Author Topic: If not Whole Foods, then where???  (Read 16338 times)

BreakingtheCycle

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If not Whole Foods, then where???
« on: November 03, 2014, 06:01:08 PM »
I see a lot of criticism on this forum of Whole Foods, or Whole Paycheck as I've seen some people write!  But where do you get organic produce and ethically-raised meat instead?

I go back and forth between Whole Foods and getting an organic produce delivery box sent to the house.  The farmer's market is good option I'm sure, I haven't had enough time to check it out since we moved to this new area (recently had a baby).  When I did go though I didn't see many organic fruit options.

There is an organic apple orchard nearby that we went to last year, that I'd like to try again.  Also we go organic blueberry picking (way cheaper than organic blueberries in the store!) once a year.

I want to try to buy part of a cow sometime soon.

There are other grocery stores in town (Plum Market, another local one) that sell organic produce but most often it's more expensive than Whole Foods.  And what if you want to buy organic dairy products, organic beans and rice, organic oats or bread?  The Kroger in town has almost no selection, and I'm sure it's rare to find these items at Aldis.

I'm trying so hard to cut our grocery budget, but the only way I can see to do it in the way I want (while still buying organic, ethically-raised foods) is to buy more whole foods and cook from scratch more versus processed "natural" foods.

I may hear a lot of "organic is a waste!" responses but that's really not what I'm looking for.  I want to know WHERE to buy cheaper organic/natural, not that I shouldn't buy organic/natural!

Janie

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 06:08:18 PM »

Eric

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 06:33:27 PM »
Grow it?  I personally don't really see any difference between organic vs conventional.  I do see a difference between pesticide vs pesticide free.  But in my experience, pretty much the only way you're going to get pesticide free produce is to grow it yourself.

What is it about the organic label that appeals to you?  If you can't grow it yourself, find farmers that grow with the same methods that you care about yet don't have the time/money/staff to get the actual certification and buy from them.  That little label costs you a lot and you can get the exact same stuff for much cheaper if you're willing to go with someone who hasn't had the time/money to get certified yet.

rmendpara

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2014, 06:41:40 PM »
Do you eat organic everything, or just meats and veggies?

You can get most items with organic options at many large grocery chains (kroger, publix, safeway, etc).

Personally, I think it's more important to eat less processed foods vs more processed rather than organic vs non-organic... but since that's not what you're asking about, I'll ignore that conversation for another time.

Btw, you could do a lot worse than Whole Foods. The meat is pretty reasonable, I think chicken is $5/lb, and most veggies and fruits aren't unreasonable either. I remember a bag of apples being $3 and had at least 5+ apples inside (though that may have been seasonal).I generally find the more processed stuff is where it really gets pricey at Whole Foods, and other places in general. Things like organic raw meats, veggies, grains, etc, really don't seem to have crazy markups.

Maybe before looking for a new grocery store, you could try going less processed at Whole Foods?

I don't know what area you live in, so that is a big question...

Worsted Skeins

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2014, 07:19:06 PM »
While I prefer local and organic, I choose local produce over organic that has traveled long distances. Supporting my local economy is a priority for me.  To be honest though, local produce is a better value for me.  It lasts much longer than anything I buy in conventional stores.

We have a late spring to mid summer CSA and a fall CSA (different farmers). My fall farmer has a hoop house so we are able to buy local organic veg into the early winter.

Of course, I am one of those wackadoos who freezes kale pesto and homemade eggrolls stuffed with local goodness for later use.

Grocery options vary greatly with geography.  I buy little at conventional markets but I have options:  two good fishmongers, a local butcher, a lovely co-op.  I make an occasional Whole Foods run for treats, the occasional Trader Joes run for nuts and a couple of seasonal items.  I don't see the allure of Costco but obviously others do. 

Like you, I may spend more on some of my proteins than other community members but I try to extend it with homemade stocks. We do not eat massive protein servings but focus on veg and healthy grains. 

Ethnic markets may be an option for you--especially if you like lamb.



Daisy

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2014, 07:19:42 PM »
I'm a mostly organic eater too and have mentioned it on these forums before...so just a warning that you will get a lot of organic naysayers.

I eat mostly organic for fruits and vegetables. I belong to a CSA/co-op type thing where you pick up a box of organic produce at someone's house. Supposedly you save 20% this way, although I've never really priced it out. I like it for the savings, but also because it forces me to eat veggies I am not familiar with. Each new box is an adventure to see what I can make out of it.

