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What would you pay for Organic vs. Non-Organic Chicken Parmesan?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:49 pm
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Traditional Chicken Parmesan - $18.25
Organic Chicken Parmesan - $44.69

Organic 245% more expensive

For those families looking for healthier options such as organic foods there are many choices nowadays. We decided to see what are the cost differences between a common dinner at home, such as conventional "Chicken Parmesan" and an organic version of the same dish.

We choose two local grocery stores, one is a discount store and the other is a local health food store.

We tried to get the same exact ingredients, except for the fact that one set must be organic, as stated on the label.

Note that many foods sold in health food stores are not necessarily organic, the label must state that the product is organic.

There is much debate about the quality of organic foods compared to non-organic foods. People commonly believe that if something is labeled organic it must be better. What we were able to find is that across the board, every ingredient in this dish was much more expensive to purchase if it was labeled organic. Although the ingredients are more expensive if they are organic, we have not tested and do not know if they are more nutritious.


Non-Organic Ingredients

Servings: 6
Total Cost: $18.25
Cost Per Serving: $3.04
Total Calories: 7,933
Calories/Serving: 1,322

IngredientVolumeMassCostCalorie
Chicken, Breast, Boneless, Skinless * 2.00 Pounds $4.06 1,498
Salt, Table 1 1/2 Teaspoon 9.00 Grams $0.01 0
Bread Crumbs Italian Style 5 Cups 560.00 Grams $3.27 2,200
Oregano Leaves, Dried 1 Tablespoon 3.00 Grams $0.04 0
Thyme, Dried 1 Tablespoon 4.20 Grams $1.10 12
Black Pepper 1 Teaspoon 2.13 Grams $0.26 5
Flour, White Unbleached All Purpose 1/2 Cup 2.13 Ounces $0.07 228
Eggs, Chicken (6 eggs) * 300.00 Grams $1.00 468
Milk, Whole 2 Tablespoons 30.00 Grams $0.03 19
Vegetable Oil (amount absorbed from frying) 3 Tablespoons 42.00 Grams $0.09 360
Olive Oil, Extra Virgin 2 Tablespoons 27.00 Grams $0.58 239
Tomato, Pasta Sauce, Generic 7 Cups 1,778.00 Grams $2.33 1,260
Parmesan cheese 2/3 Cups 66.00 Grams $1.36 284
Mozzarella, Whole Milk Cheese * 1.00 Pound $4.05 1,361

 


Organic Ingredients

Servings: 6
Total Cost: $44.69
Cost Per Serving: $7.45
Total Calories: 7,513
Calories/Serving: 1,252

IngredientVolumeMassCostCalorie
Chicken, Breast, Organic, Boneless, Skinless * 2.00 Pounds $11.75 1,498
Salt, Organic 1 1/2 Teaspoon 9.00 Grams $0.01 0
Bread Crumbs, Organic 5 Cups 560.00 Grams $10.76 2,200
Oregano Leaves, Dried, Organic 1 Tablespoon 3.00 Grams $0.11 0
Thyme, Dried, Organic 1 Tablespoon 4.20 Grams $0.07 12
Black Pepper, Organic 1 Teaspoon 2.13 Grams $0.08 5
Flour, White Unbleached All Purpose, Organic 1/2 Cup 2.13 Ounces $0.14 228
Eggs, Chicken, Organic (6 eggs) * 300.00 Grams $2.35 468
Milk, Whole, Organic 2 Tablespoons 30.00 Grams $0.03 19
Oil, Vegetable, Organic 3 Tablespoons 42.00 Grams $0.42 360
Oil, Olive, Organic 2 Tablespoons 27.00 Grams $0.59 239
Sauce, Tomato, Organic 7 Cups 1,750.00 Grams $8.63 840
Parmesan, Organic 2/3 Cups 66.00 Grams $1.85 284
Mozzarella, Whole Milk, Organic * 1.00 Pound $7.90 1,361

Conclusion

Whether or not organic foods are more nutritious, the one thing we can see for sure is that they are much more expensive. This dish turned out to be 245% more expensive than the non-organic version.

For more information about organic foods the State of Montana has an article about what conclusions they have formulated regarding organic foods.

mt.gov - Consumer Demand Increasing for Local, Organic Foods

Is organic food healthier?
According to the American Dietetic Association, there is no research-based evidence supporting the idea that organic food is safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced food.

The differences between organic and conventionally produced foods are found in the manner in which the food is grown, handled, and processed.

For more information on organic agricultural practices, visit the Web site of the Organic Trade Association: http://www.ota.com/organic/definition.html



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