I'm all about saving money wherever I can—but sometimes the old idiom rings true: You get what you pay for.
It's especially important to be aware of what's in the food you buy, since you'll be consuming it. Buying quality ingredients means spending a bit more money, and hopefully forfeiting the harmful ingredients that crop up in knock-off and bargain food products.
According to journalist Tom Mueller, 70% of extra virgin olive oil sold has been mixed with cheaper oils such as sunflower and canola oil. The oil is then chemically decolorized, re-colored, and then flavoured to look and taste like olive oil.
Your best bet is to buy artisanal and locally-produced olive oil, which is much more likely to be authentic olive oil. Since olive oil is used as the base ingredient in a lot of cooking, from salad dressings to marinades, it's important that it's top-notch quality.
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Olive oil isn't the only product that's mislabeled. Cheap honey is often sweetened with corn syrup to mask that the product is lacking in flavor. If you really want to get the best honey product available to you, opt for raw honey, which is jam packed with nutrients. Bees are busy all over the country creating delicious honey for us, find out where to get the best stuff near you here.
Antibiotic-free and hormone-free meat
It's true that hormone-free and antibiotic-free meat costs a lot more money, but it also is a lot better for the environment, the animals, and your health. Bonus: a lot of people claim that hormone-free and antibiotic-free meat tastes better.
Let's face it: cheap chocolate is not very good. And bad chocolate is worse than no chocolate at all. Budget chocolate bars don't use cocoa butter, instead they're full of cheaper oils that affect its flavour and texture.
By splurging on pricey chocolate that uses real ingredients you'll notice that the chocolate not only tastes better, but also feels better in your mouth.