Did you see “Food, Inc.” the Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature? Well, I sure did, in fact my family and I saw it OnDemand on Comcast. I have to tell you – that film, directed by Robert Kenner, shook us all up.
Organic food is expensive, I know that…but I also know why it’s expensive. I tried to explain it to my Mother-in-Law, but I’m not so sure she got it. Like many of us, her thinking is, “If organic food is free from preservatives, pesticides, insecticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, fertilizers, toxic additives, artificial flavorings and colorings, why does it cost more? Does it not cost money to add those chemicals to food? So if organic food contains less added chemicals, why does it cost so much?”
She raised some valid points, but here’s the answer to those great questions: Government plays a significant role as to why non-organic foods are cheaper than organic. Non-organic is cheaper because we are reducing the in-store cost by paying for it with our taxes. Agrochemical agriculture is heavily subsidised by the taxpayer through the government, whereas organic farming receives no subsidies at all. Organic and small-time farmers receive “specialty crop grants” that are measured in thousands rather than in millions of dollars. (If you’re not growing corn, wheat or soybeans, you get the merest of crumbs from the federal table.)
Another reason why conventional food is cheaper than organic foods: Conventional farmers have certain advantages. Rather than using the age-old practice of crop rotation to keep soil healthy, they can apply cocktails of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides to fields. Unsold conventional food will be bought up by the USDA for school lunches (this is what we’re feeding our kids?) One calculation estimated the national all-in subsidy for industrially grown agriculture at $80 billion per year (that’s $725 per American household.) An organic farmer, by comparison, might mix up 200 pounds of old pasta salad, 100 pounds of rotting lettuce, and other assorted odds and ends to create a rich and fragrant compost with their waste.
The more common-sense reason why organics cost more than conventional is that smaller organic farms require more time, attention, and labor to get produce to market (watch an organic farmer hand-weed a row of carrots and you’ll immediately know why.)
Now personally speaking, my family eats pretty healthy foods…that is, I thought we did until I saw Food, Inc. Our major meat and poultry consumption comes from the major brands in that Documentary Feature. The chicken that we eat is so pumped with chemicals and growth hormones that it was difficult to watch.
For instance, the average chicken naturally takes about 3 months to reach maturity without toxic growth hormones – these BIG NAME chicken factories are growing them within 49 days (these chickens have also been “engineered” to have breast meat 2 to 3 times the size as a natural chicken, so much so they cannot walk more than a foot without plopping down because they are too top-heavy.) My family and I have consumed these toxic chemical-induced chickens for years and years…but no longer.
No wonder America has become an obese and sick nation (heart disease, E.coli poisoning, diabetes, obesity, elevated blood pressures, etc.) We are eating nothing but chemically altered foods - Go ORGANIC whenever possible.
“The price of Organic Food is cheaper than meds.” - H. Luiz
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