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Canadian families of all income levels feeling the effect of food prices: Angus Reid

A recent study shows that many Canadians are opting for less healthy food as the result of price increases.
A recent study shows that many Canadians are opting for less healthy food as the result of price increases. Talia Ricci / Global News

WINNIPEG — Putting food on the table is a necessity, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for many Canadian families.

In a recent survey, two-thirds of Canadians said the issue of rising food costs doesn’t receive enough attention from the government. The poll by Angus Reid found 57 per cent of Canadians said it’s becoming harder to feed their families, 71 per cent are switching to cheaper brands and 40 per cent are switching to less healthy options.

Local grocery store owners are feeling the effect and also noticing a change in buyers’ habits.

“People are questioning if they really need a product,” Munther Zeid of Food Fare said. “They’re watching their spoilage. If they don’t have to buy a pound of it, they’re not buying it. If they don’t have to buy a litre of it, they’re not going to.”

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Some families are saying the high cost of produce is causing them to shop more in the middle aisles where food is cheaper but not as healthy.

“Instead of going shopping every week or so for fruits and vegetables it’s probably been every two weeks,” one shopper told Global News.

Owner of My Farmers Market and healthy food advocate Nathan Steele said it doesn’t have to be that way.

“I’ve started sprouting at home, it’s pretty amazing how¬†small the cost is for what you get,” Steele said.

The local food seller said planting a few seeds can go a long way, and buying local produce that’s in season isn’t impacted as much by the dollar, making the cost more consistent.

“Replacing something that’s imported with something that’s local, that can be one factor that would contribute to keeping stability in the province,” Steele said.