An additional way to save this way is by becoming a host home for the produce pickup. Usually they assign like 10-15 customers to each pickup home. You can host once a week or every two weeks. I don't have the time right now, but I'd like to become a host when FIRE'd. As a host, you get a free box of produce.

The club also has other items you can order, such as yogurt, eggs, etc. I find the pastured organic eggs are a good deal with the club. However, the yogurt they offer is the same as can be found at Whole Foods and it's cheaper at Whole Foods.

I go to Whole Foods to supplement the produce. There was another local organic market that was sponsored by one of the local towns. They used to have really good prices, but now what I see there is similar prices to Whole Foods.

I'd like to find a cheaper way to buy nuts as they are very pricey.

I eat limited meats, but I try to avoid Whole Foods for this. That other local market has a side place that sells beef, chicken, etc. that hasn't been raised with hormones. It's not exactly organic, but good enough and cheaper enough for me.

MsWillow

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2014, 07:20:15 PM »
Do you have a Grocery Outlet? I shop there almost exclusively for local stuff. They have organic milk, $3.29 gallon and eggs for $4.59/20 extra large. They also have a ton of gluten free products too. I love vitacost, online retailer. I shop through ebates and shipping is free over $49. There are great deals from toothpaste to spices, etc. they ship fast too. Other stores that are reasonable are Trader Joe's and Sprouts. Wednesday is a double deal day. All the stores are in California, not sure where you are.

Daisy

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2014, 07:23:15 PM »
Oh, and I buy fish at the local marina instead of buying at any grocery store. Fresh fish at good prices. I paid $6/lb for mahi mahi recently.

mozar

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2014, 07:25:00 PM »
The 365 whole foods brand is pretty reasonable. I save money by not eating much meat or fruit.

BreakingtheCycle

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2014, 07:35:00 PM »
Good idea to look into fruit/veg co-ops!  I do have a vegetable garden, but I do not have enough sun to grow tomatoes/peppers/squash, so I'm going to rent a community garden plot in 2015 also to grow those items. 

I'm not specifically concerned with the organic label as much as whether or not the items were grown with/without chemicals (i.e. we buy Whole Foods brand cheese that is not organic but says it was not produced with added growth hormones).  I do choose local whenever possible, however I've often found local is MORE expensive than organic unfortunately!  We have a grocery store here that sells almost entirely local items, and it's so much more expensive to shop there.  Farmers markets might be different.

I'll have to check out the seafood place in town as well!

Daisy

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2014, 07:43:44 PM »
Of course, I am one of those wackadoos who freezes kale pesto and homemade eggrolls stuffed with local goodness for later use.

My kind of person. I've made arugula pesto and parsely pesto with walnuts instead of pine nuts (because they are cheaper and I had them on hand). I then froze them in ice cube trays for later use.

I've never tried kale pesto...must try soon as I have a nice bunch of kale to work with this week. What did you combine it with?

I *LOVE* freezing stuff and taking it out later. I have a tomatillo sauce I made this summer (also frozen in cubes) that needs a good recipe to match it with soon.

EricL

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2014, 09:52:01 PM »
Whole Foods?  WTF!  First of all, unless its made of stone, plastic or metal, it's organic.  Really.  It may have been grown in a lab with Franken plant DNA splicing, hydroponics, and pesticide derived from Agent Orange but it's still organic.  Jez.  And even if you're mortally afraid of that crap, you used to be able to buy old school produce from hippies for prices equal or lower than what a supermarket sells.  How the hell Whole Foods convinced people they had to pay out the butt for it is beyond me.  Especially since the hippees are still selling good produce at the Farmer's Market.  Admittedly, not every place has a decent Farmer's Market.  But many still do.

N

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2014, 10:28:07 PM »
Aldi does have some organic foods.
Where you can shop is really going to depend on where you live. Ask around!
you can get discounts on stuff from amazon, too, if you set up recurring orders (and I also have an amazon card that gets me 3 pts per dollar I spend on amazon).

Definitely cut processed stuff and make as much yourself from scratch. all the snacks and boxed stuff at WF is spendy.

Dicey

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2014, 11:41:27 PM »
Costco has an ever-expanding array of organic foods at reasonable prices.

