Thursday, March 27, 2014


No one argues that it is probably wise to eat organic food. But, unfortunately, most of us can't really afford to eat organic food all the time.  Right? Maybe...

So I decided to check the difference in cost of today's dinner if prepared with organic ingredients vs. non-organic ingredients.

What's for dinner tonight? Tomato Salad, Baked Salmon, Mashed potatoes,  and Garlic Spinach. Mmmm, I am such a good wife!

Okay, before I go any further, here is the general list of foods we should buy organic.

bell peppers, potatoes, carrots
celery, spinach, lettuce, kale
apples, peaches, nectarines
strawberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes (if imported)
peanut butter
dairybeef, poultry, eggs

*Note - While tomatoes are not on the list, for the sake of better taste I buy organic.
And here's the list of foods that do not contain high level of chemical and pesticide residue, and don't necessarily need to be purchased organic.

onion, sweet potato, asparagus, broccoli, eggplant
cabbage*, sweet corn, sweet peas, avocado
grapefruit, bananas, pineapple, mango, kiwi
cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew melon

Before you put fruits and veggies on the table: Remove and throw away the outermost leaves of lettuce and cabbage, if not organic. This cuts down on dirt bacteria and pesticide residues. Also, it is always better to peel fruits, if possible.

So, I was off to Trader Joe's, and to make a dinner for 4, here was the grocery list:
                                                                Price/Organic            Price/Conventional
5 tomatos                                                 $3.99                         $2.29
1 red onion    (price for2lb pack)             $3.49                         $2.49
1 pack Persian Cucumber                        $1.99                         $2.49
2 lb Russet potatoes   (alb pack)              $3.99                         $2.29
6oz heavy cream                                      $2.99                          $3.49
1/2 lb unsalted butter                               $4.79                         $2.88
1 pack chives                                           $1.79                         $.99
2x 6oz baby spinach                                $3.98                         $1.98
6 cloves garlic                                         $1.49                         $1.29
1 lemon                                                   $.49                           $.39
2 pieces of wild salmon (always wild!)  $13.99 lb                   $10.99 lb
                                                     Total:  $42.98                       $31.57

I made choice of organic v. non-organic produce based on the list above, and my total was: 41.68

Ok, I admit that non-organic produce is considerably cheaper. So it is up to you to decide if it is worthwhile for you to cut on something else and spend on organic foods. I know I do.

And here's the side note, since I firmly believe that our giant dinner plates make us eat way more than we should (1/3rd more to be exact), I buy less produce to fill up the smaller dinner plates, and spend even less than what I would have to pay for conventional produce. (You can read Lesson From The Past so you know what I mean!)

What are your thoughts? Please please please share!
xo, Zuma A.

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