High-calorie, low-cost processed foods, like those Ben Affleck may be eating this week as part of the "Live Below the Line" campaign, cost less at the check-out counter because they are cheaper to produce, transport and store than fruits and veggies.
Plus, Uncle Sam gives that grub a dose of financial fertilizer.
Affleck, along with other celebrities, including Hugh Jackman and Tom Hiddleston, have pledged to eat on just $1.50 per day for one week - to draw attention to poverty. Here's why living on so little often leads to a poor diet in the United States.
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Even if an American only buys produce at the farmers market, they still pay for processed foods with their taxes. The United States government pays farmers for growing some crops like corn and wheat, but doesn't pay as much (or at all) for others. The lack of subsidies for some crops, like lettuce and broccoli, artificially raises their market cost compared to grains and oilseeds, noted the Atlantic.