Goldielocks

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2014, 11:43:29 PM »
Research Halal and Kosher meats, to see if they fit your lifestyle choices for organic.  Not sure your motivation / take on it, but several friends here buy Halal at ethnic groceries for far, far less pricing of meats compared to some organic labels.

For meat, if you look for grass fed beef.   These often come from smaller growers, on pasture, who do not spend a lot on hormones / antibiotics, and only minimally work with the animal for most of its life.     

As other indicated, most large groceries will carry a decent organic selection.

Spondulix

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2014, 12:13:40 AM »
I don't shop at Walmart, but I did read recently they are in the organic market. I think you can get some organic variety just about anywhere. If you have a local restaurant that does a lot of organic, you could ask their source, too.

The Whole Foods 365 line is not all organic, though. I've read it's about the same quality as standard grocery store.

Worsted Skeins

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2014, 04:28:45 AM »
Of course, I am one of those wackadoos who freezes kale pesto and homemade eggrolls stuffed with local goodness for later use.

My kind of person. I've made arugula pesto and parsely pesto with walnuts instead of pine nuts (because they are cheaper and I had them on hand). I then froze them in ice cube trays for later use.

I've never tried kale pesto...must try soon as I have a nice bunch of kale to work with this week. What did you combine it with?

I *LOVE* freezing stuff and taking it out later. I have a tomatillo sauce I made this summer (also frozen in cubes) that needs a good recipe to match it with soon.

The kale pesto recipe that I used can be found here:

http://www.denverpost.com/homegarden/ci_25471307/recipe-kale-pesto-makes-best-love-hate-vegetable

The kale that I used was not "baby kale" nor was it tough elephant ear sized.  I felt no need to blanch it beforehand. We regularly swap out other greens in pesto and always use walnuts, pecans or almonds as my husband is allergic to pine nuts.

We have cubes of tomatillo sauce in our freezer as well.  I use this as a sauce over chicken or fish or else make enchiladas.

Eating seasonally reduces our food budget.  It is root season here.  I have a bushel of sweet potatoes in my garage; locally grown turnips are inexpensive.  There are greens that I would never have tried had it not been for my CSA.  Sauted greens and beans is an inexpensive and healthy meal.   I would serve with homemade bread on the side (made with some of my husband's spent grains from brewing--packets of spent grains are in the freezer too).

On the topic of meats...One of the things that I find disturbing about conventional chicken is that the packages say "contains up to x percent solution" without ever stating what the solution is. This is part of my motivation for buying chicken at my butcher or from the small farmer who sells to the co-op. Obviously this is an economic choice that I make and not one with which everyone will agree. So be it.

MayDay

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2014, 04:36:54 AM »
I garden
I can
I buy flour, oatmeal, and beans in 25 lb bags from a local store
I get a lot of organic produce at Costco in the winter, in the summer I get almost exclusively local stuff
We don't eat meat
Fruit = money! I freeze stuff when it's in season locally, and try to minimize fresh fruit purchases in the winter. I can jam, pears, applesauce, etc.
When I can pick apples for less than 1$ a pound we eat apples two months straight.

But mostly I think just cooking everything from scratch.

MandalayVA

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2014, 05:06:03 AM »
I don't shop at Walmart, but I did read recently they are in the organic market. I think you can get some organic variety just about anywhere. If you have a local restaurant that does a lot of organic, you could ask their source, too.

The Whole Foods 365 line is not all organic, though. I've read it's about the same quality as standard grocery store.

I asked an online acquaintance who lives in rural Oklahoma about the available organic selection at the Evil Empire Walmart and she said that it didn't have much and what it did have was hideously expensive (and this is a SuperCenter).  Maybe it's different in other areas of the country, but I'm not about to venture into one of those hellholes to find out.

Also keep in mind that if you buy local meats/eggs/produce/dairy more often than not the stuff is raised organically, but because the U.S. government charges a fortune for organic certification the farm just doesn't have the paperwork.  I'm fortunate to have access to an excellent farmers market, and I supplement with Costco and Martin's (local chain, Northeasterners know it as Giant). 

Thegoblinchief

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2014, 07:44:45 AM »
The organic label is pretty meaningless when you research it. I go with what tastes good, which usually means fresh and local stuff. The freshest, most in season stuff is also usually the cheapest.

I keep my food costs low because long term I want to be in a place where I'm growing the vast majority of it, and spending less now helps preserve that dream.

