The Irony of Food Pricing

| February 25, 2015 | 13 Replies

* This post has been reprinted on

While shopping at Whole Foods this past week, I was struck (again) by the irony of food pricing. As I have recently given up modern wheat and most gluten, I have stepped up buying raw nuts. In 2007, the government issued a law that said all almonds grown in the U.S. must be pasteurized. But, that doesn’t mean they are all heated, some are gassed. Yes, gassed. Most organic almonds are steam processed to a temperature of 200°F, which destroys healthy enzymes and vitamins in food, (and in the case of almonds possibly makes them toxic), and the other most common method of treating almonds is to gas them with highly toxic fumigation treatment of propylene oxide (PPO), a highly flammable, known carcinogen. Sound tantalizing?

A young man was stocking the bulk nuts bins, and I asked him where were the raw almonds. If you want a truly raw almond that hasn’t been gassed or heated, it must be imported from Italy or Spain, or bought directly from an organic almond farmer before he ships almonds for pasteurization. The conventional bulk almonds, which seem to be raw, are $7.99 a pound, while the imported almonds are a staggering $19.99 a pound. So much for buying local. I understand quality costs more, but I said to the employee, it’s ironic that nuts which have been manipulated and processed cost less than nuts that have simply been picked, shelled and shipped.

The irony of Food Pricing - Sticker

Price of Raw Almonds

If one thinks of the lengths that processed food manufacturers go to to manipulate the ingredients they sell (it hardly should be called food), it’s astounding. In fact, real meat makes up only an average of 12% of a fast food hamburger patty (water content averages around 50%), and yet, that’s the cheapest food to buy.

To think that leveling primal forests to plant palm plantations (which destroy orangutans habitat) to produce palm oil as a substitute for whole fats winds up costing companies less is a hard notion to wrap your brain cells around. Can you imagine being in the corporate boardroom and discussing razing a forest to grow palm trees for oil to put in processed food? Every forest razed dries up the planet. Look at the current state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, where the water source for 24 million people has dropped over 90%. Everyone must be looking at their hands, too ashamed to face one another. (If you aren’t reading labels and avoiding foods cooked with palm oil, please start now.) Maybe it seemed like a good and profitable idea before the glaciers started melting at record pace which threaten to melt the frozen methane underneath that could end human life on Earth, but not now. No amount of personal and corporate wealth is worth that doomsday scenario.

So, I started talking to the young man, who offered that he’d been working at the store for six years, since he was 18. I asked him when Whole Foods was going to go GMO-free and he quickly answered 2018. However, when I explained what a GMO was, and he said he wasn’t familiar with the name Monsanto, I was surprised. I mentioned that modern wheat does to the blood sugar what a candy bar or a spoonful of pure sugar does, and he seemed surprised. I mentioned Type II Diabetes is the medical tsunami that’s coming and he said, “Oh, I know, both my mom and dad have to check their blood sugar every day.” But, then, he added, “But, they’re old.” I told him I have a 24 year-old, son so don’t be calling his parents old. He laughed, and he promised to look into the things we talked about. (Don’t worry, I didn’t keep him from working, he never stopped doing his job.)

But, that’s the commitment I’ve made ~ through growing my own food and becoming even more protective of the Earth, dirt, butterflies, oceans, wildlife, trees, plants, fresh water and air (well, I’m not protective of aphids!) to speak to anyone who will listen, to spark an interest in them, that what they put in their mouths matters. It matters to their health and well-being, to their families and neighbors, and it matters to food producers and to the environment. It’s all so very precious, and precarious today, with conflict and aggression happening all over (every time an explosive fires, the planet heats up in exponential ways) and billions are spent to extract the last ounce of fossil fuel from the Earth and transport it around the globe, but humans have an opportunity with their buying dollars to affect positive change and do their part to protect our increasingly fragile existence here.

Read food labels • Educate yourself • Conserve • Care • Share

Thanks for stopping by and if you like what you read, please let me know and share with a friend. If you are just starting to think about growing your own food, download my free ebook “10 Steps to a Great First Garden.” Sign up on the box to your right. And subscribe to my web show “Late Bloomer.” I promise you will learn a lot, I have! Happy gardening! – Kaye

I receive a small commission for promoting products I’ve used and believe in. Your support of these products helps me to continue to produce “Late Bloomer” episodes to inspire people to grow their own food and take control over their food security. Click on links or photos to order products! Thank you!

Help me inspire people to grow their own food and take control over their food security. Your donation of any amount makes “Late Bloomer” possible and available for anyone.


Thank you!



