Monday, November 22, 2010

Organic Food Is More Expensive? Hogwash!

The myth that eating well is prohibitively expensive was given another debunking the other day while I was shopping with a client at a Whole Foods market.

Looking to replace Cheerios with a healthier alternative, I recommended Nature’s Path Organic Heritage O’s, a delicious multi-grain cereal with no refined sugars.

My client, who recoiled when seeing the $7 price tag (“Seven dollars!?!?”), was slightly assuaged when she told me that a box of Cheerios was only a couple dollars cheaper. Still, $7 for cereal can be tough to swallow.

Gratefully, instant cost comparison was possible, as boxes of Cheerios were only a few feet down the aisle. (For those who think everything at Whole Foods is organic, think again.)

Thanks to the store’s pricing stickers, which give cost per pound in addition to actual cost, we learned that the two pound bag of the organic cereal ($3.50 per pound) was decidedly cheaper than the mass-marketed Cheerios.

The 8.9-ounce box of Cheerios was $4.49, which translates to a whopping $8.07 per pound, more than twice the cost of the Nature’s Path product. The 14-ounce box of Cheerios was $5.39, a more manageable—but still exorbitant—$6.16 per pound.

The moral of the story? Be cognizant of package sizing and per pound costs.

The healthier, better-tasting and cheaper option is Nature’s Path Heritage O’s, made with flours from organic oat, wheat, spelt, barley and quinoa. A bonus is that Nature’s Path is one of the few remaining sizable independent organic food companies.

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