Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani
Mayonnaise: Olive Oil vs. Regular
Our choice: Olive oil
Why: Even though mayo made with olive oil (such as Hellmann's Mayonnaise Dressing with Olive Oil) still contains some soybean oil, which is the primary oil in most regular mayos, it has about 40 percent less fat and calories than the standard spread. It's a nice compromise between full-fat and light mayo, which has about half the fat and calories of the olive oil version-but tastes like it.
The only drawback: Some may notice a difference in taste (the olive oil adds a slight tang).
Lobster vs. Monkfish
Our choice: Lobster
Why: Once upon a time, lobster was a luxury item, something you'd eat on a special occasion at the height of summer. Monkfish, often dubbed the poor man's lobster, was considered a middling alternative. These days, though, the Maine lobster population has exploded, with lobstermen hauling in record numbers. The result: rock-bottom prices. You'll pay about $12 a pound for lobster right now versus $15 a pound for monkfish.
The only drawback: None (for consumers), unless you consider OD'ing on lobster rolls a problem.
RELATED: Feeding Picky Eaters
Eggs: Cage-Free vs. Organic
Our choice: Organic
Why: Organic eggs are produced by hens given feed grown without most conventional pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or commercial fertilizers; standards also prohibit the use of growth hormones. The American Egg Board says eggs labeled simply "cage-free" usually come from hens living on the floor of a barn or poultry house. Their mortality rates are higher, since the birds tend to peck at and injure each other. Plus, the nutrient content of eggs from cage-free hens is the same as for those produced by hens housed in cages.
The only drawback: Cost. It varies depending on where you live, but organic eggs run at least a dollar more per dozen.
Vegetables: Precut in a Microwavable Bag vs. DIY
Our choice: DIY
Why: We knew the convenience of neatly chopped vegetables in microwave-ready bags came at a price, but we were surprised to see just how much the extra help costs: 99 cents for a regular bag of carrots versus $3.99 for a ready-to-cook package.
The only drawback: More time in the kitchen. It takes about three minutes longer to peel and slice carrots yourself, put them in a bowl, cover it with a lid and put it in the microwave.
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