Breaking down the barriers. Is eating organic really that expensive?

Flash Back to 2010. I already had some Fruit and Veggies in the fridge from the nearby Commercial Chain Supermarket which I shopped at 95% of the time. I needed a few extra items for that nights dinner. Instead of jumping in the car, braving the traffic of the outer city, trying to and find a car park in the shopping center, I decided walk a block to an Organic Café that sold Fruit and Vegetables. Sheer convenience saw me start buying and enjoying the benefits, introducing Organic Fruit and Vegetables into my home. It wasn’t at that point about health or wellbeing.

I started doing this on a regular basis, and also started incorporating some toiletries and other home essentials into my shopping at the local café.

Over time I was finding that these ‘top ups” from the organic store were costing me a fortune. This cost directly affected my decision to continue my grocery shopping at my local chain store.

When I said to the Organic Café owner that I really struggled to find the money or justify spending what I was on Fruit and Vegetables from his store he replied, “Well, I’m Sorry that you think it’s expensive, but what you are not factoring into this equation are the indirect cost savings you will make down the line. He went on to explain that he and his family have very minimal medical costs as they are all healthy and have preservative, chemical and pesticide free bodies. Their bodies are healthy and full of energy, so instead of always taking the car; sometimes they would ride their bikes or walk to their destinations, thus, saving on fuel and car expenses. The fact that his family had healthy bodies and therefore, healthy minds was in fact priceless to him.

This price dilemma is one that many people will find themselves in when contemplating, or even living a complete Organic Lifestyle. I understand that we all work really hard to put food on the tables for our families, or to treat ourselves to a night out on the town, or a weekend away, and the last place we want to see our expenditure rise is on groceries when Water and Electricity bills are rising month after month.

With all of this in mind, we decided to do a little bit of research.

Welcome to: “The Organic Place Vs  The Chain Store Supermarket,” “ACA” style!

We put together one of The Organic Places wonderful Small Mixed Fruit and Veggie Bags which retail on our website for $39.95 and went to two major supermarkets to replicate the bags to compare pricing.

Our Small Fruit and Veggie Bag consisted of the following and had been handpicked from the wholesale markets and delivered fresh to our customers within 12 hours.

  • 250gm of zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Salad Mix
  • Pumpkin
  • 250g Beetroot
  • Avocado
  • 1 bunch of Asparagus
  • 500g Carrots
  • Bok Choy
  • Tuscan Kale
  • 500g onions
  • 1kg potato
  • 1kg banana
  • 600g organes
  • 250g cucumber

For a price of $39.95 excluding delivery

 Fruit and Veggie Shop from Supply Chain Supermarket Number 1:

Total Cost: $50.97

 All items purchase from this supermarket were from the conventional range as the full organic range was not available.

Fruit and Veggie Shop from Supply chain Supermarket Number 2:

Total Cost: $37.86

 Although this total amount was less than our $39.95 bag by $2.09, again all items purchased were from the conventional range and have been cold stored and sitting on the supermarkets shelf for how long?

Is organic eating expensive?

As you can see, buying produce from The Organic Place is more economical and fresh than buying it at our chain supermarkets. It may be a little more expensive if you go into an Organic Store or Café, but keep in mind, they have overheads as well, and are majority of the time, struggling to keep their head above water, because the Supermarket Giants keep trying to tell us that they are the best option.

Whether you choose to spend that little bit more (or less) on Organic Produce, please try and remember when you start questioning the costs that buying, eating and living organically is a lifetime investment. I can’t think of a better investment than that of our own bodies.

Blog Post by Kate Midolo, Resident blogger at The Organic Place.