Unlike conventional farming, organic food production does not rely on hormones, antibiotics, growth promoters, synthetic herbicides and pesticides. Organic farmers employ soil management techniques that enrich the soil with organic matter and limit soil erosion, techniques that are not as destructive to the environment. The end result is a food product that is healthier and more nutritious for your family to consume because it is free of dangerous chemicals and is grown in a nutrient rich soil.
Is organic food more expensive?
The sticker price of most conventional food may be less expensive than its organic alternative but the actual cost of the food to society and the environment is far greater.
Take poultry production as an example. If soya is used in the feed, chances are that it is a genetically modified organism. In addition, chemical substances such as synthetic herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers are used in producing the poultry feed which in turn pollutes the environment. The costs of detoxifying soil from these pollutants as well as reclaiming the soil from erosion are not factored into the consumer price tag. However, the clean up is a real cost to society because it will have to be done. Residues of hormones and antibiotics in the poultry itself have potential serious health consequences that are borne by society in the form of radically increasing health-care costs. In addition, poultry farmers may get subsidies from federal and provincial government agencies to keep prices competitive.
There are no hidden costs associated with the production of organic food and there are no government subsidies aimed at defraying the costs of production. The sticker price reflects the actual cost of production.
So, is organic food expensive? The short answer is ‘yes’. But the cost of conventional food also has its price. All things considered, perhaps conventional foods are becoming too costly for ourselves our families and the environment. And perhaps, this is one of the reasons why organic food is the fastest growing sector of the food market. More and more people are choosing organic and voting with their wallets.