We all know organic foods are pricey! And frankly for many of us that is confusing. If it's more natural shouldn't it be cheaper? It's time for some enlightenment on what's behind the label.
Here are 7 reasons WHY you pay more for organic.
1. No chemicals = more labor
Without the use of chemicals, farmers have to hire more workers to do tediuous tasks like hand-weeding, handling pest contamination, and taking care of polluted water. Conventional farms substitute human labor and intensive management for cheap (and toxic) chemicals.
Conventional farms use sewage sludge and chemical fertilizers. Did you here that? SEWAGE sludge. Maybe you don't want that in what you eat--but guess what? It's cheap to buy and cheap to transport. Organic farms use compost and animal manure which is natural, but more costly to transport.
3. PosT-HarvesT Handling
Output of organic farms is much lower than that of conventional farms (due to the chemical processes that allow for scaled production. Lower quantities mean higher costs when handled and shipped. Organic farms also tend to be farther from cities, which adds an additional cost to transport.
4. Organic Certification
Remember that label I talked about here? Organic certification is hard and expensive. Facilities must comply with rigorous standards and costly modifications. There is also strict record keeping that must be done by additional workers. Lastly, there are annual fees for the certification and inspections which can be up to $2000.
5. Higher loss
In conventional farms, pesticides and antibiotics protect against insects and disease that results in higher outputs. Chemical preservatives also make for extended shelf life. Organic farms do not have artificial preservation and experience more livestock and crop loss due to shorter storage time and shelf life.
6. No Hormones
No growth hormones means it takes longer for organic crops to grow and be harvested. Conventional farms can produce much more since their plant to harvest period is short.
7. The government
Conventional farms get $7.5 billion in subsidies from the government.
Organic and local farms get $15 million.
Now you have the facts to defend the extra dollars you pay on the good stuff ;)
WilL the price ever decrease?
Yes. But it starts with us realizing the importance of Organic food production and showing the Government it matters by increasing demand.