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Why are 100 percent whole grain foods so expensive?

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Quick Answer

The ingredients used in 100 percent whole grain foods are part of the reason they're so expensive. Whole grain foods use the entire grain, which provides them with enhanced nutrition, but also oils that spoil very quickly. These oils are removed when grains are processed into white flour, making it easier for companies to store white flour in bulk.

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Why are 100 percent whole grain foods so expensive?
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Full Answer

Specialized production also contributes to the high price of 100 percent whole grain foods. The production of processed foods is usually mechanized, keeping wages paid to workers at a minimum. Whole grain food production is often more labor intensive. This translates to higher prices once the items are released into stores.

A lack of federal subsidies is also to blame for the expensive nature of whole grain foods. Farms growing ingredients used in 100 percent whole grain foods are often organic in nature. Organic farmers are not given the same amount of subsidies as farmers who produce food pyramid staples like corn, cotton, soybeans, livestock or wheat. Additionally, organic farms seeking certification have to meet rigorous standards concerning irrigation, fertilizers, pesticides and soil quality; often, these farms are out of commission for years leading up to certification, as the soil must rid itself of certain chemicals. This lull in production, combined with the fact that organic farms have smaller harvests due to the amount of work needed to meet regulations, increases the final sale price of whole grain foods.

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