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The Cost of Organics

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

                                                         Alden Mead

Why should people buy organic? For a start, non-organic fruits and vegetables are covered in dangerous and toxic pesticides. These deadly chemicals have been shown to cause cancer and central nervous system damage. Not only do non-organic fruits and vegetables affect our health, but they also can harm wildlife that live in the area that they are being grown. The pesticides get into our drinking water, harming both us and the animals that drink it.

The five foods that are best to have as organic are apples, bell peppers, carrots, celery and strawberries. The five foods that do not need to be organic are asparagus, avocado, sweet peas, grapefruit, onions, sweet corn, pineapple and mango because they have a very low pesticide count. If you decide to go non-organic, to reduce the pesticides you ingest, be sure to peel and wash the vegetables and fruit, and steam cook vegetables like spinach or lettuce.

Although organics have more health advantages, they can cost up to 40 or 50% more than non-organic fruits and vegetables. ABC news provides us with a great comparison of organic produce costs vs. non-organic produce costs:

Food

Organic

Non-Organic

  

Fuji Apple x4

$4.89

$3.89

  

Bell Pepper

$4.99/lb.

$1.99

  

Carrots

$1.99/bag

$.89

  

Celery

$3.99

$3.49

  

Lettuce

$2.99

$1.99

  

Potato

$1.49/lb.

$.99

  

Strawberries

$5.99

$4.99

  

So why is organic produce so much more expensive that non-organic produce? The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations provides us with some reasons why. Organic food is in demand. More people want organic produce, which means higher production costs and labor costs. Organic and non-organic fruits and vegetables must be completely separate during transportation and processing to avoid cross contamination. Farmers also work harder at maintaining the life of these fruits and vegetables without the use of pesticides. They will put in long working hours to keep their produce fresh and edible. For more information as to why organic vegetables are more expensive, visit the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s webpage.

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