| ||A nutritious food basket is a food-costing tool that is a measure of the cost of healthy eating based on current nutrition recommendations. Nutritious food baskets have been used in Canada for half a century to assess the cost of an adequate diet in both health and social service contexts. One of Canada’s oldest food costing resources has been in use by the Montreal Diet Dispensary since 1948. The federal government became involved in food costing in 1974, more recently by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada who developed and priced the Nutritious Food Basket and the Thrifty Nutritious Food Basket. These food baskets provided benchmark costs for feeding 23 age and gender groups in 18 cities across the country until 1995. Edmonton Nutritious Food Basket Prices, first developed in 1995, was based on these standards. In 1998, a national nutritious food basket, revised to reflect current nutrition recommendations and food purchase patterns, was developed by Health Canada.
Beginning in 2000, the Edmonton basket was updated based on Health Canada’s National Nutritious Food Basket – 1998. In 2004, a review of the Edmonton Nutritious Food Basket was undertaken to ensure that the latest information available from Health Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating and Statistics Canada’s Family Food Expenditure Survey was reflected in the basket of food items priced. As a result, in 2004, the contents of the Edmonton basket were updated. A further review and update of the national basket was conducted by Health Canada in 2008, resulting in the release of the 2008 National Nutritious Food Basket. Subsequently, the Edmonton nutritious food basket was updated in 2009 based on the 2008 National Nutritious Food Basket which reflects the latest nutrition recommendation.