A friend recently complained to me that she wanted to buy organic food for her family, but she couldn’t afford it. That got me thinking—when you look at providing for your children, where are you going to get the most bang for your buck? Are you better off putting money in a college fund, or will you get more return on your investment by spending that college fund on healthy food?
College isn’t All That and a Bag of Chips
Traditionally, the mortarboard photo on the mantle piece is the dream of every parent. While the last generation of parents pushed their children to aim for the ivy league, the next generation may not be so keen.
It is the very success of the previous generation at educating their children that has caused the university degree to lose some of its luster. Your college degree is not putting you ahead of the pack if everyone has one. With sky-rocketing tuition fees, many parents are encouraging students to avoid starting life with hefty student loans and sending them off to work or learn trades instead.
Having a college degree does not guarantee a job. The US alone holds over a trillion dollars in student loan debt, more than credit cards, mortgages and car loans. Don’t think you can declare bankruptcy either—student loan debts are the only ones which can’t be expunged through bankruptcy and must be paid.
Entrepreneur and author Michael Price; “According to College Board, the average cost of college tuition and fees per year ranges from $8,893 – $30,094. This doesn’t take into account room and board which according to Collegedata.com ranges from $9,500 – $10,830/year. Sum it up and a 4-year college education could cost you $80,000 – $160,000… According to the figures I previously provided, your student loans would range from $920/month – $1,840/month for 10 years.”
Many students are opting for alternatives like job training, trades, or using their loans to start their own businesses instead of following their parent’s path of higher education.
How do you Like Them Apples?
Feeding your children organic food results in lower levels of metabolites and insecticides in their urine and it reduces the risk of exposure to pesticides. From the President’s Panel on Cancer; “Nearly 1,400 pesticides … registered by the Environmental Protection Agency for agricultural and non-agricultural uses … have been linked to brain/central nervous system, breast, colon, lung, ovarian cancers … as well as Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
Studies by the University of California, Columbia University and Mount Sinai Hospital showed that women whose babies were exposed to pesticides while in the womb, produced children whose IQ’s were several points lower than their organic-eating peers.
The University of California, Berkley study was able to quantify that difference, saying that every tenfold increase in exposure to organophosphate pesticides in utero resulted in a 5.5 point drop in overall IQ scores in children by age 7.
Studies show that students who ate junk food on a regular basis had slower academic development when compared with their peers.
Research into the benefits of organic foods is still in its infancy and some researchers argue that the benefits have not been robustly tested. They claim governments test pesticide levels and have found them safe for human consumption in the levels that occur in foods.
Where you invest your money in your child’s future depends on what success looks like for you. Organic, natural foods over processed junk foods will yield happier, healthier children with less debt while a college education could result in a stellar career. If you can afford it, hedge your bets and do both!
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