Forrest Pritchard

Forrest has been farming professionally since 1996. His new book The Face of Our Farms: 18 Extraordinary Farmers and Their 50 Favorite Recipes will be published Summer 2015 by Lyons Press.

91 responses to “Why Is Organic Food So Expensive?”

  1. Lynsi Pasutti

    Don’t you just love small talk at weddings? I particularly enjoy talking about ‘pottery’ in grade school and painting slip cast figurines, especially since you can also buy some really nice stuff at Target these days…. Thanks for the post, Forrest! Always a good read.

  2. Babs Hennelly Kothe

    Not to mention how much the conventional and gmo big ag “food”, if you can call it that, is heavily subsidized by taxpayer dollars..if organic farming was subsidized that way it would not be so expensive..if the conventional farmers had to actually pay out of their pockets for their “mistakes” their food would be expensive too..My husband and I grow what we can and buy at the local farmers markets or local co-ops as much as possible. It is hard to pay $4.00-$5.00 a pound for chicken when you can get it for $1.99 @ the grocery store..but..when you think about what goes into the organic chicken in terms of nutrients and time and the humane way they are raised..it’s an easy choice..Being aware of where our food comes from makes it inconvenient sometimes but we all have to do what we can to make the changes we want to see..

    1. Lori

      I try not to tell people how much I spend on food because they would be shocked!!! Pastured chickens and grass fed beef are very expensive. But at least I know I’m eating quality food with more nutrients

  3. Deborah

    Terrific repartee! Without even broaching the subject of subsidies which clearly guide us toward the cheap corn we are economically guided to eat, gee, thanks Uncle Sam!

    1. Lyle

      Hey, Forrest, it’s Lyle here. As a fifth-generation unconventional “conventional” farmer, I felt the need to weigh in on the subsidy issue. In 2012, the DCP (direct payment) program pays farmers a rate based on the crops they grow. On my farm, corn, soybeans, wheat and barley qualify. Cover crops, sorghum, and grass for hay or pasture do not. Many fruit and vegetable crops, like the ones you grow, also do not qualify for DCP. In 2012, DCP paid me an average of $20.00/acre, which I can’t identify as “heavily” subsidized, because that is less than 5% of my cost for growing corn. Even so, every little bit helps, and I sign up for it. 2012 is the LAST year for DCP, as it is being phased into the ACRE program, which is a disaster assistance program and bases payment rates on county and state yields in a given year. It is designed to NOT pay out unless there is a catastrophic event, which I think is a great plan. The only other subsidy that I use is the cost-share for crop insurance premium that is set up by FCIC(Federal Crop Insurance Commission) and administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) in cooperation with private crop insurance brokers. This cost-share is a big reason that I am able to afford to pay for crop insurance, as it covers around 35% of the premium cost. Here’s the kicker…fruit and vegetable crops just like the ones you grow and your customers buy QUALIFY for subsidized crop insurance! So, in response to Babs’s comment, organic farmers have many of the same opportunities to use government subsidies as I, the conventional farmer, do. The 2012 Farm Bill, which was not passed by the House, cut subsidies and gave more opportunities to the organic farmer. We now have an extension of the old 2008 bill, which will still have to be revisited. Thanks for the opportunity to join this discussion, Forrest, and I love reading your blog. And Babs, anytime you wanna talk about facts, I’m here for you.

  4. carmen coles

    Gosh, when I first started reading this post I thought you were serious!! O used to love growing the colored cauliflower for market but the last time I bought the orange cauliflower seed it was about $26 for 250 seeds!! Usually the folks that challenge the prices for organic food at the market are those who are slurping down a $5 latte! Loved the post — once I caught on!!

  5. Steve

    Forrest, you didn’t even mention how you hippies are threatening my right to eat tasteless tomatoes.

    I’ll bet the lawyer, as he got into his BMW after the wedding, never once thought to ask himself why his vehicle cost him so much more than a Chevrolet. Why are people so blind to quality in regards to food?

  6. Rob Aldrich

    I totally get where that lawyer is coming from. I mean, food is only the basis of life. Who cares if there are a few extra hormones in the hamburger or steroids in the steaks. And there is absolutely no proof yet that pink slime has hurt anyone, even if we don’t know exactly what it is.

    What’s the matter with eating lots of processed food? After all, we need bigger Americans to fill the Mcmansions (built on farmland that we don’t need anymore) and so that they fit better in those nice new SUVs to drive to the big box store and – you guessed it – buy more food. Where do you think we’re going to get the 320-pound linemen to play football on Sundays (and Mondays, and Saturdays, and sometimes on Thursdays)?

