Why Are Organic Foods More Expensive Than Non Organic?

It would seem that because there is less need for chemicals, pesticides, and antibiotics that purchasing organic foods would be a great deal cheaper than non organic foods, however, that is not the case. In fact, organic foods are generally going to cost between 20-100% more than their conventional counterparts. Below are a few of the factors that contribute to these costs.
Less Chemicals Means More Work
Unlike organic farmers, conventional farmers utilize chemicals and synthetic pesticides as a means for reducing the cost of production. They are able to get their jobs done at a more efficient and quick pace. Without chemicals and pesticides, farmers are forced to hire more workers in order to get rid of weeds, maintain control of pests, and even to clean polluted water.
Higher Costs for Fertilizing
Conventional farmers have a cost advantage because they utilize chemically induced fertilizers for their crops. Not only are chemical fertilizers cheaper in cost but it is also much cheaper to transport. Organic foods can only be fertilized with natural resources which means that organic farmers tend to use animal manure or composts which can cost a great deal more money to transport.
Higher Costs After Harvest
Organic crops must be kept separate from conventional products in order to prevent the possibility of cross contamination. Since there are more conventional farms out there they can generally produce a lot more products than organic farmers can. Therefore, conventional crops can be shipped in larger quantities saving a lot more money.
Costs in Being Organic Certified
In order to obtain a USDA organic certification it is quite a process for farmers. There are certain standards that the farming operations must comply with and the facilities must be up to certain codes. Farmers of organic crops must have staff that can maintain a record on the daily basis that is always available for inspection. Not to mention organic farms are required to pay an annual certification fee which can be anywhere from $400 to $2,000 per year depending upon the size of the farm.
Slower Growing Times
Another problem that causes organic foods to be more expensive is the fact that they grow at a much slower rate than conventional produce. Not to mention most organic farms are smaller than conventional farms which means less crops growing at any given time. Because they do not use chemicals and growth hormones, the natural process can take some time.
The best way to try and cut down on some of the costs of organic foods your best bet is to try shopping at your local farmers market. Not only will you be supporting local farmers but you can generally get great produce at a reduced price since you’re not buying through a retailer which tacks on more expense. The other way to save on the cost is to remember that not everything has to be purchased organic. There are some produce that have a very low need for pesticides and chemicals that you can research. This could save you money so you can purchase the organic produce that is more beneficial.