I think that most people know that in general, organic products are better for you than the nonorganic equivalent. Although we know it's better for us, many don't buy organic products because we simply can't afford it. But did you know that sometimes organic products can actually be cheaper?
When I go grocery shopping, I wander through the produce aisle and check out the prices of the conventionally grown fruits and vegetables before visiting the organic produce section. This week, as I scanned the price of apples, I was pleasantly surprised to see the organic gala apples costed $1.49/lb, while the conventional apples are $1.69/lb. I also always review out the price of bagged organic apples, as they are often priced cheaper than loose apples.
So I smiled to myself and picked up a few pounds of apples. Then I did my good deed for the day and wandered back to the "other" apples to share my find with other grateful shoppers.
Now, the price of produce varies just like the stock exchange, so this week, my score is apples, and next week, it may be cauliflower. I always check the prices, and even if the organic option is 20 to 30 cents more, I'll opt for the organic produce.
Next, we move on to the meat section. This shopping trip, I need some ground meat to make some meat balls. It's not on special this week, so I pick up a pound of ground beef from the meat counter before visiting the organic section. I was again surprised to see that the organic meat was cheaper than the ground beef I was going to buy. This time, the difference was only a few cents per pound, but still cheaper nonetheless.
A good friend of mine, holistic nutritionist Kim Bowditch, told me that while organic meat is often more expensive, it doesn't shrink as much when you cook it, so it ends up being a more cost-effective choice. I decided to put this theory to the test. I recently bought some boneless, skinless chicken breast on sale at the grocery store for $4.99/lb. I also bought some free range chicken (OK, it's not organic, but close), boneless, skinless chicken breast at $7.99/lb from an organic farm. I needed four chicken breasts, so I cooked two of each. Unfortunately, I didn't have the weight of the free range chicken to do a better comparison, but the breasts were about the same size raw.
I was absolutely floored at the difference in size of the cooked chicken. The cooked conventional chicken breast was about 1 cm smaller in length and width than the free range chicken. It appears that the chicken breasts on sale are not such a good deal after all, as they must be pumped full of water.
So the next time you are grocery shopping, wander through the organic section to see what deals you can find this week. You may be in for a surprise!