2ndTimer

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2014, 07:49:13 AM »
Do you have a Grocery Outlet? I shop there almost exclusively for local stuff. They have organic milk, $3.29 gallon and eggs for $4.59/20 extra large. They also have a ton of gluten free products too. I love vitacost, online retailer. I shop through ebates and shipping is free over $49. There are great deals from toothpaste to spices, etc. they ship fast too. Other stores that are reasonable are Trader Joe's and Sprouts. Wednesday is a double deal day. All the stores are in California, not sure where you are.

A second vote for the organic isle of Grocery Outlet if there is one near you.  A warning:  If you see something there you like, buy it all because it probably won't be there next time.

skunkfunk

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2014, 07:54:00 AM »
I get wholesale fruits and veggies through a co-op. $15 a week for a bunch of random stuff that I don't know what it'll be til I get it. 25% of it is garbage, but I get more than enough out of that last 75%.

Look into bountiful baskets, it might be in your area.

Also, only eat meat a couple of times a week, and usually not red meat for that matter. Save money and be healthier.

Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2014, 08:00:19 AM »
I'm one of the brainwashed people that shops at - and likes! - Whole Foods. (Although, I prefer the farmers' markets when I can get to them.)

As for Whole Foods specifically, we make almost everything from scratch. No one in my area can match the quality of produce. I also like that I can buy meats with a clear provenance to the producer. A gift of growing up in farm country is seeing firsthand the horrors of mass produced meats. I don't want any part of it.

As for the prices, we've kept detailed records of price comparisons with other grocery stores. For the items we buy, Whole Foods is sometimes more expensive, sometimes the same, and sometimes less so. If you buy pre-made items and frozen and boxed shit, then yes it's pricier. Any savings that we've had from shopping at our other grocery stores has been offset by products that have gone bad more quickly and were wasted or simply didn't taste as good.

Regarding organics (for lack of a better term), I do buy them in the hopes that: a) my food will have fewer pesticides, etc on them, b) I'm not contributing to the massive amounts of crap being sprayed on our fields and running off into our rivers, lakes, and groundwater (again, growing up in farm country, I understand the scale of this - it's really mind-boggling), and c) even if my stuff is not purely pesticide free, etc., then at least I'm demonstrating that there is a market for it and hopefully the bar will continue to be raised.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 08:03:17 AM by Tetsuya Hondo »

julez916

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2014, 08:12:51 AM »
We try to prioritize quality meat (and not eat too much of it). We do a mix of organic from Costco and free range from Sprouts, Kroger, or the farmers market. Mostly Costco, though. As for fruits and veggies, I try to buy organic for the dirty dozen (high pesticide foods). These include: grapes, cherries, apples, peaches/nectarines, pears, potatoes, raspberries, celery, bell peppers, spinach and strawberries. Most other fruits and veg have low pesticide residue, even if they aren't organic. If you combine that with what's in season, it helps cut back the cost of organic fruits and veggies a lot. I hope that's helpful. Any store recommendations that I could make have already been shared.

VirginiaBob

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2014, 08:13:50 AM »
My version of organic = grow your own.  I was doing organic before it was cool.

citycat

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2014, 08:27:12 AM »
Costco! (If you have one nearby.)

Seriously, I recently stopped shopping at WF in favor of Costco. I buy pretty much the same organic and gluten free foods for half the price.

Google costco organic natural and you'll find lots of info.

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2014, 08:36:46 AM »
A farm?

Shopping at Whole Foods is alright, but you are still very distanced from your food.  Go to the farmer's market, check out eatwild.com and get to know your local farmers.  You will get better meat at a better price.  We raise and sell pork to a select amount of customers we know.  Our prices are far lower than Whole Foods and according to our customers is the best.

BreakingtheCycle

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2014, 08:43:40 AM »
I keep my food costs low because long term I want to be in a place where I'm growing the vast majority of it, and spending less now helps preserve that dream.

That is great inspiration for me as I too dream of homesteading and growing much of my own food!  My small urban garden isn't enough for me, and I'm renting a community garden plot next year but still would love my own land!

I should also add that I planted a berry patch in the yard (we're renting our house, but will be at least 5 more years so might as well enjoy the land...).  We have gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, currants and strawberries growing.  Next year we should have a ton of production!  This year our 50 strawberry plants gave us hundreds if not thousands of berries throughout the summer, and I even got to freeze some!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 08:48:08 AM by BreakingtheCycle »

epipenguin

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2014, 12:15:00 PM »
I get most of my organic food at Aldi and Costco.

