When it comes to eating better, almost everyone knows that we should eat more fruits and vegetables, and less red meat. Researchers say, especially processed red meat, like sausages, hotdogs, bologna and ham, because these have all been treated with plenty of chemicals and are full of additives. In addition to these meats being harmful to our circulatory systems, they’re also linked to several different kinds of cancers. But when we head to the store, many times the price of organic foods can be a lot higher. The fact is, there are some kinds of foods you should only buy organic, no matter what the cost, and others are pretty good just buying regular.
Exactly What Drives The Cost Of Organic Foods Higher?
Although part of the reason these foods cost more is because there is a higher demand for them, they’re also more expensive for the farmers to grow. If the farmer is going to become a certified organic grower, there are a lot of steps involved and inspections to be made in order to achieve that goal.
The farmer can’t use any pesticides or herbicides on his fields, plus they have to be free from those chemicals for a period of time before he can even begin to plant in order to make sure there are no residues left in the soil. The waiting period can be up to 5 years. This automatically makes the original planting more costly.
After that, no more chemicals can be used in the fields to combat insect damage, fungal damage, weed growth or any other type of pest. This will typically reduce the yield by about 20% on average, but maybe more on certain types of crops and in certain areas.
Labor cost also rises as many of the functions of herbicides will have to be done by hand labor. Although technology is developing machines that will eventually be able to cruise down each row of vegetables in a field and remove weeds, those machines are a few years away.
There will also be more crop waste due to insects, fungi and infections, so by the time the harvest is in, there is less to sell at the market. Another cost, one that is many times hidden from the customer, is the dyeing, ripening, and polishing of fruits and vegetables.
In order to make them more presentable, many fruits are dyed, such as oranges, while others, such as apples are waxed to make them shiny. This is also prohibited with organically grown produce, but makes the customer shy away because of the appearance, which can result in higher waste at the supermarket.
But, It’s Always Better To Buy Organic And Skip The Fast Food Counter
When you feel like the cost of organic food is too high, keep in mind that when you go to the fast food restaurants you’re paying about 5 times higher for everything than what you would in the organic section of the grocery store. In addition to that, one fast food meal per week can negate all of the organic produce you buy with all of the horrible flavor enhancers, preservatives, and chemicals that come with a fast food meal
The moral to that story is that if you really want to eat healthy and organic, you really have no excuse, since the price you pay for a family of four at the burger joint can probably buy a whole week’s worth of fruits and vegetables. If you really want healthy and fast meals, invest in a crock pot for your kitchen, they save money, have the food ready when you get home, and the meals taste fantastic.