Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Buying Organic – Hard on the Wallet.

It is always tough to shop for groceries on a tight budget, but going through the produce section is particularly hard. We are blessed in California to have a wide choice of organic fruit and veg, but it also makes it harder to fill the shopping cart and head for the cashier. And let’s not talk about the guilt complex with the kids.

After one such challenging foray into the Berkeley Bowl, an excellent supermarket with an impressive organic section, I followed a car home with the following bumper sticker.

So, for those of you in a similar position to me, here are two sites to maybe help.

1) What is the real price of organic food.

2) Why is Organic Food More Expensive

How do you handle the difference in price and your own financial restraints? Please let me know by leaving a comment.

Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at www.alonshalev.com



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3 thoughts on “Buying Organic – Hard on the Wallet.

  1. Yeah, tell me about it. We’re on cutbacks b/c of the fluctuations in the price of wheat that threw the budget out of whack by half a million. So no communal dinner on Wednesday (savings of 20K/month) and no more whole wheat bread in the dining room. Because of subsidies, whole wheat bread costs 3 times what white bread costs here…

    • Daniel is a member of Kibbutz Lotan, an amazing intentional community in Israel.

      The whole issues of government subsidies is absurd. It is your taxes that fund these less healthy foods, forcing you to eat empty and/or unhealthy calories. This in turn raises health risks that you end up paying for. It is a vicious spiral.

      I’m sorry that you’ve lost the communal dinner on Wednesdays. I’m interested whether the 20K/month that is saved is a true calculation? People are still eating, only now they are preparing the food in their own kitchens. Either the food is coming from the communal kitchen or from your personal funds, but it is not a real savings? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

      Still, I hope you find a creative way to deal with it.

  2. Barbara Jean on said:

    I would like to see a study that truly covers all the costs of different types of food production — including which methods can feed the most people for the least amount of money, and which methods take up the least amount of land to do so. I think the issue is a lot bigger, and more complex, than just what the sticker price is at the store.

    Here’s one article that you might add to your library: http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20100406005414data_trunc_sys.shtml

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