Myth: Organic food is too expensive.
Fact: In general, organic food costs more than conventional food because of the laborious and time-intensive systems used by the typically smaller organic farms. You may find that the benefits of organic agriculture off-set this additional cost. At the same time, there are ways to purchase organic while sticking to your budget. Consider the following when questioning the price of organic:
- Organic farmers don’t receive federal subsidies like conventional farmers do. Therefore, the price of organic food reflects the true cost of growing.
- The price of conventional food does not reflect the cost of environmental cleanups that we pay for through our tax dollars.
- Organic farming is more labor and management intensive.
Myth: Eating organic food is the same as eating natural food.
Fact: Natural foods do not contain additives or preservatives, but they may contain ingredients that have been grown with pesticides or are genetically modified. In other words, the ingredients in the ingredient panel will look familiar, but they have not been produced organically. Natural foods are not regulated and do not meet the same criteria that organic foods do.
Myth: Organic food tastes like cardboard.
Fact: This may have been true of processed foods at one time—take crackers or pretzels for example—but this stereotype is as outdated as the hippie connotations that follow it. Today many organic snack foods taste the same as their conventional counterparts, while most people agree that fresh, locally grown organic produce does not compare to the alternative. Even organic produce that is not in season and has been shipped thousands of miles to reach our grocer’s shelves cannot compare to the produce found in our own back yard or at farmers markets. Taste is certainly an individual matter, so give organic a try and see what you think!
Try baking a couple batches of cookies or prepare a couple of bowls of fruit or vegetable salad; use organic ingredients in one and conventional ingredients in the other.