    It’s imperative that we eat more food. Remember ‘economies of scale’ from Econ 101? The more you make and sell, the cheaper it is per unit. So if we all went out and just ate more, Wal-Mart could make us cheaper food! And it makes perfect sense to buy your food where you get your tires, underwear and TVs. It’s so simple even an organic farmer could understand it.

    1. Eden's Organic Garden Center/CSA Farm

      Rob, that’s a hilarious comment! Great blog entry. I was in stitches by #3.

  7. Judy

    I don’t know you Rob, but I think you’ve been eavesdropping on conversations at my house! :) I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  8. Kipp Inglis Yost

    WAIT! You own a Vera Wang Tux – must be those expensive tomatoes bringing in that kind of money!! LOL-if you are like me and LOVE to eat those expensive, organic, REALLY DELICIOUS tomatoes, you probably found that tux at the second hand store!! THANK YOU for growing organic – I’m an old hippie and a new convert to organic….

  9. Jeff Kingzett

    While I appreciate your rapier wit, there is probably an economic reason organic foods are more expensive. Maybe your conversation partner was simply curious, like I am, what the answer is.

  10. Judith McGeary

    What a wonderful article, thank you! I run a nonprofit that advocates for local food producers, and I continue to be amazed by how bad the mainstream food system is and how little people really understand what is involved in raising good quality food. A humorous piece like this can be a great way to get people to think. And, on a personal note, I am an ex-lawyer turned organic farmer, together with my husband who served 20 years in the Coast Guard. I think I’ll print this out to have at our farmers’ market booth!

  11. Kathy

    Not to mention the expensively-dressed… I’m continually in awe of people that spend $100 for a pair of jeans, $2000 for a pair of “torture-stiletto” shoes, and so on – but complain about the cost of raw ingredients for the food they eat. Or they’ll pay $40 (or more) for a salad in a swanky restaurant but not $20 for the same ingredients to make 3 times the same salad at home. The disconnect from our food is a disgrace. I grow much of my own, sustainably, and the rest is purchased from sustainable sources (I’m one of those almost-70 leftover hippies). I’ve discovered my life purpose, after years of accumulating knowledge-to pass on traditional skills to everyone that will listen and hope it’s enough…

  12. Kelli

    Yep, I agree. Organic food is more expensive. It is also tastier, more nutritious and local. Good reasons to re-evaluate where you put your money. And this is someone’s livelihood. Always remember that this person is earning an income from this hard work.

  13. Pam

    I am fortunate to have lived in Oregon and experience how wonderful it is to know where your produce and meat are coming from. I was able to do most of my shopping at farmer’s markets year round. Even when I had to shop at a grocery store, the locally owned grocery carried a pretty good selection of local goods. I did spend more money on groceries than if I shopped at Winco (which is at least employee owned), but it taught me to be more frugal with my goods. I learned that you did not waste the chard stems, you either cooked or pickled them. I didn’t just eat the broccoli florets, I ate the stems as well. I made stock from carcasses and produce scraps.
    I recently moved to New Mexico…and am realizing how spoiled I was in Oregon. It is a bit more difficult to live with the same principles here…so I have more to learn. Farmer’s markets are good during certain times of year, but other times they are not open. But I feel it is more important to support farmer’s doing the right thing here, where support is not so readily available. I will also learn to grow some of my own food. People here think nothing of buying another gun/quad/SUV that they don’t need. However they want a cheap cucumber, milk and meat.

    1. Teresa

      Pam check out bountiful baskets, They have several locations in NM, I don’t know if any are close to you but they are well worth looking into. We don’t have it here where we live in Oregon but we got it during our short layover in Las Vegas (moved for a job and got laid off a year later) It’s the only thing I miss from that armpit of a town (sorry if anyone lives there, it’s just not my cup of tea) At the time we were getting the conventional basket for $15 which netted us about 60-70 dollars of fresh straight from the growers, produce, They also have an organic basket for $25, that guaranteed is well worth the cost. http://bountifulbaskets.org/

  14. liamarrazzo

    Thank you so much for the chuckle!!! What people who are not educated about what the GMO & altered foods are doing to our bodies don’t realize: you can pay more for the ‘real’ food now or pay a much higher price later with huge medical bills or worse death from the ‘benefits’ of cheap subsidized food.

