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TexasMadness Profile
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Registered: 03-2007
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 3972
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The REAL price of REAL food


I keep expecting my food bill to go down. We are eating more and more locally sourced food and cooking at home. I thought with less meals out, less convenience food, we would be saving money. Not so!

And now I have the new perspective of having grown a lot of this food and seen what goes into it (time and money). I thought it would be interesting to examine some foods and see if what people pay for it. It's hard to do with vegetables since they fluctuate by the season, so I thought I would pick these products.

Eggs

I've seen eggs at the grocery store for $0.99 (€0.80) a dozen. It's scary for me to think of what they are doing to make that cost effective. Just paying for the feed on our chickens (yes, they get organic feed), requires us to charge $3 (€2.30) a dozen. If we want to earn any money back on the original purchase price of the bird and the feed she consumed before she started laying, we have to price at $4 (€3). We aren't the only ones. Eggs at the market are $4-$5 (€3-€3.90).

Milk

Again, grocery store prices are crazy low! Recently I've seen something about $2/gal (€0.50/liter). Organic milk is about twice that. But local milk from grass feed cows is 3 or 4 times that! ($7-$10/gal or €1.40-€2/liter). We still have never gotten a good handle on what it would mean for us to pay for all the goat feed with milk money. It's a complicated issue that also depends on how much you can sell live animals in a year, how many animals you have dry, etc. Plus we can't find a market for all the milk. Anyway, we charge $10/gal (€2/liter) and still don't pay for all their feed (we do drink a bunch so that's to be expected).

Meat

This one has really shocked me. It has made our food bill go through the roof! I spent $20 (€15.50) on pork chops alone for this week! But I trust that the farmer is charging me what he needs to in order to survive. Pork chops at the grocery are $2/lb (€3.40/kg). At the market they are $6.50/lb (€11/kg). What a difference! Supposedly, pigs are one of the worst treated by the industrial farming system. I don't have any experience with how much it actually costs to raise them, but seeing as egg and milk prices match our own, I really do believe the farmer when he charges me that much. Surprisingly, I did the conversion for the UK heritage pig company Firle found - they have a nearly identical price to our local farmers - $6.60/lb.

How much do you pay for these products - and from what sources (local farmer, grocery, etc)? Firle, I'm especially interested in your take on this. From what I've read, Americans spend the smallest percentage of our income on food - and we probably complain the loudest about how expensive things are too! I think the prices on the "real" food sold at "real" price shows that it's just the industrial farming in the US that makes our food seem cheaper. If pigs raised the old way in the US and the UK cost the same, then our factory pigs are the anomaly.



*why doesn't my American keyboard have a euro symbol built in?!?! emoticon
1/23/2012, 5:09 pm Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 
Firlefanz Profile
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Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
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Re: The REAL price of REAL food


I don't know that much about all the prices you mentioned - haven't looked at egg prices yet, but I'll see what I can do.

Eggs

I don't know the price for organic eggs. I usually buy free range, at about €1.20. The next time I'm buying eggs, I want to go organic.

Milk

I have shifted to organic milk last year, and I pay pretty much what TM said, about €1.20 per liter in the supermarket. "Normal" milk is at about €0.50. At least here, most milk cows have access to grass during the day.

Meat

Organic meat is shockingly expensive. A large chicken might cost €25. This is where I still struggle. My sister grits her teeth and gets all organic meat. Her family eats mostly organic, and they get most of their groceries from a small farm shop, with the purpose of supporting them.

General

I buy most of my food from a supermarket nearby - don't have a car. They do carry some organic produce and some other things labelled as made in this state (they stopped selling bananas under that label, after some ridicule, so I'm not really trusting it.) Fruit and vegetables are always labelled with country of origin and I try not to buy anything flown in. (No asparagus from Argentina...)

I try to buy organic, but especially with meat, it's hard. We have a farmers' market twice a week, but it's only in the mornings, which means I can only go there on Saturdays. Haven't managed that recently.

The farmers' market has both organic and normal sellers. I have come to utterly prefer organic potatoes, they just taste better.

Sorry for being a bit incoherent, I'm on my way to bed. emoticon

Last edited by Firlefanz, 1/24/2012, 9:56 am


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- Firlefanz

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1/23/2012, 10:39 pm Link to this post Send Email to Firlefanz   Send PM to Firlefanz Blog
 
Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Registered: 03-2010
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Re: The REAL price of REAL food


I have to admit that, for now, most of my food items come from the grocery store.

Eggs
I think we pay anywhere from about $0.99 to $1.29 for a dozen. That, of course, will change if we ever get our own chickens.

Milk
We don't drink a great deal of milk, so I only buy 1/2 gallon. Pay a bit more than $3.00. A gallon generally goes for a bit more than $5.00

Meat
As you know, we eat mostly venison, but taking into account the cost of bullets and processing.....a 120 pound deer costs us about $65 to have processed, and we'll get about 40-45 pounds of consumable meat for that.

Chicken, I buy only boneless/skinless breasts. Generally about 6-7lbs of meat, for about $6.98

Pork Chops, for 5...about $7.00..sometimes more if we go for the thicker cut.

General Groceries
A loaf of whole wheat bread is between $1.98 and $2.98.

I would buy more organic, but my DH is a bit of a penny pincher, so I buy what I know he won't pitch a fit about.

Our veggies, we grow ourselves, no pesticides...natural fertilizer...etc. I'm not real sure what the cost is of the seeds...they vary so can't really pinpoint costs

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"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"
~~@Saijen@~~
1/24/2012, 3:18 am Link to this post Send Email to Saijen SilverWolf1   Send PM to Saijen SilverWolf1 Yahoo
 
Rebecca Wraenna Profile
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Registered: 02-2012
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Re: The REAL price of REAL food


Food costs are really on my mind lately. Dear husband and I are starting the South Beach diet plan sometime in the next week, plus I've recently discovered that I am intolerant of gluten. So, a lot of the stockpiled things on our shelves are no longer good. The food shelf is going to be getting a big donation soon. I figure if we struggle with our grocery costs, then the food shelves must really be hurting.

Eggs cost 3 dollars per dozen here, they are at the grocery store but from a local farm- they are delicious! They are more expensive than the other eggs, but always the first to go. My husband was just given a carton of eggs by a coworker, their hens overproduced and they didn't want them to go to waste. I told husband to let them know we'd be happy to buy their extras if it happens again.

We bought a 1/4 of beef from a local farmer, after processing, etc it came to roughly four dollars per pound. Not organic meat, but local and from a cow that got to live like a cow, and was a healthy animal. It's nice to know that our hamburger is all from one cow, instead of 1,000 Cow Burger (that's what we call the chubs of meat at the grocery store.)
2/21/2012, 5:58 pm Link to this post Send Email to Rebecca Wraenna   Send PM to Rebecca Wraenna Blog
 
Queenyforever Profile
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Registered: 01-2007
Location: Walking a new path in Nature.
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Re: The REAL price of REAL food


My parents live on a fixed income, so they 'barter' with their neighbors..
Dad gives them some of his fabulous tomato crop and strawberries when they come on and they in trade, give my parents eggs.

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*The noblest art is that of making others happy ~ P.T. Barnum.*
'Stay where there are songs."....Gypsy proverb~

2/21/2012, 8:55 pm Link to this post Send Email to Queenyforever   Send PM to Queenyforever Blog
 
TexasMadness Profile
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Location: Austin, Texas
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Re: The REAL price of REAL food


Whoops guys, we let this one slide way off topic! I've moved all of the South Beach topic to another thread in the Food and Health forum. Please carry on discussion there!
3/3/2012, 3:36 pm Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 


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