more labor to take care of bug infestations by hand than it would to simply spray the plants with toxic chemicals. And most small local farmers do a better job of paying their help a livable wage. How much do you think the farm workers get for cheap food?
Perhaps a more convincing argument for buying local, organic foods is that whole foods generally contain more nutrients than processed foods. You get fiber, protein, vitamins and often times antioxidants. Much more filling than processed foods. You'll find over time that you actually need to purchase less food, and you'll get more out of it. Of course, that means that you'll need to cut back or eliminate potato chips, soda, candy, and other unhealthy snacks. But if you do that you'll have more room in your budget for delicious and healthy whole foods, and that's an investment in your long-term health.
And don't forget to shop at your local food co-op instead of a chain store!