My mom and I have “disagreements” over my shopping at Whole Foods. She thinks it’s a rip off and the food is overpriced. I’ve heard the snarky “Whole Paycheck” used as well. Can Whole Foods be expensive? You betcha. If you compare grass fed ground beef made from cows that were raised on a pasture and never saw a feedlot at $8.99 a pound to the stuff in a big box store for $1.99 a pound that may or may not be butchered by illegal workers or comprised of the meat from 100 different cows from “North America”, it may seem expensive. But you are also comparing a BMW with a Ford Escort.
So, I “re-did” my Greek Chicken and saved my receipts to see what it would cost. First, some ground rules as to what this “costs”. I don’t track the cost of spices (unless they are odd and can’t be used elsewhere), fats (butter, olive oil, etc.), onions or garlic. These items, hopefully, are pantry staples and hard to parse out how much 1/2 tsp would “cost”, so to speak.
I got the leg quarters for $1.49 a pound, for a total of $5.02. These are “level 2” chicken quarters, which means the chickens they are from aren’t crated or caged (except for transport), no antibiotics or animal byproduct feed, and an “enriched” environment that encourages pecking, perching, etc. Additionally, the chickens need to have no more than an 8 hour journey to slaughter.
My $5.02 bought a lot of chicken quarters. There’s no way we can eat this much, so there will be lunch left over at this price. I used two cans of organic, diced tomatoes at $1.49 each. Instead of cauliflower, I used lentils. Well, I had lentils and didn’t remember to pick up the cauliflower. My bad. Organic green lentils run about $2.49/pound. I used a cup, which is about 1/2 of the pound (it’s a little less, so I’m over estimating), so $1.20.
Total “ridiculous” Whole Foods cost: $7.22 and I have two plates leftover for lunch! Now, for those tsk tsking me for calling my tomato the veg on the dish and not having something green. I could have gotten a bag of organic broccoli for about $3.00, bringing my total to $10.22. But I wasn’t feeling the “green” foods on this particular day. Plus, the lentils were green, that counts, right? And lentils are a “superfood”. Fine, next time I’ll add a more substantial veg than tomatoes. 🙂
If doing this with Cauliflower, as shown above, cost is $2.99/head.