That's the opening sentence by Ellyn Satter in a 2007 article in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. She writes:
She then proposes (without any data or evidence I might add), the following hierarchy of food needs.
Satter argues this hierarchy is important to understand for nutrition educators who should:
To what extent is this "model" true? A few weeks ago, I compared the food values for the rich and poor, which provided some support. But, even that data suggests taste, safety, price, and nutrition are top four food values (out of 12 total values) for both low and high income. The ranking for high income is taste, nutrition, safety, and price and for low income is price, taste, safety, and nutrition; factors like fairness, novelty, and origin were ranked last for both high and low income groups. It would be interesting to see studies comparing income elasticities of demand for foods that fit the above criteria. However, the above model doesn't necessarily suggest income is the main driver - only that one has to meet a "lower" need, via whatever means, before another "higher" need is met.