    1. Noway

      Agreed! I work for a company that supplies the meds to oncology facilities. When cancer hits home for you you’ll finally wake up and be on the other side of the fence about all the hormones, pesticides etc. “f..k cancer!” Cause that’s how people feel when you know someone that’s got it. Ignorance is bliss until……

  15. pwspage

    My cousin has a farm that grows organic corn and beans. It took him seven years to get all the herbicides and pesticides out of the ground. Guess where his “clean” seeds go. Japan.

  16. lookingup247seth

    What’s wrong with wacky tobacky? it’s just another seed grown from the ground! I to thought you were serious at first and I was starting to get upset but I thought no give it a read anyway and then come to find out Satire…lol maybe to much of that wacky stuff going over here.

  17. Tyler Durden

    i jsut reallly hope this was a joke, i mean could someone really be that ignorant?

  18. Theresa Weir

    love this, forrest.

  19. Angela

    This is fabulous, thank you. I will share this with my Food and Culture class.

  20. Joyce

    Thank you Mr. Pritchard, that was outstanding! Everything we buy, regardless of profession, is about making a choice. Some are more informed than others. I am by no means monetarily well off, however I choose to spend my money by contributing to the livelihoods of local farmers not detached CEOs. I make sacrifices on other things, that I really don’t need, to ensure that my food choices are nutritious and not wasted.

    I grew up on a rural Illinois family farm. Seeing as it is no longer practical for me to grow a garden and raise animals, I will gladly assist a community farmer to do so through my purchasing power. I am very thankful for each and every “dirty hippie” that continues to persevere. You keep growing and I’ll keep buying. Personally, I prefer to spend my cash on high quality food rather than low quality “health” care.

  21. Cathy

    I was hoping from the title of this post that you were going to shed some light on how the costs of producing conventional produce/meat/eggs/etc is vastly different from the organic way and how it’s possible for Big-Ag to get away with such low prices and still get rich. Some linked references at least would be great. I’m wondering if your response would have been different if you were speaking with, say, a middle-class mother who wants to feed her family the best but is not sure how to afford it. Many people know nothing about CSAs and buying clubs and the like. I’m not saying the lawyer is justified in his belief, but some people are truly ignorant on this issue, and in some cases I have experienced price gouging in the organic market, especially certain health food stores (*cough* Whole Foods *cough*) and I’m doubtful that the money is going to the source of the expensive organic products…so how do we know when we are really paying too much? I sympathize that people need to make a living but I would be very interested in knowing what goes into the costs of organic farming from a farmer’s perspective. Thanks!

  22. elizabethhenderson13

    At a fundraiser for an organic farming organization, the stock broker sitting next to me remarked, “My wife always buys organic food because it is more expensive.”

  23. Cynthia Swidler

    You beetnik, you! Rooting for some more rants like this to squash the myths.

  24. Tauna Pierce

    Fantastic read! :)

  25. Lisa M

    I’m well-educated but fairly ignorant of where my food comes from, so I was actually interested in learning the details behind organic food production. However, I was very disappointed to read such a sarcastic and alienating article. The feedback you hear and the questions you get are because the organic farming industry has yet to satisfactorily tell its tale to the masses in a way that resonates with them.

    Money is tight for so many, so it’s harder to justify paying more for food labeled organic when you don’t understand why (especially if there is no taste or tangible performance difference). Even paying for non-organic food at Wal-Mart or your grocer can be difficult. I believe many people think that these organic products are more so the result of marketing campaigns that tailor to foodies and the economically elite than humane, sustainable and safer changes in food production for all people.

    These comments from organic farming supporters have a similar snotty-ass tone–why? Get the chip off your self-righteous shoulders and work on your messaging. You should welcome inquiries and opportunities to tell your story. You’re not going to gain ground by being judgmental about the people you want to buy your products and adopting a holier-than-thou attitude. It’s very off-putting and counter productive to your objectives.

    Godspeed!

  26. Diane Behnke

    Well, I totally agree with what you all are saying. Our problem is that we can not afford $20 chickens. We did buy a couple from our local farmer market this summer. They are truly the best in terms of health, the way they are raised, etc. The problem is we just can not afford them or the grass fed beef, organic fruit and veggies…and we have to eat. I know and agree with the long term effects of it all, but it does not change the fact that we can’t afford to eat what is good for us. We eat all fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, etc. BUT they are not from our local organic farmers. They are the “cheap” chickens. etc. that are not god for us in the long run. So what are we to do? We do have a summer veggie garden and buy fruits and veggies from our local farmers during growing season. So I think it is the government forcing us to eat GMO’s and all that because we can’t afford to eat the good food and you can’t afford to grow it so that we can.

