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Are organic fruits and vegetables worth the extra cost associated with their processing?

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lcowan6 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted September 16, 2013 at 4:06 AM via web

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Are organic fruits and vegetables worth the extra cost associated with their processing?

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kipling2448 | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 18, 2013 at 10:21 PM (Answer #1)

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Whether one is willing to spend more money for certified organically-grown fruits and vegetables is entirely a judgment call.   Families that are concerned about the long-term consequences of exposure to pesticides and chemicals designed to produce more attractive produce are more likely to spend the extra money needed for organic produce.  Such people in general prioritize the importance of feeding themselves and their children produce that has not been subjected to man-made chemicals and pesticides, and are usually willing to make the financial sacrifice needed to purchase such items.

The people who are less willing to spend extra for organic produce – and the equivalent methods for beef, pork and poultry – are those who appreciate the availability for of such products for whom the extra cost has become an unwelcome factor when preparing household budgets.  When the economy worsens and families are more pressed financially, they are less inclined to spend more on organic food and more content to return to their old practice of focusing on lower cost food.  Increasing numbers of families do not like the fact that cattle are injected or fed with inorganic substances for the purpose of making them larger or more productive sources of meat and poultry.  The cost of organically-produced beef and poultry, however, is a deterrent to their use. 

Life involves innumerable trade-offs.  A willingness to spend more for organic food and less on other items, as noted, is a judgment call left to each individual.  Families that have lost their financial cushion to due un- or underemployment or to inflationary trends do not have the option of spending less on clothing or on entertainment in order to spend more on organic food.  Families that continue to enjoy economic prosperity, or for whom lifestyle choice is inherently inexpensive irrespective of their financial status are more likely to continue to purchase organic food.  During difficult economic times, however, it is not surprising that the percentage of consumers who are willing to spend extra for organic food has declined.

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