Is organic really more expensive?

shoppers

Organic foods generally cost more than non-organic foods, but not always.

Fruits, vegetables, coffee, cereals, and many other foods may cost the same or even less than their non-organic counterparts.

When organic foods do cost more, consider these factors:

  • Market prices for non-organic food are misleading; they ignore the damage to our environment.
  • Non-organic food prices don't count the fact that soil on conventional farms is eroding many times faster than nature rebuilds it. Organic standards require constant improvement of the soil through composting.
  • Non-organic food prices don't consider the marine life we're losing because of nitrogen runoff from overusing synthetic fertilizers, or the mining of the world’ fishes to feed livestock in feedlots. One-third of the world’s fish species are endangered or threatened with extinction.
  • Non-organic food prices don’t factor in the damage to human health caused by synthetic pesticides polluting water supplies and wells, or the resulting health care expenses.
  • Non-organic food prices don't include the loss of plant diversity that has occurred with a few companies marketing just a limited selection of seeds.
  • Non-organic food prices don't consider the farm families and entire rural communities wiped out by rising farm costs and lower returns.
  • Organic food often is more expensive to produce, requiring more labor and management, and because the “inputs” — fertilizers, seeds, pest control, animal feed and others — are more expensive.

If all the hidden costs of non-organic food production were factored into the price of food, organic food truly is less expensive!

More about: organic food, true cost of food

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The "Dirty Dozen" (Plus)

Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) offers a Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, compiled from U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

The "Dirty Dozen" (Plus) lists produce highest in pesticide residues and the "Clean 15" contains produce lowest in pesticides.

If you have to pick and choose, the Dirty Dozen are the ones to buy organic. Learn more at EWG's website.

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