    1. Emily

      Thank you for this post, Diane. I wrote a similar one. This is a hard one for people to get. Even when we are told that spending the money now saves on medical bills later, the fact still remains that we have to budget around other basic expenses. if there isn’t enough to buy $20 chickens and pay the electric bill, there just isn’t. Check out The Nourished Kitchen’s web site. Jenny has a list she calls, Best, Good, Better and Avoid. It provides some reassuring alternatives for those of us who can’t afford top of the line, so we know we are not poisoning ourselves or our families!

  27. Wacky Backy

    Great article. I shared it with everyone. I hope all these types of sentiments eventually chisel away at the widespread misconception that grocery store junk is the same thing you get at the farmers market, just cheaper…

    I like a quote from the farmer in the movie you site (Food Inc.) when he said “If you think organic food is expensive, try checking the price of cancer.” Great read, eager for more!

  28. Ben Raschke

    I saw almost immediately where you were going with this post. After watching Farmageddon, it opened my eyes to even more nonsense that our government is forcing on honest, hard working, intelligent farmers who you can see care very much about putting out a healthy, quality product. I understand that higher prices for organic can also be attributed to fees and paperwork that these farmers have to go through with local and state government just to be able to sell what they grow. I’m interested in learning more about what can be done to help put laws in place or amend existing laws that make it easier for these farmers to do what they believe in.

  29. vicky

    I think the majority of our problem with farming in this nation is government subsidies. Maybe we would think twice if everything was no longer subsidized. Not only has it made food cheaper, but it’s worse for you. And in the long run it gives the government too much control

  30. Emily

    Great article, and it so true. However, please, please understand there are some of us who don’t have the luxury of spending $4-$5/lb. for chicken. I do the best I can to avoid CAFO meat, poultry, and anything with additives. I have to buy Draper Valley chickens at Trader Joe’s for $1.29/lb., but at least they are antibiotic and hormone free. I can’t pay $9 a gallon for unpasteurized raw milk or $5 for a lb. of pastured butter, but again, I buy the hormone-free brands at the store. I have to make the most of my budget and factor in mortgage, utilities, car insurance (car is required for my job). We co-own a home with a friend, buy most of our goods used and don’t do frivolous things. We take no trips. I haven’t had a vacation in my entire adult life. I passionately believe in the organic farmer. I buy what vegetables I can afford when the farmer’s market is open; the rest of the time it’s frozen organic at New Seasons. I do not eat, nor would I ever support fast food; I cook from scratch. I just want to be clear: as much I as care about organic food, much of it is out of my reach.

  31. sandy

    Excellent article! I am a former owner of an Organic retail store, and I saw first hand people’s attitudes toward the prices of the products I carried. I felt that part of my job was to educate the less-than-knowledgable people that would come into the store, and would often give them free samples of fruit and vegetables to eat right then and there to get their reaction and opinion on the taste, and boy where people amazed!

    I have been growing organically for over 20 years and what I can’t grow, I purchase from our local college farm who also grows organic produce. We are also fortunate to be able to buy whole, half and quarter beef from a local organic farm for less than $4 per pound (which includes processing).

    As I used to tell my customers, eating organically is better for your health, and you will really see the savings years down the road when you aren’t shelling out money to a Doctor for medical problems caused by all the additives and god-knows-what else is in the “cheaper” food you buy.

  32. mikestasse

    This reminded me of something that happened to me well over ten years ago. On a sustainability internet forum I frequented, a call went out looking for people who would like to be paid $50 to participate in a face to face group interview by some PR company on what foods environmentalists ate. Needing fifty bucks, I put my hand up…….

    I rode the 10km/6 miles to the venue on my bicycle, and met up with another 6 or so co-greenies who had either walked or rode the bus. You get the picture.

    Our interviewer, a totally dolled out blonde bimbo turned up in her Mercedes Benz. I’m not making this up…..! It turned out, of course, that we all ate organics, free range eggs, etc etc……. we were asked how much we earned, and how much we spent on this food, and we were all poor, but we spent loads on good food. After all, I was healthy enough that even at 50 I didn’t think twice about riding 20km return for $50!

    At the end of it all, the bimbo said “how can you afford to spend so much money on food on such low incomes?” That’s when I reminded her that none of us came in a Merc…..!!

    Organic food may be expensive, but not compared to all the trappings of effluence….

