By Nancy Olah
I always choose organic produce . . . whenever I have a choice.
But many folks complain that organic produce is too expensive.
I decided to test out this theory with lemons – one of my most frequently used ingredients.
I bought a bag of conventionally grown GMO Sunkist lemons for $3.49.
I bought a bag of organic lemons from HGO Farms for $6.99.
If you just look at price, you’d be saying OMG – organic lemons are sooooo expensive. They cost twice as much as conventional lemons.
But let’s look at what you get.
That one pound bag of Sunkist lemons contained eight puny GMO lemons, weighing a total of 1 lb. 3 oz.
That five pound bag of HGO Farms organic lemons contained ten absolutely gorgeous lemons and weighed a total of 5 lb. 10 oz.
My hubby marveled at the size of the organic lemons and asked me if they were on steroids! (Not our your life dear husband!)
The organic lemons are the ones that were raised without pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides and using sustainable organic methods.
It’s those puny GMO lemons that most folks are still using which are the usual suspects.
So, back to my value proposition.
I juiced one of the Sunkist lemons (after rolling it on the cutting board under the palm of my hand for about 20 seconds to bring out more juice) and got 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
I juiced one of the organic HGO Farms lemons (doing my same juice-enhancing maneuver) and got ½ cup of juice (about 8 tablespoons).
So, by simple math, 2 tablespoons times 8 conventional GMO lemons gives me a total of 16 tablespoons or 1 cup of lemon juice for $3.49.
½ cup times 10 organic lemons gives me a total of 5 cups of lemon juice for $6.99.
Now . . . which seems like the better deal?
I can hear the protests already.
If you are saying that you can’t use possibly use ten organic lemons in a week or two – here are a couple of ideas:
- Make use of every bit of those luscious lemons by zesting and juicing half of them right away. Freeze the zest in small zip-lock bags and freeze the juice in ice cube trays. Once the juice is frozen, take the cubes out of the trays and freeze the cubes in a separate zip-lock freezer bag for easy use whenever a recipe calls for lemon juice.
- Or why not share the lemons with a friend, neighbor, or family member? You and those you shared with will benefit from having a fresh organic citrus ingredient at a fraction of the cost you would have paid for those puny conventional lemons.
True confessions. Back in the 1970’s, I was a co-op loving hippy chick who marveled at how buying in bulk kept prices low and helped more people afford fresh healthy food. I think we need to get back to the concept of sharing our resources with others. Maybe that next bag of organic lemons you buy could be a start in the right direction.