First Person: Why I Spend More on Organic Foods

Yahoo Contributor Network

My theory is that I spend more money now on organic foods and products, I'll save more money down the road on health care costs. I'm also beginning to wonder if I save more money, too, because I don't need to eat as much of the health foods to be satisfied. When I used to purchase junk foods, I ended up eating more and, therefore, spending more money.

According to a recent piece by Yahoo's The Daily Ticker, some food companies may be tricking consumers into buying more of their unhealthy products. Even though fat, sugar and salt is unhealthy, the processed food industry knows those ingredients makes food more addictive.

Counting the cost of cheap food

I used to justify eating at fast-food restaurants because the food was inexpensive and convenient. Now I realize those two factors are illusions. It actually saves me time to whip up a healthful sandwich on sprouted-grain spread at home than drive to a fast-food restaurant. Also, the more I ate fast food, the fatter I became. The fatter I was, the more I was tempted to upsize and purchase more expensive items on the menu. And, with food inflation, the costs are rising anyway.

Creating a demand for healthful foods

If we want to food companies to change, we have to create a demand for healthier food items. Judging from the initial public offering of Annie's, Inc., an organic food company, it's clear companies can make money by selling natural and organic products. I know the Whole Foods Market near my home is packed, especially on the weekends. The only thing that holds some people back from shopping there is the higher prices.

Ignoring the diet foods trap

I rather spend more money on organic foods than shop for processed foods that claim to be low-fat or diet-friendly foods. Most of the foods contain artificial ingredients and genetically modified ingredients that could make me fatter. Although I am willing to spend more on organic foods and gluten-free foods, I'm not going to waste money on processed diet foods.

Growing some of my own produce

In addition to shopping at health food stores and the Whole Foods Market, I also grow my own herbs and produce. When making a sandwich, I can cut my costs if I can grab the lettuce and tomato from my small garden. I also brew my own tea, using lemons from my lemon tree as well as mint from my herb garden. I calculated my savings the other day. If I had to purchase every single ingredient, my homemade lunch of a sandwich, tea with mint, orange slices and cucumber salad would have cost $7 but by using some of my own ingredients it only cost $4.

Even if I want the occasional treat, I can find organic products. I don't have to worry as much about feeling tired or having a headache if I stick to the natural food products. In more than one way, processed foods aren't worth the cost.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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