Cassie

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2014, 12:27:34 PM »
On the West Coast Trader  Joe's is cheaper then Whole Foods.

RapmasterD

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2014, 02:05:39 PM »
--Trader Joe's
--Costco
--Local farmers' markets

I don't have any enmity toward Whole Foods. And yes, they have select good deals. Fire up their circular on your mainframe and you can typically find one decent meat deal.

The challenge for Whole Foods is that their competition is finally catching up with them. People like me, who used to shop there 2-3 times per week, are now going 2-3 times per quarter. It's happening, it's real, and their new marketing reflects their paranoia (slogan on their website reads, "Values Matter." Come on, really? Look up what ORGANIC means. If you adhere to it, you're good. Whole Foods hasn't PATENTED "organic"), and their financial performance and stock price....have been under serious siege this year.

For example, SPY is up 8.86% YTD. WFM stock is down 31.18% YTD.

lucky-girl

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2014, 05:11:36 PM »
I have also done a fair amount of price comparison and find that the Whole Foods 365 brand is often the best value. Trader Joes drives me crazy- they never give a price per pound (to make it harder to compare pricing) and the only times their prices are better than Whole Foods is when Whole Foods has an organic option (and not a "natural" or non-organic one) and Trader Joes only has a non-organic and no organic. So its Apples and Oranges. Trying to shop organic at a place like Hannafords- our local chain, is riddiculous- no wonder people think organic is so expensive. They had a gallon of organic orange juice once for $6. The same "Uncle Matt's" orange juice was at Whole foods for 2 dollars less, and the 365 brand organic juice was another dollar less. Not only that but the quality is really good- so much better than the store brand anywhere else, even Trader Joes.

I do try to stick to organic whenever possible.

Farmers market is very rarely cheaper than Whole Foods. I do go, and love it, and when things weren't so tight I would do most of my shopping there. But unfortunately, right now things are kinda tight.

I have not been able to compare to Costco, the closest one to me in Maine is about an hour and a half away. Tough to imagine getting there regularly.

The hardest part about Whole Foods is sticking to the 365 brand. Though I find that it is reliably comparable in quality to the fancier brands they stock their shelves with.


RapmasterD

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2014, 05:18:58 PM »
I have also done a fair amount of price comparison and find that the Whole Foods 365 brand is often the best value. Trader Joes drives me crazy- they never give a price per pound (to make it harder to compare pricing) and the only times their prices are better than Whole Foods is when Whole Foods has an organic option (and not a "natural" or non-organic one) and Trader Joes only has a non-organic and no organic. So its Apples and Oranges. Trying to shop organic at a place like Hannafords- our local chain, is riddiculous- no wonder people think organic is so expensive. They had a gallon of organic orange juice once for $6. The same "Uncle Matt's" orange juice was at Whole foods for 2 dollars less, and the 365 brand organic juice was another dollar less. Not only that but the quality is really good- so much better than the store brand anywhere else, even Trader Joes.

I do try to stick to organic whenever possible.

Farmers market is very rarely cheaper than Whole Foods. I do go, and love it, and when things weren't so tight I would do most of my shopping there. But unfortunately, right now things are kinda tight.

I have not been able to compare to Costco, the closest one to me in Maine is about an hour and a half away. Tough to imagine getting there regularly.

The hardest part about Whole Foods is sticking to the 365 brand. Though I find that it is reliably comparable in quality to the fancier brands they stock their shelves with.

I buy organic chicken and organic lamb from TJ's regularly. They always provide a price per pound. And for produce, the math conversions are pretty simple since they typically have a scale nearby. So that potato that costs 0.59 is typically about 0.70 per pound.

OR

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2014, 05:40:04 PM »
I live in Portland, OR.  A very organic friendly city, but I live in a less fancy-pants part of town.  Our neighborhood grocery chain may not have the best organic section, but sometimes the prices are great since they have to move the organic produce that is less popular in our neighborhood.  I wonder if this holds true elsewhere.  Sometimes the best deal is where no one else is looking for the same thing you are.

