Is organic affordable on a college student’s budget?


Times Supermarket, 3221 Waialae Avenue


College life has students consuming more inexpensive snacks and drinks than meals every day. Going out and having fun at parties and events by using what’s left of the paycheck that was received at the beginning of the month, not thinking to much about the future more of the here and now. College students are people who are thought to eat instant ramen for all meals of the day, drink lots of coffee to stay up and work on papers, and can barely afford to buy food, students that are just trying to get by.

Kokua Market, 2643 South King Street

The Economic Research Institute says that living in Honolulu costs 152 percent more than the U.S. national norm for college students just for consumables. Though it does vary

depending on the amount of income they make, about 50 percent of every college students’ earnings go to food most of it being snacks or drinks.

According to, the average monthly income of a college student is around $645 a month from jobs, parents or other sources like credit cards.

With that said, only 50 percent of this money goes to food, about $320, the rest goes to other expenses.

Knowing that college students only have $320 for food and the rest for rent, utilities and car insurance, the low-income student won’t have anything left over.

When going to the supermarket, college students normally look for unnecessary items first like snacks and drinks, then looking for necessary items like meat, starches, dairy and eggs.

Non-Organic Fuji Apples from Times Supermarket


Organic food is the new craze, and people seem to be going nuts over the foods that are grown with no pesticides, fertilizers or hormones. Due to the lack of additional products added in to grow the perfect fruit or vegetable, the prices for these items are almost triple the regular price of their counterparts.

I’ve gone to Times Supermarket and bought enough food for one person to last for about two weeks. For the non-organic products, the price came out to $70.61 with normal brands like Smuckers, Loves and Lays.

Window-shopping at Kokua Market and looking at organic foods and similar types of products that were bought from Times, the total came out to $697.90.


With a college budget, $697.90 is a lot for just two weeks of eating,

it’s a little more than the amount students make in a month.

Organic Fuji Apples from Kokua Market

An article written by Michelle Brandt published in early September on the Stanford School of Medicine’s website says that sales on organic products have skyrocketed from 1997 ($3.6 billion) to 2011 ($24.4 billion). Though organic foods are known to be grown without pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics and hormone, she says that organic foods can reduce the risk of pesticide exposure but they aren’t nutritiously better or carry less health risks with it.

In the end people still choose to go organic even though it isn’t nutritiously better for you but for the peace of mind.

Kokua Market


Times Supermarket


Blake’s Pot Pie $8.49 * 4 = $33.96 Marie Callender Pot Pie $2.29 * 4 = $9.16
Simply Shari’s Pizza $10.49 * 4 = $41.96 Tony’s Pizza $1.00 * 4 = $4.00
Amy’s Burrito $3.59 * 4 = $14.39 El Monte XXL Burrito $1.99 * 4 = $7.96
Field Day Pasta Sauce $5.49 Western Family Pasta Sauce $2.78
Montebello Pastas $4.29 Barilla Pasta $1.58
West Soy Milk $3.49 Silk Soy Milk $3.49
Natures Path Heritage $9.99 General Mills $3.00
Arrowhead Mills Oat Meal $4.99 Western Family Oat Meal $3.49
Rudi Multigrain Oat Bread $6.79 Loves Multigrain Oat Bread $2.99
Field Day Peanut Butter $8.49 Smuckers Goober $3.99
Bionature Fruit Spread $5.99  “ ”
Fuji Apple per lb $4.49 * 2lb = $8.98 Fuji Apple per lb $2.19 * 2lb = $4.38
Papaya per lb $1.99 * 2lb = $3.98 Papaya per lb $.99 * 2lbs = $1.98
Santa Cruz Apple Sauce $5.39 Western Family Apple Sauce $2.58
Alden’s Ice Cream $10.79 Meadow Gold Ice Cream $3.99
Family Recipe Cookies $3.99 Keebler Cookies $3.00
Organic Kettle Chips $3.89 Lays Kettle Chips $2.50
Santa Cruz Apple Juice $4.59 Best Yet Apple Juice $3.78
RW Knudsen Cranberry Juice $13.99 Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice $3.98
Numi Tea $8.49 Lipton Tea $1.98
                 $697.90                         $70.61

Difference: $627.29