Is Buying Organic Really Worth It?

As the organic sections in grocery stores continue to expand you may find yourself wondering if you should be buying organic foods. For anyone that has purchased organic you will know that doing so generally means forking out more money! Organic produce can cost up to 60% more than conventional foods, but is spending the extra cash actually worth it? We had a look into it and this is what we found…

What does organic mean?

Organic meat is meat that comes from animals that were raised in a natural setting and weren’t given any antibiotics or hormones, whereas organic vegetables are grown without the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.

How do they compare to conventional produce?

There is some evidence to show that some conventional produce contains traces of pesticides and fertilisers, which means if we are eating this then we are being exposed to these synthetic compounds. However there is little research to show whether the amount of pesticides and fertilisers found in conventional foods is actually bad for us.

Do organic foods contain more nutrition?

Most of the research shows that organic foods don’t contain anymore nutrition than conventional produce. You are not paying for extra goodness; you are paying more for what’s not in organic food than what is in it. Whether you are eating organic or not, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will be good for your health.

Why do they cost more?

Organic foods cost more because it costs farms more to produce them. Nearly every step of producing organic food is more expensive and so this cost is passed on to the consumer. For example, more money might be spent on weeding as this needs to be hand weeding, rather than weeding with the use of chemicals.

Is it better for the environment?

Some people don’t just buy organic because they think it’s better for the human body, they buy organic because it can be argued that it’s better for the environment. Organic methods have been demonstrated to be better for soil and sustainability. In addition to that, people working on farms will also have reduced exposure to chemicals.

Summary: How to buy organic on a budget

So, given the risk of pesticide exposure (even though we don’t really know if it’s detrimental) and the possible benefits to the environment, a case could be argued for buying some organic foods. But how can this be done without spending a fortune!?

  1. Buy in season: Buying organic products in season tends to be kinder on your wallet.
  2. Prioritise your purchases: If you can’t afford to buy everything organic, pick what is most important to you! Some people may choose to buy organic eggs and meat, whereas others are more into organic fruit and vegetables.