Spondulix

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2014, 11:52:19 PM »
A HUGE money saver is also to know what you don't need to buy organic. An organic onion at Whole Foods is going to cost 2-3 times (or more) than a non-organic one at a standard grocery store. There are certain fruits and vegetables that are a huge money waste to go organic (given how little pesticides are needed, used, and end up in the edible product)

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/the-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-of-produce/616/

Siobhan

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #35 on: November 06, 2014, 06:28:07 AM »
We are an organic family too.  Go outside your city and FIND A FARMER!!!   For example we just bought a side of organic grass fed beef (close to 400 lbs) PACKAGED cost came to 5.50 a lb, split across a few families.  We also bought a whole lamb from the same place, about 40lbs of meat packaged, and it came to 4.40 a lb.  We live in DC, so it's crazy expensive here.  The farm is about 2.5 hours south of DC.  In other years we hunt, can't get much more organic then deer.  In regards to veggies, we have a townhouse with teeny yard, I grow up the fences in the summer and preserve for winter.  In winter I have a grow light that keeps my citrus trees alive and also allows me to grow herbs, lettuce, spinach, chard etc indoors all winter long.  We compost our soil, and use Age Old Grow organic fertilizer for growing (best. stuff. EVER).

FarmerPete

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2014, 06:52:16 AM »
We are an organic family too.  Go outside your city and FIND A FARMER!!!   For example we just bought a side of organic grass fed beef (close to 400 lbs) PACKAGED cost came to 5.50 a lb, split across a few families.  We also bought a whole lamb from the same place, about 40lbs of meat packaged, and it came to 4.40 a lb.  We live in DC, so it's crazy expensive here.  The farm is about 2.5 hours south of DC.  In other years we hunt, can't get much more organic then deer.  In regards to veggies, we have a townhouse with teeny yard, I grow up the fences in the summer and preserve for winter.  In winter I have a grow light that keeps my citrus trees alive and also allows me to grow herbs, lettuce, spinach, chard etc indoors all winter long.  We compost our soil, and use Age Old Grow organic fertilizer for growing (best. stuff. EVER).

I hope you are hunting with special lead free bullets!!!!  http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/lead/index.html

merula

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2014, 07:12:58 AM »
Whole Foods?  WTF!  First of all, unless its made of stone, plastic or metal, it's organic.  Really.  It may have been grown in a lab with Franken plant DNA splicing, hydroponics, and pesticide derived from Agent Orange but it's still organic.  Jez.  And even if you're mortally afraid of that crap, you used to be able to buy old school produce from hippies for prices equal or lower than what a supermarket sells.  How the hell Whole Foods convinced people they had to pay out the butt for it is beyond me.  Especially since the hippees are still selling good produce at the Farmer's Market.  Admittedly, not every place has a decent Farmer's Market.  But many still do.

Chemically speaking, you're right, practically all food is organic because it contains carbon. In food terms, though, food is eligible to be labelled "organic" if it was produced in accordance with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (in the US; other countries have different laws, obviously).  Genetically modified organisms (GMOs or "franken palnt DNA splicing", as you termed it) and Agent Orange pesticides are not allowed under the OFPA. Hydroponics are.

And plastic is chemically organic as it's made of hydrocarbons.

To address the original question, +1 to the people who have suggested buying from local, trusted farms who aren't certified (because certification costs money and those costs get passed on), buying organic selectively (Dirty Dozen/Clean 15), and seeing what other options might be around. I love my local co-op; they often have local produce and meat for cheaper than the equivalent at Whole Foods.

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2014, 07:41:20 AM »
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs or "franken palnt DNA splicing", as you termed it) and Agent Orange pesticides are not allowed under the OFPA.


Wait, what? Every single plant we eat, and any non-game animal, has been genetically modified through forced natural selection if nothing else. They're nothing, NOTHING, like they would be if had society not undertaken the largest long-term genetic engineering project in (pre)history thousands and thousands of years ago.

FarmerPete

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2014, 07:49:38 AM »
So much of our food has been modified.  Over the summer I saw organic seedless watermelon...W.T.F.  How can that be organic?  Same thing with organic Bananas.  When was the last time you saw a seed in a banana?  You won't, because they're made in a lab.

skunkfunk

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2014, 07:54:59 AM »
So much of our food has been modified.  Over the summer I saw organic seedless watermelon...W.T.F.  How can that be organic?  Same thing with organic Bananas.  When was the last time you saw a seed in a banana?  You won't, because they're made in a lab.

Actually seedless banana and watermelon is a pretty case. Triploid plants can't produce fertile gametes. You can get that naturally when a tetraploid and a diploid plant reproduce and wind up with a triploid offspring. Now, you can also do it by treating it with some nasty chemicals, but those things have been making themselves for ages anyway.

