Is Organic Food More Expensive?

Debunking the organic food myth.

| September/October 2001

It’s time to dispel the myth that organically grown food is more expensive than food grown with pesticides. Consider this: Conventional food prices don’t reflect hidden costs borne by taxpayers. These may include federal subsidies, pesticide regulation and testing, hazardous waste disposal and cleanup, environmental damage, and social costs such as health care. When you buy organic food in bulk (meaning less packaging and waste) or when it is on sale, locally grown, and in season, it is usually comparable in price to conventionally grown foods. And yes—often cheaper!

The following chart compares prices for conventional foods at a Super One store in Duluth, Minnesota, to the price for the same or similar items from the Whole Foods Coop store in Duluth. Organic foods were all certified. Prices were checked in February and May of 2001.



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