Why Organic Food Costs More
Organic vs. Conventional
Organic food is more expensive than conventional food for a lot of reasons. For example, while conventional farmers can spray herbicides on plants, organic farmers have to use a hoe. Apart from costing more, a hoe requires a person to work it. An organic farmer must pay people more the longer their job is. So the organic farmer has to pay more than the conventional farmer to keep the weeds out of his farm.
Organic Prices Dropping?
We went to a grocery store and looked at prices of organic and conventional foods. These are our results. To look at them click here.
Also to keep soil nutritious organic farmers use cover crops. Cover crops aren’t cash crops, so organic farmers aren’t getting money for them. When organic farmers use cover crops the cover crops are tilled right back into the soil. If farmers didn’t use cover crops they would be able to grow cash crops in all their fields at all times. This means that they’d be getting more money, but there are disadvantages to it. The soil will lose all its nutrients. Unhealthy soil makes unhealthy plants, which make unhealthy humans. By using cover crops farmers can assure the soil will be nutritious.
Organic farmers usually have tiny fields compared to those of conventional farmers. Because the fields are smaller the equipment has to be smaller. This makes it harder to plant a lot of rows. It can take an organic farmer two or three times longer to plant rows than conventional farmers. Time is money and organic farmers can’t lose it.
Conventional farmers try to farm only one or two crops. Conventional pickers pick only these crops. Because they’re usually picking the same crop over and over again they get better at picking the crop. This means they get faster. Organic farmers grow a lot of crops, sometimes as many as 24. Organic pickers have to pick a variety of fruits and vegetables. Because organic pickers have to switch crops a lot of times they don’t have enough time to learn to pick every crop speedily. For example conventional pickers take 9 seconds to pick a pack of parsley and organic pickers take 12 seconds to pick a pack of parsley.
Organic cattle feed costs a lot more than conventional feed. Organic cattle have to eat organic feed. Most organic farmers let their cattle eat grass in the spring, summer and fall, but buy organic cattle feed in the winter when the grass has died. Shipping and buying organic feed usually costs a lot of money. Conventional cows eat conventional feed, which is a lot cheaper. However organic cows are safer eating organic grass and feed.
Why Does Organic Food Cost More? Nojoqui Farms. http://nojoquifarms.org/article.php?id=7.
Organic Food: Worth the Cost? Kathleen Dohen. http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=62415&pf=3&page=1.
Business Q&A: Why Does Organic Food Cost more than Conventional? Ellen Simon. http://www.postgazette.com/pg/05190/533228.stm.