Siobhan

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2014, 08:02:46 AM »
Pete, we bow hunt, we can rifle hunt, we simply choose not to since it's not as sporting. 

In regards to the genetic modifying, I believe what the OP is worried about is non natural selection, such as Monsantos gene splicing of Roundup weed killer into their seeds so that farmers can spray the crap out of fields and not worry about harming their plants.  Or how about those tomato seeds that are spliced with pig genes to grow faster?  My brother in law worked as a geneticist for Monsanto for years...the crap they do that most people don't know about would horrify the average American.  Sorry, I'll take my non animal/chemical spliced heirlooms any day.

Fuggled

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2014, 09:28:18 AM »
Try looking at Azure Standard.  They're in the Pacific Northwest and do monthly deliveries all over the western half of the US.  They have a lot of organic options, but you have to price compare.  They also have a lot of bulk items with better prices than what I've found at Sprouts.

Also, I've found the best prices for organic cheese in 5 lb blocks on Amazon.

frugaliknowit

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2014, 11:25:16 AM »
My take:

1.  Chemical fertilizers versus poop:  no difference.
2.  Pesticides bad, antibiotics, can't be good, but before you "spend your whole paycheck" to bring things to the next level:

A.  Are you at an ideal weight?
B.  Are you a non-smoker?
C.  Do you get 7 hours of sleep per night?
D.  Do you exercise consistently (at least walk 30 minutes almost every day or more)?
E.  Is your stress under control?
F.  Is your alcohol intake non-abusive?
G.  You take no recreational drugs?
H.  Cholestoral and blood pressure normal?

If you A-G applies to you, and you want to take it to the next level and can afford it, go organic.  If you have not accomplished A-G, work on that first.

For example, if you smoke and/or are 50 pounds overweight and are buying organic...???  Palease!!!

merula

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2014, 11:40:15 AM »
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs or "franken palnt DNA splicing", as you termed it) and Agent Orange pesticides are not allowed under the OFPA.


Wait, what? Every single plant we eat, and any non-game animal, has been genetically modified through forced natural selection if nothing else. They're nothing, NOTHING, like they would be if had society not undertaken the largest long-term genetic engineering project in (pre)history thousands and thousands of years ago.

Yes, yes, yes. I know. My original post didn't express my view, but you're totally preaching to the choir. There is no functional difference between lab-GMO and farm-GMOs, and very little that we eat hasn't been genetically selected for. (Wild mushrooms, wild caught fish and honey are the ones that come immediately to mind.) I'm completely against GMO labelling, I think GMOs should be allowed to be certified organic, and I think that GMOs are one of the major keys to solving world hunger problems through drought resistance, added vitamins/minerals and increased yields.

BUT, the question was about "franken plant DNA splicing", which would be "lab GMO", which wouldn't be USDA certified organic.

mboulder

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2014, 12:47:58 PM »
You can find affordable organic food but you have to do a little more work. For me, the best thing I ever did was create a price book. I'm fortunate in that I live in an area where the natural grocery market is very competitive so I have lots of options. I've found some items are cheaper at Whole Foods, some at Costco (canned goods and organic cheese in particular - a block of organic cheddar at my local Costco is cheaper than non-organic at Kroger), some at local natural food chains, some at my local Kroger affiliate. Some surprised me - a few items I figured were cheaper at Kroger turned out to be most expensive there. Some I've found significantly cheaper within the same chain by going to a store a few miles outside of town, compared to the one in town. But you'd never know unless you track it.

As for the "controversy" over organic food - I unapologetically strive to eat organic whenever possible. It's a decision that makes sense to me based on my priorities. While I encourage others to do the same, they may not share those priorities and I can't fault them for that. Unfortunately there is a lot of misconception on what organic food is. In the US it means the food meets specific legal production requirements. Some, for me, are health and environment related, as I know that various chemical/synthetic pesticides and hormones are forbidden, and I'd rather not have that in my food or dumped in my watershed. Some, for me, are ethics related, such as how livestock is treated, as organic labeling forbids overcrowding, etc. I also do not want GMO's in my food, and there is no sure-fire way to know that they are GMO free except if they are organic or maybe through a voluntary labeling certification - but if voluntary labeling of farm practices for animal products are any indication ("free range" "pasture raised" etc), voluntary labels are very misleading. As for GMO's, I'm not 100% convinced of their yield claims, I have concerns that they encourage more synthetic pesticide use, just about every GMO seed produced is laced with neonicotinoid insecticides (which you can't wash away - neonicotinoids are implicated in bee colony collapse), and I abhor the business practices of the corporations that create GMO seeds, so I'd rather not support them with my grocery dollars.

