Recently I posted a blog called, Summer Veggies and Fruit – The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen. I received feedback concerning the use of pesticides on fruit and vegetables and the expense of buying organic.
There are many good reasons why organic produce is more expensive than non-organic. I’ve chosen just a few:
- no chemicals = more labor – conventional farms use chemicals and synthetic pesticides which gets the job done faster. The organic farmers have to hire more help for tasks such as hand weeding.
- demand overwhelms supply -“Retail sales of organic food rose from $3.6 billion in 1997 to $21.1 billion in 2008, according to the USDA, and 58 percent of Americans claim they prefer to eat organic over non-organic food. However, organic farmland only accounts for 0.9 percent of total worldwide farmland, and organic farms tend to produce less than conventional farms.”
- higher cost of fertilizer – organic farmers use compost and manure which is expensive to ship.
- organic certification – USDA Organic Certification is not an easy task. There are certain standards a farmer must comply with to achieve this certification. It is also expensive. Depending on the size of the farm, the annual cost starts at between $400-$2000. This is a lot of money for the farmer.
“I want to buy organic produce, but I can’t afford to do it on a regular basis.” Ok I hear you loud and clear. Organic food costs can really add up especially if you are feeding a large family. If that is the case, try and buy non-organic from the Clean Fifteen list. These fruits and vegetables are least likes to hold pesticide residues. If you buy non-organic from the Dirty Dozen, make sure you wash the fruit/vegetables in a diluted vinegar mix. This will help to rinse off any pesticide residue.