You just read about the benefits of chia seeds or you saw an amazing recipe for a chia fresca, smoothie or pudding, and now you want to know: where do I get chia seeds?
There are several different buying options for chia seeds. You can buy chia seeds:
- Online. (Buy chia seeds here at Amazon.com.*) I’ve found this is the cheapest way to get chia seeds, and offers the most choices.
- At your local health food store.
- At many grocery stores (especially those with large health foods sections.)
- At some warehouse stores and discount retailers. (For example, some Costco and Walmart stores.)
But, a word of caution: chia quality and price can vary. In reviews, some consumers have complained about finding plant matter or grit in certain brands, so it’s a good idea to read reviews before you buy.
I live in a small city in the South, and I’ve been buying my chia seeds at my local health food store. Usually, they carry two types of chia seeds: white chia seeds in bulk and packaged black ones from NOW Foods. They typically cost about $14 for a 12-ounce bag that lasts me about a month. I started out just buying these seeds because they’re what’s available to me locally. But now that I’ve started using chia seeds daily, I decided to do some research to find out what the differences are amongst brands, and whether I can get a better deal. I’ve done a lot of research, so I put together this chia seed buying guide to share with you.
Where you go to buy chia seeds will depend on what kind of chia seeds you want. Here are a few questions to ask. Do you want:
- Black or white chia seeds?
- Certified organic chia seeds?
- Non-GMO chia seeds?
- A specific brand?
It also depends on how you want to shop for your chia seeds, and how quickly you want them. A few other questions:
How important is cost? How much chia seed do you plan to buy? Do you prefer to buy online or in a store? Do you live in a big city or a small town?
In brief, here’s the lowdown on buying chia seeds:
- If you live in a very rural area, your only option might be to buy chia seeds online.
- If you live in a small town or city, want chia seeds today, and aren’t picky about brand, you can find them at your local health food store, possibly your local grocery store or supplement stores like GNC. You might also find them at retailers like Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco. I recommend calling first so you don’t run all over town on the hunt for seeds.
- If you live in a suburb or big city and you want to buy chia seeds in a store, you probably have more options. Both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s carry chia seeds. Trader Joe’s carries the Trader Joe’s brand of seeds, and they’re not certified organic, but they are pretty affordable. If you go to Whole Foods or another large health food store, it’s a fairly safe bet you’ll have multiple brands to choose from and that chia seeds will be in stock when you go. You’ll probably also have the option to choose a certified organic, non-GMO brand.
After doing some research on chia seed quality, I’ve decided to begin purchasing my chia seeds online. I am purchasing AZChia, which is the chia seed company of Dr. Wayne Coates, a long-time chia seed researcher and professor emeritus at the University of Arizona. (They’re pesticide free and non-GMO, but not certified organic. If organic certification is important to you, you might want to purchase another brand.)
Where to buy organic chia seeds
Chia plants, which are a member of the mint family, are naturally resistant to pests, according to chia researcher Coates (aka “Mr. Chia”) so no pesticides are needed to grow chia. However, some companies that sell chia seeds have taken the extra step to get their product certified organic.
Brands of chia seeds that are USDA certified organic (or in the process of becoming certified) are:
- Nutiva — (USDA certified organic & non-GMO)
- Chosen Foods — (organic grown & in process of certification, non-GMO, grown in Bolivia)
- Viva Labs — (USDA certified organic, non-GMO)
And, remember, chia seeds keep for years and don’t even need to be refrigerated or frozen, so you can stock up if you want to. You can buy chia seeds in bulk online* at a considerable savings. For example, you can get 10 pounds of Nutiva certified organic seeds for about $127 (with free shipping), which works out to under $13 a pound. (Whereas, if you buy them in smaller packages, they can cost that much for 12 ounces.)
So, where do you like to buy chia seeds? Have you found high quality at a good price? What’s your favorite brand? Leave a comment and let us know. Thanks!
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