When it comes to health, there are many factors that can attribute to the state of our well-being. However, based on our expenditures alone, food plays a significant role on our overall health. While we spend $2.9 trillion annually on health care, we are spending $1.4 trillion on food. By consuming better foods and paying attention to how we feed and fuel our bodies, we can decrease our health care spending while improving our health.
Thanks to new technologies, techniques like hydroponics and aquaponics are enabling new food production frontiers. Crops are requiring less water and can be harvested in unlikely places, such as rooftop gardens. By enabling this, cities are able to produce fresh foods, reducing transportation costs and making produce more accessible.
Farm To Table
The Farm to Table movement encourages the community to help support local farmers, thus decreasing the demand for large food distributors. From this movement, fresh food delivery companies were born. Weekly home delivery boxes include only the freshest produce, breads, cheeses, and other popular local food items.
Cooking At Home
The act of cooking at home has gotten easier. There are companies who deliver pre-portioned and pre-packaged meals that are ready to cook. No need to prep, simply cook and eat. And because the internet is a glorious thing, recipes for nearly anything and everything under the sun is simply an internet search away. Not only are recipes available, but there are a growing number of cooking videos online that may be easier to follow than reading instructions. Since these resources are readily available, more people are testing their skills and building confidence in the kitchen.
Even more impressive is the way tech is entering the cooking field. The June Intelligent Oven uses advanced technologies to determine if your food is done cooking.
Thanks the internet and a variety of apps, consumers have cuisine and nutritional information at their fingertips. They can utilize apps to find out more about the food they are consuming. And they can use platforms like Yelp to see what’s good around their area, and find diet specific menus and restaurants. While this allows consumers to be more conscious about what they put in their bodies, it does not necessarily mean that people will stop their bad habits for a healthier lifestyle.
In most cases, prescribing a diet and exercise regimen change can prove more beneficial than prescribing meds alone. For example, with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, medications can help to control it, but a change in dietary habits may eventually eliminate the need for the medication all together. While doctors may suggest changing eating and exercise habits, prescribing a diet and exercise plan could fare better.
Ideally, this proposal for prescribed foods would be covered by health insurance. The growing number of meal kit delivery programs could work with doctors and insurance companies to develop and implement prescribed diet plans.
Reward Good Food Behavior
Who doesn’t like being rewarded? Along with this prescribed food idea, adding incentives to a health care plan could help aid in the success of this proposed program. For example, much like a safe driver discount with car insurance, by reaching a specific health care goal, insurance deductibles would decrease. If we can offer incentives in other realms, why not apply the principle to our health and health care?
Do you think encouraging better eating and exercise habits should be incorporated into our healthcare in a more serious way? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
For sandwiches and salads made with the finest and freshest ingredients available, visit the Brick Market & Deli in Pomona, open weekdays 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm.