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The Added Costs of Organic Foods

One of the most noticeable things when you go to make an organic purchase is the higher cost. Sometimes its a small increase but many items will cost quite a lot more when you buy organic. Since organic growers are not using chemical fertilizers or pesticides, shouldn't it actually cost them less to produce organic foods. While it is true that farmers don't have the added expense of buying these things when they go organic, the true costs of doing so go beyond these supply costs.

The additional costs come into play in more than one way, though they are all closely related.

Firstly, there are more losses to account for. Toxic though they may be, pesticides do protect growing fruits and vegetables from a mix of insect pests. Organic alternatives are helpful, but they are not as potent as the chemical varieties. That's the whole reason why commercial farms use them. So when the farmer loses more of his crop to insect damage, he (or she) has to raise the prices to make up the difference.

A similar issue comes up with chemical fertilizers. When using only natural sources for fertilizers, organic farmers will have smaller crops compared to a non-organic farm. Again, costs to up by comparison.

Without herbicides and weed-killers, a farmer will have to spend more time tending to their crops so that they are not overcome with weeds. That man-power equals money from a farmer's point of view.

Lastly is the issue of market demand. Organic produce doesn't always look quite as "perfect" as produce that has been grown with all the chemical additions. So as long as people choose to buy conventionally grown produce, the demand for organic will be too low to allow for the larger price breaks. Of course, this is changing rapidly as more and more people are making the effort to buy organic produce.

As the market grows and larger-scale organic techniques are developed, there is no doubt that the costs of organic products will drop and become more more comparable to similar products grown or manufactured conventionally. If you wish to support the organic industry, perhaps you can cut costs elsewhere and spend a little extra to buy organic foods.

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