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Why Choose Organic & Sustainable Living?
9 Reasons Organic Is Expensive
We live in a world where one can buy fashion wear for $10 but fresh produce costs 20% more. They are often costlier than your conventional frozen or canned counterparts. You might think, organic food should cost less than conventional food. The crop is free of chemicals, synthetic pesticides, and antibiotics. Moreover, its production cost does not include these chemicals. But, we must consider some other factors. Let’s see what they are and see how we can make organic food affordable.
1. Chemicals and Labor
Growing food without chemicals and pesticides is expensive. Using them reduces the cost of labor, work is done easily and efficiently. Several menial tasks in an organic farm such as – weeding, cleaning polluted water, and remediation of pesticide contamination need workers.
2. Demand beats the supply
As of 2011, 37,000,000 hectares or 91,000,000 acres are available as organic farms, globally. This is 0.9 percent of the total world’s farmland. According to Oxford’s meta-analysis, organic farming needs 84% more land to meet demand. Also, conventional farming yields large quantities of produce per farmland than organic farming.
3. Use of costlier fertilizers for organic crops
An organic farm relies on organic fertilizers such as green manure, compost, and bone meal. It lays emphasis on techniques like -sophisticated crop rotation and companion planting techniques. These techniques keep the soil healthy and prevent weed growth. The crops are natural in organic farms as they steer clear of inexpensive solutions like pesticides and chemicals.
This reduces the rate at which organic farmers can grow profitable crops. They’re incapable of producing in larger quantities. This makes conventional farms cost-effective for the conventional farmers.
4. Higher post-harvest costs
After harvest, keeping organic produce separate is essential to avoid cross-contamination. The produce is small; handling and shipping of small quantities cost higher. Shipping costs increase as organic farms are on the outskirts of the cities.
5. Organic certification
Acquiring organic certification is not an easy task. Farms must follow standardized farming operations, farm facilities, and production methods with modifications. Maintaining a daily record is essential and must be available for inspection at any time. Inspections cost $400 to $2,000 a year, depending on the agency and the size of the operation.
6. Costs cover higher losses
Since organic farmers don’t use chemicals to reduce the loss of crops hence their losses are higher. This results in a higher price of the crop/produce, borne by the consumer. Organic foods have a shorter storage time and smaller shelf life.
7. Better living conditions for livestock
Animal welfare and maintaining high standards in organic farms comes at a cost. The organic feed is twice as pricey as the conventional feed.
8. Organic food grows slow
Organic farms are smaller compared to conventional ones. The growth of organic food is slow by nature. They grow without using chemicals, genetically modified seeds, and growth hormones.
Conventional farmers receive generous subsidies from the production-oriented governments, organic farmers don’t.