What Would Happen To The Economy If Everyone Ate Healthy?

By James Wallace Harris, Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I’ve been eating healthy for my heart, and hopefully unclog my arteries that have been giving me trouble after a lifetime of bad food choices. Eating healthy is a vast readjustment. When I shop for food, 80% of what I buy comes from the produce section. And if I followed the recommendations exactly, it would be 95%. If everyone ate like this, most of what’s sold in grocery stores would stay on the shelves, and all the processed food corporations would go bust.


Eating out while following these healthy diets is extra hard. Most restaurants would go out of business unless they drastically changed their menus. All fast-food and convenience stores would go belly up too. So too, for vending machine owners. Any beverage company selling liquids other than water and wine would be filing for bankruptcy. And very few people in the meat, poultry and fish business would have any business.

Then, there’s the medical establishment. What if it’s true that healthy eating greatly reduces heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and a host of other chronic ailments our society spends billions to heal? Won’t a lot of doctors and hospitals lose all their trade? And all those people who process insurance claims will be out of work too! And what about all the quack doctors, miracle cure salesmen, and vitamin peddlers?

If everyone ate healthy and actually got healthy, tens of millions, maybe even hundreds of millions, would be out of work. Just think of how many people have jobs because we have long lingering deaths from chronic illnesses. What would happen to all the long-term care facilities and their workers?

I’m not sure we’ve thought this healthy eating thing through. Now I understand why so many conservatives don’t want to fix global warming.


7 thoughts on “What Would Happen To The Economy If Everyone Ate Healthy?”

  1. Conservatives in general do not want change as a matters of both principle and their own economics. They like things the way they are – or the way they were if they are reactionaries. lol

    If global warming is shown to be due, even in part, to human activity then that would mean we might ought to change our ways. Yeah? That might cost the “business-as-usual” folks a lot of money.

    So their view has to be that there is no global warming at all – what we are experiencing is “normal cycles” – that way nobody has to change their ways – no money down the tubes of change. The climate-change-deniers are as bad or worse than the old “tobacco can be hazardous” deniers. They don’t need any kind of conspiracy – they simply all have the same attitudes based on the same color of their money.

    I’d never actually thought about the food industry because they might get hit hard if the rains come (or don’t come depending on where you live). There will be very few almonds in the world if California doesn’t get some rain. (So let them eat macadamia nuts or cashews – heh)

    But packaged foods? – Probably – transportation is a biggie, and the packaging and ingredients whose names you can’t pronounce are probably another. They’ll have to do some adjustments if we crack down on energy use.

    Now I’m wondering if I got your point.

    1. My point was essentially everything has economic consequences, but isn’t it funny if we did everything right, save our money, never bought on credit, eat right, not pollute, bought only quality products, etc., the economy would be in shambles.

      1. Oh we would be hard hit if that happened.

        Just finished The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood. The beginning is that Wall Street collapses and there went the whole economy – folks living on the streets and crime skyrocketing – only the first part of the story is about that – the rest is about a for-profit prison (system?) which gets set up.

  2. So, it’s all a big conspiracy to make more money? That is an insightful way of looking at our bad health habits.

    Because I do those things that you write about–healthy eating, not polluting, buying quality products and keeping them for a very long time–I have money to do the things I really enjoy. Our economy would shift its resources if we all did likewise.

  3. James,

    Great question my friend and thanks for eating healthy. As a physician who still genunely cares for the health of all I get the privilge of helping, I just asked myself the same question– What IF everyone ate like you for one year?
    I was looking for that and came across your post.
    Have to look into it but I would hope that the younger generation is aggssive enough to force all the shit food makers to serve up good plain nutrient dense food. I would love to be out of work and spend the rest of my life on the beach eating asparagus instead of giving sick people more pills and more pills and more co-pays.
    Stay healthy my friend. Your friend in good health,

    Dr. Mike

    1. Well Dr. Mike, I wouldn’t want you to loose your livelihood either, but I suppose people will always have some things go wrong with them that aren’t self-induced.

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