BeerBeard

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #46 on: November 07, 2014, 07:05:03 AM »
We are an organic family too.  Go outside your city and FIND A FARMER!!!   For example we just bought a side of organic grass fed beef (close to 400 lbs) PACKAGED cost came to 5.50 a lb, split across a few families.  We also bought a whole lamb from the same place, about 40lbs of meat packaged, and it came to 4.40 a lb.  We live in DC, so it's crazy expensive here.  The farm is about 2.5 hours south of DC.  In other years we hunt, can't get much more organic then deer.  In regards to veggies, we have a townhouse with teeny yard, I grow up the fences in the summer and preserve for winter.  In winter I have a grow light that keeps my citrus trees alive and also allows me to grow herbs, lettuce, spinach, chard etc indoors all winter long.  We compost our soil, and use Age Old Grow organic fertilizer for growing (best. stuff. EVER).

I hope you are hunting with special lead free bullets!!!!  http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/lead/index.html

The majority of state DNR agencies ban FMJ rounds for hunting(Which still have a lead core, but fragment less). I'm a re-loader and I don't think I've seen any lead free projectiles legal for hunting large game.

If you make a clean shot through the kill zone this should be a non issue as there is very little amounts of meat there. We butcher our own, and sometime find fragments or even broad heads left  from previous hunters, so that may be an issue. Shoot through the rib cage and both lungs and enjoy your steaks :)

BreakingtheCycle

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2014, 07:24:40 PM »
My take:

1.  Chemical fertilizers versus poop:  no difference.
2.  Pesticides bad, antibiotics, can't be good, but before you "spend your whole paycheck" to bring things to the next level:

A.  Are you at an ideal weight?
B.  Are you a non-smoker?
C.  Do you get 7 hours of sleep per night?
D.  Do you exercise consistently (at least walk 30 minutes almost every day or more)?
E.  Is your stress under control?
F.  Is your alcohol intake non-abusive?
G.  You take no recreational drugs?
H.  Cholestoral and blood pressure normal?

If you A-G applies to you, and you want to take it to the next level and can afford it, go organic.  If you have not accomplished A-G, work on that first.

For example, if you smoke and/or are 50 pounds overweight and are buying organic...???  Palease!!!

LOL!  A-G does apply to me (except sleep - as much as I can get with a 5 month old at home!).  Good point though!

Siobhan - tell us more about your brother and what you know about Monsanto!  I want to hear their secrets!

LadyMustache

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #48 on: November 11, 2014, 07:46:38 PM »
I buy some organic food at Aldi and Costco. So much cheaper than WF!

Here's what I recommend:

Organic at Aldi: apples, bananas, baby carrots, milk, pasta, stock, applesauce, rice, tinned tomatoes.

Organic at Costco: chicken, minced beef, bread, rice, oats, big carrots, fresh kale, all frozen veg (spinach, kale, broccoli, green beans, edamame, etc), quinoa, all frozen berries, soy milk, eggs, honey, peanut butter, flaxseed, pasta sauce, and much more! I was astonished at how many organic there are when I first visited one here in the States. The UK ones have very few organics.

I don't buy exclusively organic by any means, but these are my top organic bargains, and are truly a fraction of the price at WF. Plus you take your own bags to Aldi so you save on bag wastage, and ethically I think they are comparable, as they stock fewer items and price to sell, so less gets thrown by the stores. They also treat staff pretty well.

I also have a local co-op near me for the occasional other organic purchase. Seriously, ditch Whole Foods and you will halve your grocery bill.

Hope that helps :)

horsepoor

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Re: If not Whole Foods, then where???
« Reply #49 on: November 11, 2014, 10:27:10 PM »
In addition to CostCo, Natural Grocers and Rosauer's can be good here.  For instance Rosauer's has a great bulk section with good prices on things like organic rice and beans.  Natural Grocer has pretty good prices on organic meat and some other items.  Locally raised meat is the way to go though.  This year we got beef and lamb from a 4-H family and it is unbeatable, and way cheaper per pound.