Here is something that I found informative...
Did you know that even the lowest-priced supermarket is brimming with complete rip-offs? From health foods that aren't healthy to gourmet foods that aren't gourmet, every store is chock-full of items that can be a big wallop to your pocketbook, unless you know the secrets to shopping wisely.
A sample rip-off list comes with a couple surprises – for example, did you know that gluten-free bread may not be the bargain you expect or that cereal packages with cartoons on the front are red lights for rip-offs?
The good news is there's a nice long list of 40 items that not only give you a good bang for your buck, but a boost to your health as well, such as blueberries, cinnamon, and sweet potatoes.
Yahoo Health March 4, 2011
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
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When it comes to the price of food, I think it's extremely important to remember that a food cannot be judged by its sticker price alone. Whether or not you're actually getting any nutrition from it is far more important. Believe me, a diet consisting of daily $1.99 hamburgers and other fast foods, while appearing to be frugal, is far from it when you consider what these foods are doing—or not doing—to your health.
This will be a progressively increasing concern as we are virtually assured in the United States and many other countries that there will be serious inflation coming as a result of the massive devaluation of the dollar.
Processed Foods are Massive Rip-Offs
While trying to list every single food that's a complete rip-off would result in a very thick book, I firmly believe it's safe to say that virtually all processed snacks and the majority of processed, pre-packaged meals are a massive waste of money. These types of foods consist mainly of fillers and additives, and very few actual nutrients. So while Funyuns made it onto Yahoo Health's list of rip-offs, I can't think of a single chip or puffed snack that doesn't belong on that list.
The same goes for virtually all breakfast cereals, whether they have cartoons on the box or not. Most cereals are frightfully high in sugar, and any nutrients they boast are in the form of suboptimal synthetic additives, or worse.
For example, iron fortified cereals can contain actual iron filings, which is a far cry from the bioavailable iron you get from iron-rich vegetables like spinach. If you haven't seen this eye-opening demonstration of what's really in that fortified breakfast cereal, take a look now—you'll probably never buy another box of cereal again, and rightfully so.
I do agree with the contention that some organic foods are rip-offs, when their conventional counterparts are already grown using low amounts of pesticides and the food in question must be peeled anyway, such as bananas.
The Environmental Working Group is a reliable source when trying to decide on what to buy organic. According to their latest 2010 pesticide review, the following 12 foods rank as the most pesticide-free produce, even when conventionally-grown, so you can save a few bucks by opting for the conventionally-grown version of these:
Onions Avocados Watermelon
Pineapple Mango Frozen sweet peas
Asparagus Kiwi Cabbage
Frozen sweet corn was on the list above but I've removed it to avoid confusion. I do NOT recommend consuming non-organic corn and even organic corn should be consumed sparingly.
The foods you want to splurge on by buying organic are foods that have permeable or edible skins, and/or that are conventionally grown with higher amounts of pesticides. Based on the EWG's report, the top 12 foods to buy organic include:
Grapes Potatoes Kale / Collard greens
Cherries Spinach Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines Blueberries Apples
Strawberries Peaches Celery
For the whole list of produce, ranked from best to worst in terms of pesticide load, please see the EWG's listing.
Another major organic rip-off is organic milk. Because while organic milk must come from a cow that hasn't been fed artificial growth hormones or pesticide-laden feed, they're not necessarily pastured, or grass-fed cows. And worst of all organic milk (unless RAW) is still pasteurized, which destroys vital nutrients.
So, just because it's organic, doesn't mean it's worth a much higher price.
Rip-Offs in the Meat and Fish Aisles
When it comes to meats and fish, a lot of what you find in your local grocery store is not worth their price when you consider their nutrient to contamination ratio.
Yahoo Health' rip-off list includes swordfish, which is still considered a luxury by many. But when you factor in the high amounts of mercury you get from that swordfish, it just doesn't rank so high on the wish list anymore. Why would you want to pay $20 a pound or more knowing it's so contaminated that children and pregnant women shouldn't have a single serving of it?
I would also add any and all farmed fish to the list of rip-offs.
Nature didn't intend for fish to be crammed into pens and fed soy, GM corn, antibiotics, poultry litter and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result of this practice, farmed salmon, for example, is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT.
As for meat, I advise everyone to avoid conventionally-raised beef.
Because cattle were designed to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. Compared with corn-fed beef, organically-raised grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Conventionally-raised beef is also very high in pesticides (due to eating conventionally grown grains, and perhaps even genetically modified grains). In fact, non-organic meats can have up to five times more pesticides than non-organic vegetables!
This is why I recommend always buying organic, grass-fed beef. If you have to choose between buying organic beef or organic produce—get the organic beef. It'll give you the greatest bang for your buck in terms of health benefits.