Comparing Prices: Local vs. Organic

Local and organic are not the same thing. Organic foods are those that are free of chemicals. Local means they are grown on a farm in the nearby area (but this doesn’t mean the huge corporate farm if you live near one of those). These are generally much smaller than corporate farms, but they supply high quality, healthy products. Local farms may or may not use chemicals in their practices. Unless you know the farmers you won’t really know their growth methods, but when you live so close to the farm you can create that relationship with the farmer so you know exactly what you are getting! With local food you are purchasing the freshest ingredients because they are coming from your own community. Local the products often contain less chemicals then the standard non-organic product because they do not need the additives used to preserve freshness while traveling. Organic foods on the other hand, even without these additives (unless local), still have to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to get to you!

The best option is to buy local organic foods! Then you get the best of both worlds! But sometimes your wallet needs to make the decision between organic or local. Below are a list of a few price comparisons of the same items found at a farmers market and an all-natural grocery store (prices will vary depending on your location and time of year):

2 pints of local strawberries: $7.00
2 pints of organic strawberries: $6.98

1.5 lb (2 total) local red peppers: $3.75
1.5 lb (2 total) organic red peppers: $7.48

0.5 lb (1 total) local yellow pepper: $1.25
0.5 lb (1 total) organic yellow pepper: $2.99

2 heads of local lettuce: $4.00
2 heads of organic lettuce: $4.98

1 bunch of local radishes: $1.50
1 bunch of organic radishes: $2.49

1 bunch of local broccoli: $4.00
1 bunch of organic broccoli: $7.00

2.5 lb of local squash and zucchini: $3.75
2.5 lb of organic squash and zucchini: $7.49

Farmer’s market (local) total: $25.25
Grocery store (organic) total: $39.41

In many cases organic produce may be almost twice the price of local produce! However this does depend on where you shop, shopping at an all-natural grocery store like a Whole Foods or New Seasons will generally be a little more expensive than your more common grocery chain like Safeway or Albertsons. But there is still an undeniable difference in the price of some local items versus organic. In general local ingredients at your local farmer’s market will be less expensive than buying organic products from the store. If you didn’t think it was worth it to head over to your local farmer’s market, it definitely is! You can buy the freshest ingredients that support your community while saving money!

Comparisons were made by Kaynan Goldberg, you can check out her blog here: