As part of our celebration of Organic September, we’ve shared a couple blog posts about the differences between organic and conventional agriculture, and why organic foods tend to be more expensive. The question now is: Is organic food worth the cost?
Ultimately, only you can decide whether spending more of your hard-earned money on organic produce is worth it. Here are three reasons why we think it is:
1. Physical Impact
Organic food is better for our bodies. I recognize that this is a contentious statement. Initial studies comparing the nutrient density of conventional and organic produce found that organic foods do not offer significant nutritional benefits. However, more recent studies challenge that conclusion.¹ Most significantly, organic fruits and vegetables offer much higher levels of antioxidants—which are essential nutrients for maintaining the health of our cells, supporting longevity and preventing chronic disease.
Even if the jury is still out on the health potency factor of organic vs. conventional produce (and for the sake of fairness, let’s say it is), there is still the issue of chemical pesticide, herbicide and insecticide residue. People argue that the amounts of chemicals used to help grow conventional produce are so low that they are insignificant to our bodies. However, when we consume non-organic food repeatedly over time, those “small” levels of chemicals become incredibly significant and highly toxic for our bodies. It’s best to avoid them altogether—which you do when you eat organic produce!
2. Environmental Impact
It’s undebatable: conventional agriculture is harmful to the earth. The chemicals used in non-organic agriculture contaminate and destroy the land, water and air—which compromises the environment that plants, animals and we humans rely on to survive. A very real, immediate and concerning impact of conventional agriculture is that it depletes soil of its biodiversity, which renders millions of acres of farmland unable to sequester carbon from the air in the way that healthy soil effectively does. This directly contributes to the rapid rate we’re experiencing climate change. Conventional agriculture compromises the health and sustainability of our ecosystems, natural resources and planet as a whole, while organic agriculture upcycles and replenishes them. (Click here to check out our handy infographic to learn more).
3. Voting with Your Dollars
It’s simple: By devoting a little more of your money to purchasing organic, you are leveraging your economic power to send the message that your own health and the health of our planet are what matter to you. In the capitalist economy in which we live, companies shift to meet consumer demand. More demand for organic produce and food products would not only encourage farms to transition to organic agriculture, it would also help drive down the price of organic foods, as the producers would need to begin operating at a larger scale to meet consumer demand.² By purchasing organic foods, you’re advocating for a food system that supports the health and longevity of our earth and the beings in it (yourself included)!
Curious to learn more about why organic is more expensive? Read "5 Reasons Organic Food is More Expensive" or head to our Organic Resource Library for additional materials. Plus, be sure to follow @navitasorganics on social media throughout September (and beyond!) for more education on the importance of organic.
¹NPR, “Are Organic Vegetables More Nutritious After All?”. Accessed Aug 14, 2019. < https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/07/11/330760923/are-organic-vegetables-more-nutritious-after-all>.
²The Balance Small Business, “Why Consumers Should Buy Organic Food.” Accessed Aug 22, 2019. < https://www.thebalancesmb.com/reasons-to-buy-organic-food-2538039>.