Organic Food Prices Cause Indigestion

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The price of organic food when compared to conventionally mass produced food has always been the number one stumbling block to greater acceptance. Many of us in the Western World have been spoiled by the artificially low price of our food supply. Chemicals, mono-cropping, genetically modified food, antibiotics, the pervasive use of corn in all kinds of food, and the huge scale of agri-business have all contributed to make conventionally, less ethically produced food cheap. Ethically produced food, including organic, has on the other hand remained more expensive simply because it costs more to produce food in a healthy and ethical manner. Many of us believe that the retail market insistence on seeing organic food as a specialty item, and pricing it accordingly, contributes to these higher prices.

Now, over the past few months have come several stories that are chronically the decline in organic food sales as the price of food overall goes up. The theory is that as people are hurt by the increase in food prices, they watch their budget more closely and therefore are less apt to pay the premium for organic food. Some of these articles almost seem to have a gleeful tone as they describe this trend. I read a more subdued article in Newsweek a few months ago titled: “Natural Response: As prices of organic foods rise, plain old fruits and vegetables suddenly look better“.

Last spring as food prices increased, there were predictions that this would help sales of organic food. The idea was that conventional food prices would begin to approach the price of organic food, making the organic choice easier on the pocketbook. Unfortunately organic food prices have increased also. A town 10 miles south of us has one of the most profitable food-co-ops in the United States. It is located in a town with perhaps the highest per capita income level in Oregon. Even that store has seen sales decrease in recent months.

What do you all think of this “trend”? Is it a temporary response to the rising prices of food overall? Is it just a slight leveling of the increasing growth rate of the past several years, or is it a more long-term response to increasing food prices. Unfortunately rising food prices are also giving more ammunition to the proponents of the theory that increasing genetically modified food production will help to stabilize food prices. What is your opinion on that theory?

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Will Sig
1 Kevin

Perhaps one of the reasons for this phenomena is couched in the adage that economics governs everything – sad but true!
However, there is a way out – and that is through logic.
If we eat a high quality of food – there will be a decrease in the need for a large quantity of food.
Perhaps an equation in the making is contained therein – have a go folks.
Kevin

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2 Jennifer Robin

I believe it is a response to overall rising prices, but unfortunately, I do not believe it is temporary. I would like to think that the increasing demand for organic would slow down the pervasive influx of highly processed, GM food products, but that may be wishful thinking. It just makes me cringe when I see families filling their carts with some of the chemical stew called food that’s out there because they think they can’t afford the alternative.

Jennifer Robins last blog post..My Lucky Week!

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3 Will

You may be right Keven, thanks for the comment and quote!

I know what you Jennifer Robin. It is unbelievable sometimes in the checkout. I just do my best not to judge, but it is hard.

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4 Anna

Will I am so glad to see lot of organic food in our local superstore, and believe or not prices are very competative, plus they have very nice selection. Anna 🙂

Annas last blog post..Moments of Happiness and Moments of Sadness

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5 Bob

I’m with Anna, the price isn’t that bad, I think the problem is not enough sites like yours to educate the public on the benefits.

Bobs last blog post..To Cern With Love

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