Does It Pay To Buy Organic?

The world today is turning a lot more health concious, but does that necessarly mean that it is worth paying the extra bucks for food that is organic? Organic food is food that has not been treated with pesticides and fertilizers. Antibiotics, growth hormones, and feed made from animal parts are also banned. There are shoppers today that will pay 10%, 20%, sometimes even 100% more for organic food. The organic food sales hit $10 billion in 2003, up from $178 million in 1980. Because of the current hipe with natural foods, grocery stores are starting to stock a lot more of these type of goods. I guess demand has increased the supply, more so in our regular grocery stores.
So is organic worth the extra money? Research has yet to prove an adverse health effect from consuming the low levels of pesticides commonly found in U.S. food. But for the most vulnerable groups -- children and pregnant women -- going organic whenever possible for fruits and vegetables that carry the heaviest pesticide load makes sense.
Granted, foods that are not treated with such things as pesticides are going to be more healthy, but are they worth the extra costs associated with it?


heather said...

I think that it pays to buy organic if that is what you feel most comfortable buying. I personally feel more satisfied buying certain foods that are organic, such as produce, because reguardless of what it does to me in the long-run, I think the quality and flavor is often better. It is very difficult to make a decent marinara using typical grocery store tomatoes, trust me.

Keston said...

In my own opinion I would not and do not buy organic food. I guess it all depends on what is important to you and whether you consider organic food to be a normal good, inferior, luxury, or some other type of good. I would much rather spend my money on buying clothes or even saving it than buying organic food, but I guess it just depends on your preferences.

Dale said...

I know that farmers are given an extra incentive to produce organic foods, because it requires more work and it is also more risky. I also know that the forecasted sales are higher this year than last, and that it continues to increase. I am familiar with this stuff because I am part of a family farm.

Dr. Tufte said...

-2 on Stockton's post for a poorly formatted link and a spelling error.

Organic produce is a good example of how marginal costs determine supply. Organic produce costs more because it costs more to produce - there is more waste because more of the product falls prey to disease or animals. So, organic produce has a supply that is shifted to the left leading to higher prices, and lower consumption.

Jacques: are you going to bring some marinara sauce for show-and-tell some day? ;)>