Researchers at the University of Washington's Center for Public Health Nutrition say the results of their study released today say you don't have to pay a premium for healthy foods.
They went to seven local supermarket chains and picked a 100-item "market basket" using food considered healthy, such as wheat bread, orange juice, grade A eggs.
What they found was an almost $200 discrepancy between the most expensive store - PCC, which cost about $406 per basket - versus the least expensive - Fred Meyer, which cost about $218 per basket.
The mean basket prices for other stores are as follows: Albertsons, $267; Safeway, $287; QFC, $305; Metropolitan Market, $365; Whole Foods Market, $382.
The study does note, for stores like PCC, they often had to pick organic options, though study co-author Adam Drewnowski said they picked cheaper alternatives.
And while shoppers say price is important in this economy, sometimes other factors win them over.
"It's local and mostly the produce is pretty high quality," said shopper Mark Hofer of his reason to shop at PCC.
"Because I live so close, the convenience factor," said Kirsten Gantenbein, who was shopping at QFC.
The brief of the report can be found here: