Are you paying for inconvenience

Ironically, I just shelled 163 edamame pods to deliver this message: Don't pay to be inconvenienced. 

I've been known to warn people to avoid the cost of convenience.  In general, this is good advice because processed and prepared foods tend to be more expensive than the do-it-yourself variety. However, there are exceptions to every rule.  Let's take soybeans as an example.

I bought one bag of edamame in their pods and one bag of shelled edamame. They were the same brand, the same weight (1 pound), and the same unit price ($2.49 per pound), but the value was definitely not the same.


Since edamame pods are not good eats, I shelled the in-pod soybeans.  What I was left with was a big mess and a small pile of edible soybeans that weighed only 7.8 ounces.

That means that, in addition to being inconvenient, the edible portion of the in-pod soybeans cost $5.11 per pound-- more than twice as much as the conveniently pre-shelled soybeans!

My guess is that I would find similar results if I compared shelled versus in-shell peanuts.  It also makes me wonder how much I'm paying for other types of food "waste" like watermelon rinds, celery tops, and avacado pits.

When it comes to money, it is best not to make assumptions based on generalizations. From now on, instead of only considering cost per pound, I'm going to consider: per pound of what?

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

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