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Community, Environment, Food Security, GMO's, Nature

Comments (13)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Iyel Bey says:

    Thanks for this article Kaye. It’s good to be able to pick up information from your interaction with others. I found out a few things that I didn’t know from reading this article. I enjou your videos and I’m glad we’re connected.


  2. Hi Kaye, I don’t buy any nuts. I raise my own peanuts and have 30 Black walnut trees that I planted 15 years ago. They are healthier than almonds. Every day I eat a handful. I use local butter from grass fed cows and local lard. The only other oils I use are Organic Coconut oil and Olive oil. I sell the nuts. The shipping cost is as much as the nuts. I can’t even give them away locally. People are not willing to pick them up, clean the husks off, crack them and pick out the meats. I do sell the whole nuts & meats but pay myself MIN wage for the work so they are pricy. Most nuts are processed by machine and are very old when you buy them as well as rancid. It would be best to buy them in the shell from a local grower and crack them as needed. I have never been to a Whole Foods. I think a lot of people drive by struggling small farms on their way to Whole Foods. You have to be doing production to sell to any store. It is all about convienience and marketing …. I tell folks avoiding local pastured dairy and using soy almond or coconut milks that it is not sustainable. I always imagine what we would/could eat if suddenly stores dissapeared. :)Sharon

    • Thank you, Sharon. I think you must be the healthiest person I know. I can’t wait to see your garden and eat some of your black walnuts, in fact I think I’ll come and stay for awhile!

      • You are most welcome Kaye to relax or deeply emerge in the gardens ..or play with the rabbits, chickens or horses .I am thinking about incubating chicks . I am planting peas and potaoes as well as hundreds of seedlings in flats in the greenhouse. I am drawn this year to grow flowers and herbs for the insects as well as food for the seed and table. I found a garden intern and am grateful…. I will be traveling sometime in August not sure yet when . Let me know when you want to visit :)Sharon

  3. Sherman says:

    I really enjoyed your article. The state of food is really sad today. So many contradictions. I’m really trying to grow my own as much as I can. I’m starting to make some good headway, but it is a process.
    I’m starting to do a lot more hydroponically to maximise space and water consumption. I know is not organic but at least I know what it’s been thru to get to the plate 🙂 thanks for sharing this article.

    • And than you for sharing your conscience with us. I hope your journey to protect your food is successful, as much as is possible today. Thank you for reading and please share with a friend. – Kaye

  4. lisa lynn says:

    Hi Kaye,
    It is hard to remain positive when you read all of the bad news about our food, envirnoment, and social strife. I understand completely. I’ve been checking to make sure that if I purchase something with palm oil, that it has been raised sustainably. But I sometimes wonder if it really is. I wasn’t aware of the gassing process for almonds…yikes. 🙁 I wish I could grow more of our food, but we have 1 acre and are planning to move in a few years…so I don’t want to rip up the whole yard and have to replant grass to get it ready to sell. But we try to do as much as we can.

    Thanks so much for sharing these important thoughts with us!

    • Thank you for your thoughts, Lisa. I know you are doing a lot. More than me. I really appreciate your endorsement of my speaking out. Yes, the gassing was news to me, too. Crazy to think a property has more value if it has a green lawn, than a vegetable garden of deep soil health. – Kaye

  5. Radha Eswar says:

    It’s wonderful to read thoughts such as yours across the globe. Wish you the best in your effort to help people see the right way of living.

    • Thank you for reading and responding, Radha! We don’t have a minute to lose. I’m doing all I can. I hope I can influence enough people in time to turn things around from a corporate-controlled agricultural food system to a locally-based sustainable model. Please subscribe to Late Bloomer and share. Thanks!

  6. palm tree says:

    Places where date palms develop naturally experience mild rains and that too in winters, with summers being excessively hot and
    dry. If they are to be grown naturally, it will be significant to
    ensure that the location is not a place that experiences heavy rains spherical
    the year. The identical case is with the palm trees that are used for the
    decoration purposes of a place due to their beautiful appearance.
    This palm is used for beautification due to its exotic look.
    If people have to purchase Medjool Date Palm Trees, they can search the internet to
    get one of the best firm for this goal. These timber
    are used to get the tropical look. You get these benefits and more as a result of we have planted, grown and shipped
    your Windmill Palm Tree with absolute care. Within the south, the dwarf palmetto palm tree is commonly discovered growing as
    small shrubs and colonies alongside sandy coastal areas and in poor swampy soils inland.
    Palm as we are all conscious of is a flowering plant most of which is
    present in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climate areas.
    Palm trees are found in abundance in most countries that
    are situated on this zone. There are many people
    who sell Medjool date palm trees which can be grown in California.

Leave a Reply