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Entries in organic (16)


How to save money on bulk and packaged beans and nuts

Save money on organic dried beans

With organic bean prices up 50% this year for many dried beans, it pays to re-check your prices. In general, you'll save money and get more variety by buying beans in bulk. At my local Whole Foods, all the store-brand bagged legumes now cost the same: $2.99 a pound. By just turning around and going to the bulk section on the other side of the aisle, I can save 33% on black beans, 20% on lentils, and 10% on pinto beans. But as the chart below shows, chickpeas and kidney beans cost the same no matter who bags them.  I didn't find any packaged beans that cost less than bulk beans, so if you don't have time to compare, choose bulk.

Even though bean prices are up, they are still one of the greatest food bargains available. You'll get about 10 servings a pound from dried beans. Even now, that's only 20 to 30 cents for a key protein part of a meal. You'll almost always save money and get better results from dried beans than you will from canned beans, but even canned beans are a bargain compared to cheese, fish, or meat.

chart with prices for organic dried beans packaged or in bulk

From 2009 to 2011, most organic dried beans cost between

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Delicious Halloween Candy: organic, vegan, and gluten free!

Best. Halloween. Candy. Ever. I usually make all our desserts, but modern parents demand sealed treats. Kids don't seem to be interested in my candied kale krispies. So I'm delighted to find four kid-friendly options that are organic, vegan, and gluten-free. 

Read on for my Halloween candy review, including pictures with the wrappers off, price per piece, and the Scrimp and Splurge Winners. 

organic vegan and gluten free halloween candy

This year, my Taster said he simply didn't care which Halloween candy I bought because he wasn't going to eat any of it. Not a single piece. But we spotted a display with lots of choices at the Whole Foods. We bought four types and were happily surprised ...

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Food Day 2014: Four ways to eat great food and make a difference.

Happy Food Day 2014! It's a great day to celebrate the difference you can make to your own health, budget, and the world around you by eating real food cooked from scratch. Sometimes the choices can be overwhelming. Here are my four aspirations when choosing what to eat, in order of importance, with reasons why they help you personally and help you make difference.

vegan breakfast - baked oatmeal with apples and raisins

1. Eat plants

  • For you: Increase your odds of having a longer and healthier life, with more energy and without the diseases of affluence (cancer, heart disease, dementia, and diabetes).
  • Make a difference: Shrink your carbon footprint and ...

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FDA asks for comments on proposed new food labels

Here's some good news: the FDA is proposing improvements to the food labels which were first required twenty years ago. These are real improvements, ones that make the labels more honest and easier to read. The primary proposal is good and the alternative label is even better. (See example before and after labels below.) Neither proposal mentions genetically modified ingredients or consolidates information on the confusing UDSA Certified Organic seal.

Comments are open on the new label design through June 2nd. You can bet your last Oreo that the corporations are weighing in, so let's make sure the FDA also hears from people who want to eat healthy, real food. See below for details on the proposal and how to comment.

Current label compared to primary proposal

The new label makes it harder for manufacturers to use ridiculous portion sizes to disguise unhealthy food. (The serving size for Fig Newtons is ...

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The Walmart effect: SNAPcut Challenge encore

For this encore round of the SNAPcut Challenge, I'm shopping at Walmart. Ordinarily, I shop there once every year or two, when I'm traveling and there are no other options. A recent trip made me realize how lucky I am to live within walking distance of a Whole Foods Market.

I went to the nearest Walmart and bought most of my staples from the much-maligned center of the store, including beans, rice, flour, canned tomatoes, and tea. Very few organic items were available. The dried beans were sequestered in the Hispanic section. The produce section gave me a shock. A few unrefrigerated bins held just a few core items such as apples, cabbage, and onions. A clerk suggested going to the big Walmart about fifteen minutes away. I paid for what I already had and headed to the other Walmart.

$84.46 worth of groceries from Walmart - food stamps for two in NC on the SNAPcut Challenge

The Walmart Supercenter had a produce section about the same size as the one at my small neighborhood Whole Foods, but less selection. I bought as much organic produce as I could and bought replacements for some of the pantry items, including peanut butter and canned tomatoes. Items in the bottom of the pictures will be used both weeks, so 50% of that cost is included each week.

When I couldn't buy organic, I used ...

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