After doing some serious research, it came down to one very simple equation: the more chemicals you use, the less labor is needed at the farm or plantation. One would think that the less money on chemicals and pesticides spent, the less the item would cost, when in fact it’s just the opposite. The use of chemicals and pesticides reduces production costs, which means less costs for labor and an increased rate of production. Without pesticides, organic farms must create more labor in controlling weeds, water consumption and crop rotation to keep soils healthy and productive. Due to the lack of pesticides, organic produce also has a slower growth rate than non-organic foods. Even the organic feed fed to animals is more expensive.
The supply of organic food and products is also limited, (at 0.9 % of total world farms), although it is growing. Organic farms are typically further away from cities than regular farms, which mean transportation costs are higher. Organic foods have mandatory separation laws, and whereas non-organic foods are shipped in large lots together, organic foods must be packaged and shipped separately.
Outside of the cost for farming, acquiring USDA certification is not as easy as one would think. Daily record keeping is required by each organic-growing farm, as well as random inspections are held, which must be paid for by each farmer or producer, which range up to $2,000.00 per year. Organic farms also receive no subsidies from the government. This unfortunate fact stems back to World War II when food was scarce and the government was determined to ensure food production and availability. Worried about a lack of food, the government encouraged subsidizing by using chemicals that allowed for mass farm production.
What can we gather from all of this important information? Organic foods may cost more, however when it’s at the expense of your children, pets and family members, nothing else matters. If you compare the total of your organic shopping list to your non-organic shopping list, the difference may be somewhere around $10.00 to 15.00 extra. For $15.00, healthy children and a safe environment for my family, I’d give local farmers $15.00 any day! Looks like it’ll be food shopping at Whole Foods and cleaning with GreenShield Organic products for me!
And P.S. - Organic Cleaning Supplies and Organic Laundry Detergents from GreenShield Organic are not more expensive, and in many cases, more cost competitive than non-organic cleaning products! We'll discuss this in a future blog entry.