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Are Organic Foods Worth Their Higher Price Tag?

Are Organic Foods Worth Their Higher Price Tag?

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    May 15, 2015   Author : admin

Posted in: LIFE AND HOME

There is no doubt that farming practices have changed immensely over the last four or five decades. As populations have increased, so has farming production. Modern farming relies heavily on pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and GMOs (genetically modified organisms). For those that are looking to lower their toxic exposure, organic foods tend to be the best and clearest solution.

If you're someone that eats a lot of organic foods, then you have probably noticed their higher price tag. Why is this? Are these foods worth their higher prices?

Why Is Organic Food So Expensive?

You may be wondering: how can organic items be so much more expensive? Who is getting all that extra money? There are many factors that go into the higher price tags. The following factors will help you better understand the price attached to your favourite organic food.

  • Simply put, the production of organic foods is more expensive. This has a lot to do with the products used, as well greater amounts of manual labour (in terms of the output).
  • Since pesticides and herbicides aren't used, there's generally greater crop loss.
  • If items are certified, this costs the farmer hefty certification and inspection fees.
  • The demand is far greater than the supply (conventional farms account for about 90% of the market).
  • Purchasing organic fertilizer is more expensive.
  • There are better living conditions for animals, which tend to cost more.
  • The growth of the crops is slower, since they are not sprayed with chemicals, and in farming, time is money.

As you can see, there are a lot of costs that are not visible to customers. Now that you understand why organic foods are more expensive, is it worth it? Do organic foods offer that much of a difference in terms of nutritional content and your health?

Should You Be Investing In Organic Produce?

At the end of the day, there's no way around it. Conventional food products have been exposed to high concentrations of various chemicals. For instance once you consume an apple, the chemical residues find their way into your body. If you are struggling to afford organic foods, there are intelligent ways to shop using money-saving techniques!

Although all of our food would be organic in an ideal world, this is simply not the case. Is it worth buying organic? Absolutely! The good news is that you can focus on certain items, significantly lowering your exposure to toxins, without breaking the bank.

A good overall rule is: if you are going to eat the skin, then choose organic. Let's focus on which foods are significantly better when organic, helping you lower your monthly shopping bill.

  • Meat: If you are going to purchase meat, invest in organic options. Yes, organic meat is expensive, but you do not need to eat it seven days a week. In fact, most people should reduce their intake of red meat. Animals that are raised on conventional farms tend to live in horrendous conditions. When they're sick, they are treated with antibiotics, which we then consume. They are also given hormones and steroids.
  • Berries: Unlike an avocado, banana or orange, there's nothing protecting the flesh of a berry. It is directly exposed to its environment. Strawberries and blueberries are known to be some of the most toxic fruits. Being exposed to more than 40 pesticides, they pass these chemicals onto the consumer. If you cannot afford organic berries, opt for frozen. They tend to have less exposure. Also, since they're typically frozen shortly after being harvested, they often have a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals. 
  • Milk: When you purchase organic milk, you will not expose yourself to the pesticide known as lindane. Unfortunately, 100 tonnes of this chemical are used on British fields each and every year. Due to its potential link to breast cancer, it's important to protect your health.     
  • Leafy Greens: Lettuce, spinach, kale and other varieties of greens, tend to have a large surface area exposed to chemicals. They readily absorb these chemicals and then we consume them. It is believed that conventional spinach is exposed to over 45 chemicals. A bag of organic spinach is not that much more, yet it provides you with more nutritional value.     

Some of the other options that tend to be the dirtiest as a result of the harvesting process include: potatoes, apples, grapes, peaches, peppers, eggs and tomatoes. You can also focus on the options that tend to be the cleanest. These options are less likely to retain high pesticide residues. These include: Sweet potatoes, Avocados , Sweetcorn, Onions , Mangoes, Kiwis, Cabbage, Pineapples, Grapefruit, Aubergine. 

If you're trying to stick to a strict budget, it can be challenging to buy all organic products. Start being more mindful of what you're purchasing and focus on not purchasing the most highly exposed foods. You can also visit more farmers’ markets. As you get to know local farmers, you will have access to all kinds of nutrient-rich options that better fit your budget. 

 

Image via Pinterest | Written by MYC Contributor Krista Hillis

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