Settling on the right grocery items at supermarkets can sometimes become overwhelming. There seems to be a variety of food items for every category under the sun, yet they individually perform similar functions. However, organic foods are gaining in popularity, and this can sometimes complicate the whole process of selecting the best foods for your family. So between looking out for wholesome foods, more families are focusing their attention on how the foods they purchase and consume are processed
This article explains what organic foods are, why they are better, and why they cost more in today’s market.
What are organic foods?
Organic foods are food items that are grown and processed without using synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. They include grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meats of all kinds.
However, organic foods are not necessarily pesticide-free as natural pesticides are used in producing some of them. The main essence of producing organic food items is to give the consumer, wholesome products, but the environment is also preserved in the process. The quality of the soil and water bodies are also maintained a key part of their farm to table process. Most foods are natural, and by natural, it means that no artificial colors or preservatives are added, but not all foods are organic. With organic, the discussions revolve around how it is nurtured and grown.
What are the benefits of organic foods?
- Organic foods have beneficial nutrients such as flavonoids, which are antioxidants. Organic foods lessen allergic symptoms. Organic meat and milk are richer in certain nutrients. A study in 2016 found that levels of certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, were 50% higher in organic meat and milk, this can be attributed to the grass and alfalfa that are fed to the cattle.
- Also, Organic foods are often fresher since they do not contain preservatives that make them last longer. Unlike synthetically nurtured food items that easily perish due to their shorter shelf lives, grocers now either sell organic foods more quickly to avoid having to dispose of them. As a result, consumers are often assured of fresh organic food times.
Farm animals are usually fed with antibiotics to make them resistant to diseases and more comfortable to raise them in places with low sanitary conditions. They are also injected with growth hormones to quicken their growth rate. Still, traces of these substances can make their way to consumers, says Rolf Halden, professor, and director of the Biodesign Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University. Drug residue is believed to contribute to widespread antibiotic resistance, he says, and organic foods—which are produced without antibiotics—“are intrinsically safer in this respect.” Organic meat and dairy also do not contain synthetic hormones, which have been linked to an increased risk of cancer. With organic food items, the consumer is assured of the absence of hormones and antibiotics.
Organic agriculture can reduce the need for fossil fuel for crop production by 70 percent. If used worldwide, organic farming could store CO2 by an amount corresponding to a global emission reduction of 40 percent.
Organic foods are ideal for Children and the Environment
- Organic foods are very safe in the environment. More often than not, fewer chemicals are used on the soil in the first phases of the growth process, which creates rippling effects for downstream processes. For example, Carbon emissions are reduced, and water bodies are saved from the chemicals washed into them by the Rains. Organic foods are also very good for children because of the absence of pesticides. Over long periods, even though the vegetables are washed, pesticides can potentially harm children and, in the most extreme cases, resulting in conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Organic farmers earn more than their counterparts, the regular farmers. For certified organic farmers, they earn more money for their yield even though their yield is relatively smaller. Additionally, organic farmers usually require less capital to begin.
Here are the reasons why organic foods cost more.
Like many other food industry sectors, the organic food market was hit by the global financial crisis as consumers prioritized budgets over other concerns. Yearly growth more than halved in 2009, falling as low as 4.5%, according to Dion Research. With revenues set to pick up again to exceed $60 billion by the close of 2011, the global organic food market will continue to rebound.
Ideally, people prioritize quality over quantity, but the more significant consumer population cannot afford organic products because of how expensive these products are. The high prices can be attributed to the expertise needed to produce these food items, among other reasons:
- Organic food supplies are limited as compared to demand. The majority of the global population wants to be assured that they are getting the best of food products, yet most of them are unable to afford it. And so, the prices become high for a specific economic class who would be able to afford it. Even though on a normal day, the prices are high, and as a result, some capitalists use organic products to amass wealth.
- Secondly, marketing for organic products is relatively inefficient, and costs are higher because of relatively small volumes. This is a typical supply and demand scenario whereby marketers are typically spending more to reach their target audience as compared to tradition foods (non-organic)
- Another reason organic foods cost more is that the production process is more expensive. More labor is required to maintain organic farms even though the yield is small. Additionally, organic farmers are more likely to spend time and money protecting their croplands against pests who, most probably by evolution, easily become resistant to the natural pesticides.
- Organic food items, as stated above, easily perish and hence need extra care and resources to preserve. A greater percentage of grocers cannot afford the equipment necessary to maintain them. So they would like instead some settle for the non-organic food items than bear the costs related to consumer’s sometimes volatile interest in the organic products.
To conclude, no matter how expensive these organic products are, they are the safer option for consumers, especially now that the world is battling pollution and carbon emissions. Organic foods, as they are, are safe and expensive because of the reasons discussed in the write-up.