5 Reasons Why Organic Food Costs More
There are two main sources of degenerative and chronic diseases – toxicity and nutritional deficiency. Toxicity is accumulated from the pollution in the food, water, air and numerous chemical substances absorbed from your environment. Deficiency is the result of a diet that consists of artificially raised, chemically treated, processed and flavored foods that are engineered to appeal to your taste buds but are empty of real nutritional value. After a lifetime of chemical accumulation and low nutritional support, your body’s defenses break down and the result is the manifestation of one or more “chronic” diseases.
Toxins can’t always be avoided, but you can go a long way to avoiding toxins by choosing predominantly organically grown foods. If you’ve shopped for organic goods, however, you’ve probably noticed they can be more expensive. That’s largely due to the fact that producing food that is good for us and the environment isn’t cheap. In fact, there are a number of extra costs organic farmers incur that contribute to the heftier price tag.
Next time you are purchasing groceries, keep in mind that in order to bring chemical-free products to the market, organic farms have the following extra expenses and labor to consider…
Cost of Organic Certification
For farms producing organic goods, in order to use the “organic” label, they must be certified. In addition to the annual certification fee, some farms may have to hire additional help in order to comply with the USDA organic regulations. These extra tasks can include anything from daily record-keeping to land and equipment modifications.
While you would think not using chemicals would lower the price of goods, the side effect is definitely more costly. Without the use of typical chemicals, farms need to hire more workers to handle the jobs the chemicals were doing. Weeding is a perfect example of this, as it takes a great deal more employees to hand weed crops. According to the Organic Farming Research Foundation, “The organic price tag more closely reflects the true cost of growing the food: substituting labor and intensive management for chemicals, the health and environmental costs of which are borne by society.”
By avoiding chemicals, organic farms need to fertilize with more natural alternatives such as manure and compost. If the farm cannot produce enough of their own natural fertilizer, they need to purchase it. Compost and manure are more costly to ship and therefore can add to the cost of producing goods.
As an alternative to chemical weed-killers, organic farms use a method of crop rotation to help with soil fertility and reduce insects and soilborne diseases. That means for some seasons, less profitable crops will need to be grown in areas to help replenish the soil. This reduced frequency means they are unable to produce at the same large volumes as conventional farmers.
In business, the faster you can get a product to market, the more money you can feasibly make. However, with organic farming techniques, crops can take longer to grow and since they are not full of growth hormones often are smaller compared to conventional farms.
At the end of the day, although organic foods “cost more than commercially grown foods” on an apple by apple or orange by orange basis, the net result if you eat only organic foods, fresh from the grocer or farmers’ market, will be a LOWER food bill by about 10-20%. Eating a vegan diet will further save you on food bills.
The lower food bill will only be the beginning. Because eating organic and vegan foods positively affect health outcomes, healthier children and family members don’t need so much medical care, medical and insurance costs are much lower as well. There will be fewer sick leave days and days spent taking care of sick children and other family members will also benefit.