Is the Raw Food Movement getting Greedy?

Is the Raw Food Movement getting Greedy?

There has been a lot of talk lately about how much the raw food movement has changed in regard to product development and consumption.  There are tons of raw food snacks and products on the market with visible presence in mainstream establishments such as Starbucks and Whole Foods.

The question is, why are so many of these products so expensive?  While I get that many of these companies are using organic ingredients and going through the trouble of dehydrating, sprouting, or germinating, who can afford all of these products?

I noticed yesterday that a variety of dehydrated kale chips are not even organic, yet they are priced at like $9 a bag!  Is there a level of greed in the raw food movement, as some have argued?

I recently shopped at Erewhon Natural Market (Los Angeles) and paid over $100 for one bag of groceries!  I do enjoy some raw snacks, but was shocked at how much I paid for so little merchandise.  Do organic almonds (non-pasteurized) have to be priced at $12 a pound?

I want to open this blog post to you, to hear what you have to say about this growing problem.

6 People have left comments on this post

» Chris said: { Jul 14, 2011 - 06:07:07 }

I mean it can definetly seem that way, but I think it is hard for me to say since I am not in the trenches buying, preparing and selling these products to retail. Like others have said the majority of these products are organic which automatically brings the price up, and these are usually smaller companies without as much buying power. But I agree with something like raw organic almonds. Why must they cost $12/lb even in the bulk bin of a grocery store, which are probably not even raw if coming from California. People always ask me is it expensive to eat raw, and I always think it’s expensive to eat organic and can be expensive to eat raw if you are constantly eating goji berries, cacao, spirulina, inca berries, and prepared raw food snacks/meals. But if one does make the effort you can eat raw and not have to break the bank.

» Veganforlife Lucy said: { Jul 14, 2011 - 07:07:48 }

Dern! I posted a lengthy post and it (Facebook) only allowed part of it. So here’s the rest.
I was saying that sure I like the convenience of having pre-made Raw goodies but at that price, I could make 10 bags of kale chips. I feel that we have to decide what is best for us and our lifestyle/monetary situation. Don’t get me wrong. There at a LOT of excellent Raw chefs out there, but there are also a lot of people seeing this as an opportunity to make the almighty buck. Every week there’s another eBook coming out. Or another supplement that’s “been around for centuries and will make you younger overnight” or some other ridiculous snake oil salesman pitch.
We must learn to be our own advocates and not be sucked into the greed that I am seeing evolving with something that could be so good. We better stop or big brother is gonna get THEIR greedy hands into our movement - they are trying, that’s for sure; I just hope our greed doesn’t get in the way of our health.

» Joe said: { Jul 14, 2011 - 11:07:49 }

It has been a concern of mine since I started my RAW journey in 2004. The Closest Raw food restaurant is 120 miles away. And it has only been open for 5 years. Before that I was going to one 180 miles away. Now all the grocery stores have their Organic sections with prices almost double. I can go to the Asian Market at the flea market on Beach Blvd in Jacksonville and buy a case of 9 young Thai Coconuts for $14.00. or go four miles from there to Whole Foods and pay $6.00 a piece for them. Same brand same packaging. Then a lot of these big chains are not owned by raw foodists. So you really don’t know where they get their food. I know where all the Asian markets are in Savannah, Atlanta, Jacksonville and Orlando. Also where the Local Farmers markets are. You have to read labels and actually study and find out what produce has to be organic and what really doesn’t. Eat what is in season, right now I am eating greens,bell peppers, tomatoes, corn and cucumbers from my neighbors organic garden, pears from my trees, figs from a friend’s tree, and herbs from my garden, with sprouts from my kitchen. If you have a garden or a few trees you have lots of produce to give away or swap. A lot of cities like Jacksonville and Orlando have Community gardens which you can rent a plot or trade for sweat equity. You do not have to pay gourmet prices if you stick to basic recipes, and eat when you are hungry, not when the clock tells you. and if you are eating or drinking fresh veggies you won’t be eating that much and you will be satisfied. I have a friend who runs Second Harvest Food Bank in SE Georgia. After she has distributed the produce they get from the local markets she calls me and I go and get all this ripe produce, pick through it run it through my food processor and make fruit leather out of it in my dehydrator. Join a meet up group. I buy very little at whole foods or local markets. I use super foods sparingly. I love Durian so I always have it in the freezer. Today I had 2 32oz Pear, apple, celery, parsley juices and a corn, tomato, cilantro salad. The stores are on the Organic Band wagon and money is the bottom line but you can get around their prices, by shopping around. and getting to know your local farmers.

» durianrider said: { Jul 25, 2011 - 04:07:45 }

You guys should rock to Australia if you think its pricey in the states for organic produce. Right now organic bananas are 11$ a POUND and we grow em LOCALLY! Its actually illegal to ship bananas into Australia.

We need to put pressure on governments to subsidise organic fruit and veg vs the meat and dairy industries that they spend trillions each year on subsidies.

Every dollar we spend is a vote for what we believe in..

» Mary said: { Aug 4, 2011 - 09:08:06 }

It’s a relief to know that knowledgeable people are expressing the concerns that have been growing in my own head for the past couple of years. I’m a newcomer to the raw food movement and am not 100 percent and don’t know if I ever can be. But what I’ve seen developing recently among those who have been at it for 10-15 years is frightening. When I first began studying the benefits of whole foods, as opposed to just being a “vegetarian,” it was exciting, pure, fresh. Then I started noticing that recipes and ideas that had been shared freely just a year ago, require me to join a website (at a price) and buy thousands of dollars in CDs and ebooks. I’m getting disillusioned, not with whole food, but with smart people who are spelling that word like this: “$$$$$mart.” Yes, everyone has to make a living, I’ve heard people say. Yes, however, it seems that our glowing-faced bretheren are taking lessons from the power hungry, greedy junk food industry. What a disappointment! How can the ordinary health-conscious person stop it?
It’s like a tsunami washing over the landscape of what was a beautiful thing. It’s very sad.

» Kat said: { Aug 5, 2011 - 11:08:04 }

I agree that raw food convience foods seem a bit high priced, and in many cases there are valid reasons this is so. I do enjoy trying them (once and awhile when I have a few extra bucks) and if I like the way they taste will work to duplicate it at home. On the other hand, as Durianrider says we need to put pressure on gov to subsidize organic fruit/veg vs the meat and dairy industries. I am more outragged that my own money (taxes) goes to help the meat and dairy industry continue to exploite animals and ruin our lands/oceans. How is it they got so important that we keep giving them money to keep going. I would like this put to a vote nationally with full disclosure of ALL the FACTS regarding the physical and environmental deterioration resulting from the overconsumption of meat and dairy. Wouldn’t that be awsome? Maybe the real greed is lurking elswhere?