Have you ever wondered why the organic fruit and vegetables are way more expensive than the normal kind of produce?
We would all prefer to eat healthier if we could afford it, but unfortunately, organic food is typically too pricey for most families to afford.
In this guide, we will take a deeper look into organic food products, and why they cost so much more than conventional food products.
Let’s get into it.
Any food grown without the application of artificial or chemical-based fertilizers or pesticides is considered organic.
Everything from prepackaged treats to meat and poultry can bear the organic certification.
When most people hear the word ‘organic’, their minds usually go straight to fresh produce, such as fruit and vegetables.
This is the most popular, or well-known types of organic food, but organic food is not limited to green goods.
When it comes to dairy products, meat, and eggs, the term ‘organic’ signifies that the animals were grown on organic soil, fed food that was grown organically, and weren’t administered hormones to stimulate growth.
Considering animals inherently create hormones similarly to the way humans do, food produced from animals on organic premises actually still contains hormones.
In addition, livestock on organic factory farms continue to be subjected to the same cruel living circumstances and slaughter as creatures in standard slaughterhouses.
Additionally, many traditional agricultural products – e.g., vegetables – still contain trace quantities of pesticides after getting rinsed and cleaned.
Therefore, it can be argued that food products that are labelled ‘organic’ are, often, not organically produced at all.
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Food products that uses, or doesn’t limit the use of artificial and chemical-based substances is referred to as being ‘conventional’. Conventional food is, essentially, the opposite of organic food, or ‘normal’ food.
Conventional food is a lot cheaper than organic food, which is why most people will opt to buy it instead.
More often than not, the food itself will taste, feel, and look exactly the same, so most families are not concerned about the difference between the two types of food.
However, some people prefer to pay a little more money to ensure that their food is completely free of hormones and chemicals… even if they are actually not completely free of these components.
So, why is organic food so expensive? Let’s take a look at the numerous reasons that affects the ultimate cost of organic products on the shelf at the supermarket.
It was estimated that the amount spent on organic products at retail increased from $3.6 billion in the late 1990s, to $21.1 billion in the late 2000s. That is a significant increase within just a decade.
Additionally, far more Americans (about 58%) have said that they preferred to eat organic food than non-organic food, which makes it more popularly consumed than conventional food.
Given that organic farming makes up just 0.9% of all farmland in the world, this issue gets increasingly serious. Additionally, organic farms typically produce less than traditional farms.
Since businesses may cut costs when manufacturing a product in greater quantities, conventional farms have the cropland and supply necessary to maintain costs reasonable.
Organic farms are obligated to charge more for their products because they end up investing additional funds for the same reason.
Organic produce must be segregated from regular produce after harvesting in order to prevent cross-contamination.
Preventing contamination with chemicals, which would render the food no longer organic, is the reason organic food must be farmed separately.
As conventional farms have the capacity to turn out more, conventional crops are processed and exported in bigger numbers, whereas organic crops are transported in lesser amounts.
This is due to the fact that organic farms typically produce less, which raises the costs associated with managing the commodities.
Furthermore, the distance between organic farms and major metropolitan areas typically increases the cost of delivery.
As a result, the cost of handling the product drives up the final cost of organic food even more.
Chemical additives and artificial pesticides are used by conventional farmers as they promote faster growth, which lowers production costs by completing the task more quickly and effectively.
The absence of chemical hormones to aid in food growth is yet another explanation why organic farms need to engage additional workers for jobs like hand weeding, cleaning up dirty water, and remediating the residue of pesticides.
The more workers engaging in the task of growing organic food, the more money that needs to be paid for manual labor.
In other words, the price tag for organic food corresponds more closely to the actual cost of food production.
The cost of producing organic food has skyrocketed due to the replacement of chemicals with labor and extensive management, as well as safety and sustainability issues.
Organic foods, as we’ve already mentioned, develop far more slowly than conventional ones.
This is because there aren’t any hormones or drugs being used to hasten their growth.
Therefore, compared to conventional food products, the process of growing and/or producing any kind of organic food is far more time-consuming.
Since there is never a production pause, conventional food is constantly in high demand, which drives down the price because there is never a supply shortage.
On the other hand, it can be harder to find organic food in stores.
There would be more organic food available if it were feasible to grow it more quickly, but this is not achievable.
Now that you know why organic food is more expensive than conventional food, you may be wondering if the difference between the two kinds of products are worth the increase in price.
No one wants to consume food that has been chemically produced, but is it really worth the cost burden of purchasing organic food?
After all, how bad can chemicals and hormones really be for your health? A lot of people eat conventional food, and they’re still alive and kicking…
So, is organic food worth paying more money for? Let’s find out.
Numerous studies have found that eating a lot of fresh produce is healthier than eating foods with extremely little amounts of pesticide residue.
Therefore, even though consuming harmful chemicals is not ideal, you shouldn’t forgo eating your greens just because you cannot afford to buy organic veggies.
Nevertheless, consuming traditional produce may marginally raise your risk of getting several ailments.
Numerous diseases, including diabetes, some malignancies, some neurological disorders, birth defects, and reproductive problems have been linked to pesticide exposure in previous research.
Ultimately, the best thing to do is to consume as much fresh fruits and veggies as you can, no matter whether they were grown conventionally or not.
However, you might want to spend more money on organic products if you are concerned about potential health difficulties in the future.
Since the well-being of human civilization depends on nutrient-rich plant foods, cultivating clean produce for consumption by human beings is almost always sustainable in the most broad meaning of the concept.
However, organic farming methods, specifically, are typically more environmentally friendly when compared to conventional farming methods.
That’s primarily because of conventional farming’s use of pesticides and chemicals.
Therefore, when it comes to sustainability, and saving the planet, we would all be better off growing and purchasing organic products.
Organic food is so much more expensive due to the lack of pesticides, chemicals, and hormones used to aid their growth.
This leads to further manual labor required to cultivate the food, as well as further expenses required for handling and transportation.
While eating conventional food won’t harm you in the short term, it may affect your health in the long run.
Therefore, it is ultimately up to you whether you’d rather stick to conventional food, or spend a little extra for organic.