Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Organics Out of Reach

I've known all along that organic foods cost more. I've seen the prices where I work. You can buy cucumbers on sale two for one dollar or you can buy one organic cucumber for two or three dollars. Some people choose to purchase some organic products for those items which contain the most pesticides. Many others cannot afford the extra cost. Gardening is one option for those with the skill, space, and time.

I just found an advertisement for a local produce stand that has an organics club. You pay a fee, and order a large or small package each week. It's a good idea but it is on the other side of the county and the cost is very high. When you are at the bottom of the pay scale it is hard to pay the extra cost for safer food.

The price of meat is even higher. Turkeys will soon be going on sale. Last year they were around .99 cants a pound. I saw an organic turkey advertised today for $4.99 a pound. I can't imagine paying $150.00 for a thirty pound turkey.

Being poor, you have to be careful with every penny. Careful grocery spending is the easiest way to trim the budget. It is too bad that organic produce is out of reach for so many.


  1. I certainly agree with you, dear heart. One small solution for our household is to splurge on the price of a sack of organic sprouts seeds. They grow in a sunny window, add good nutrition to our daily intake and become quite cost effective in the long run. It saves us from having to spend money for organic salad greens while offering us pure anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals and that helps immensely.

    BTW, I put your blog on my Google page. Now I never miss a post! YAY!

    Mother Connie

  2. I would definitely look out for a list of products that are not worth it to buy organic

    Bananas and Avocados, anything with a skin you don't eat is not worth it to buy organic

    Vegetables that easily absorb their environment such as mushrooms are best if they're organic

  3. Food--organic, non-organic, just plain junk--is all climbing out of reach. I go to the grocery store and wonder how a family with children can afford to eat.

  4. For non-perishables, I find lots of organic at Big Lots. Recent sightings: muir glen tomatoes and salsa, various cereals.

    I wrote a post recently about the "income gap" as revealed in the affordability of local and organic foods. Remember the $35.00 chicken???

  5. Connie, I love sprouts on sandwiches and in salads!

    FB, when things improve financially I'll look into some organic, but right now the lowest price wins.

    April, at work I watch the prices rise monthly, sometimes weekly. I also see very few people purchasing rice, flour, spices, etc. There are tons of packaged foods headed out the door but very few ingredients for from scratch cooking. It is sad to see us as a nation lose our skills. Soon we will be dependent on huge corporations for everything.

  6. Frugal Scholar, I haven't been to Big Lots in years. I had no idea they carried organic products.

    Truth be told I wrote this late at night and hurried through it so I could get some sleep and work the next morning. Your post must have been still stuck in my mind. Matter of fact I just re-read yours to make sure I didn't copy you. :)

    I've noticed the price of fruits and vegetables. Since I buy a package each month from Angel Food Ministries I never need to buy meat. I was shocked when I found out the price difference. Oh yes, that $35 chicken and now the $150 turkey have been on my mind.

  7. It is hard for our poor family to watch out for health, especially of the children, and also to avoid contributing to animal cruelty and worker exploitation. Eating only humanely raised and killed animals is part of our spiritual belief, but as you say, there's no way to afford an organic turkey. When my kids ask for a certain item (like apples, one of the top pesticide-sprayed crops, or hot dogs) and the organic version isn't cheap enough, I try to explain why we can't get any. "Why would they put poison on our food?" "Why do they treat the animals badly?" These are hard questions to answer!

  8. I also find that organic foods are not affordable for me and the best price wins when I shop.

    Sort of off-topic, but you have mentioned coupons. I may be looking in the wrong places, but the last time I checked a Sunday paper for coupons, I didn't find many items that I would normally buy. I may have looked on a bad day, though. Would you mind listing for us some things that you buy with coupons? I may need some examples and some ideas before I decide whether to try to get back into the swing of it. Thanks in advance.

  9. If you hit up your local farmer's market LATE on a vending day, you can often purchase unsold produce for a fraction of the price.

  10. Joy, I hope to one day be more selective in my purchases. Sounds like you are doing a good job with your shopping decisions and teaching a valuable lesson.

  11. 444, coupons have been so-so lately. Sometimes I only find a few that I can use. I hadn't thought to do an in-depth post on coupons until now. Consider it done, be on the lookout for a post in a few days. :)

  12. Terri, I used to live near a flea market that had a excellent produce row. I would walk through with my three children on Sunday near closing and they would just about give away huge quantities of whatever was left.

  13. Not sure if this is an option for you - but right now (in the fall) if you go to a small butcher where I live, you can get grass fed beef fairly cheap. I picked up mine for $2.54 a pound (and that's Canadian prices - mostly sirloin steaks, some hamburger, some other steak cuts) - but given that you don't live in a colder area maybe that's not something that happens seasonally.

    My sister raises organic chickens and eggs on her farm (you may have seen a picture of my son holding some of those pricy chickens on my blog!) - it's such a small, labor intensive operation that they really do need to charge those kind of prices to make it worthwhile - hence factory farming unfortunately. We wanted cheap - we got cheap. And that's the price of cheap. Although my sister was encouraging me to get a couple of chickens for my back yard for eggs! LOL