Yes! Organic food does seem more expensive on the grocery counters compared to conventional food. Consumers may fail to see, but evidence suggests that conventional food is more expensive considering the impact on the environment and also on our health. Paying less for conventional food only accounts to bearing costs of impact on the environment and health through environment tax and hospital bills. Organic food offers solutions and benefits that stay long term, eventually helping home economies save much more.
The price tag of organic food closely reflects the costs for labour, organic seeds, chemical-free pesticides, certification process, inspection-fee, storage and shipping, packaging and marketing etc. Therefore an organic farmer, in case of a loss, has to bear much more costs than their conventional counterparts. At first glance, organic food appears nothing but food wrapped in fancy paper, but the reason it is expensive is because of some very significant reasons.
What consumers often fail to realize is that organic farmers have to bear more costs to keep away harmful fertilizers and sewage sludge away from the organic food. While it may seem that compost and natural manure used on organic farms is readily available, the fact that it is more difficult and therefore more expensive to ship is often ignored, leading us to believe that production cost for organic food is much lower, when in reality the scenario is completely opposite. There are a number of land issues that one has to keep in mind before one proceeds to grow organic. Special facilities required to grow organic and obtain certification for organic produce must be fulfilled. In order to avoid cross-contamination, organic crops are shipped separately to maintain their natural value.
Organic farmers spend more time in growing their crops than conventional practices demand. Refraining from using growth hormones increases the time of organic crop production. Without the use of chemical pesticides, to save the crops from diseases and for pest control, more labour is required for manual processes such as hand-weeding, cleanup of contaminated water, and remediation of pesticide adulteration. This requires both, more time and money. Conducting crop rotations in order to maintain healthy land and avoid harmful weed-killers is essential in organic farming. This process requires one to grow “cover crops”, in order to replenish the soil with nitrogen, every alternate year, thus accounting to profitable crops once in two years. It is no surprise then that organic food is more expensive than conventional food.
Most economists have confirmed that the more people buy organic food, the lower its prices will fall! With increasing awareness amongst consumers, demand for organic food has already skyrocketed in the past few years. This increase in demand has led to an increase in the number of certified organic farmers willing to fulfill the high demand, resulting in higher production of organic food and lowering its costs.