  33. Whitedove

    Unfortunately “organic” has become a label that conventional has found loop-holes in. I choose to buy organic at times because I do prefer less preservatives, hormones, pesticides and herbicides, but that label does not mean they do not have any. I visited a farmers market in my area that is considered one of the nations ‘top 5′, and was sorely disappointed at the amount of mass produced hot-house products! And yes, I have 4 years of raising meats ala Joel Salatin style. The problem is that I have yet to find a local farmer that raises meats who isn’t cutting corners to make that profit margin higher for themselves. I get its hard work, I did it long enough to know what it takes. I’m just not willing to pay their price to hear them give me a song-and-dance while their assuming I don’t know anything about it! One day I will do it again, and I will not label it organic, I will not gouge with my pricing, but will use the farm to educate and to somehow more affordably feed those who want the ‘real’ food. Until then, I will grow what I can in my little back yard and buy what I have to for my family of 7! Even still, it was a fun read!!

  34. Kellie

    OMG, this is pure rubbish…”Thank goodness Wall Street prevailed, and we regained our sanity.” Wall St. is raping our country and has robbed us BLIND since the 2008 financial collapse. Nothing has been done to remedy this problem and you should educate yourself on what is truly going on in our economy. Do you really believe the employment numbers and everything the dumbed gov’t controlled down main stream media tells you about about the economy? Are you really naive enough to believe the recession ended in 2009? ” Here’s a tip for aspiring young farmers: there’s a device called scissors, and you can use them to trim your beard. Now go find yourself a real job, like a normal person.” Don’t you think people want to work? I’m 42 yrs old with a college degree and worked 15yrs in financial investments and could only find a job working at a call center making $9. Clearly you have no clue about what is truly going on in the world. You should be ashamed of yourself for writing such garbage. Try educating those who you think need to know more about organic farming and do something positive for the world instead of making cutting remarks that are in fact totally incorrect.

    1. Q

      Kellie. It’s a satire. Knowing that, please re-read the article. It should strike you differently.

  35. Rebekah

    I have to admit that I sometimes feel guilty for buying some of the produce I do at those prices. I know that those farmers worked their butts off and here I am only paying a measly $1/lb for carrots. We have grown our own food and well it takes a lot of work! I think we should be paying farmers more since it is what keeps us healthy! I always think it is funny that people buy the best cars, electronics, houses, but what to spend as little as possible on what really matters! Great article!

  36. james

    Did you ask the lawyer why legal fees are so expensive? Geez, maybe the government should socialize lawyers so that everyone could have one and the rich wouldn’t be able to out lawyer the poor.

  37. deb

    If you want to make money, follow the hippies : )

  38. JRGidaho

    In some cases, particularly with pasture-finished (grass fed) meats, it is basic supply and demand. The scale at which many producers operate limit the amount of meats they have available. I know many sheep producers whose entire lamb crop is already sold before the first lamb is born in the spring. Basic economics does play a role. Done properly on a large scale, pasture-finishing beef actually costs less per head or per lb than does conventional feedlot finishing, yet the price is still higher simply because of demand exceeding supply.

  39. Andrea DiMauro

    Which is why the McRib is considered an affordable “seasonal” food … ugh.

  40. ryan neher

    Thanks for this Forrest. I appreciate a bit of humor with my breakfast. I read all the comments before responding and see that this has reached people with a wide variety of experience and opinion. I was hoping for your responses to those with economic difficulty or social difference. Any thoughts for whitedove or lisa m. I have worked on farms and at the market table. i have seen first hand the confusion over the price. I think one of the best responses to this is gentle honest conversation. and a small free sample. disarming someone with financial reservation can be difficult without patience. looking forward to the book.

  41. gayecentorani@msn.com

    In light of all the comments above.. everyone complains about the price of organic.. I get it… it is expensive… but big news coming your way… food is going up… Monsanto.. yes google it please…. is the seed company that is forcing all the farmers to purchase their seeds… have you looked at the cost of stock on it? Look at MON ….. pretty soon you too will be able to afford organic!

    By the way great read… too funny… trust me I think we have all had these similar thoughts! LOL!

  42. Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Texas 1983

    Sustainably raising Grassfed longhorn beef since 2003 on semi-arid, predator-infested, rugged terrain (only place we could afford). Branched out in 2010 into pastured lamb, free-range pork from feral hogs and eggs from pasture raised hens.

  43. Sylvie in Rappahannock

    What an un-American attitude, Forrest! It is our birth right to be able to eat cheap food – and lots of it. It’s sad though that I can no longer say “dirt-cheap” food. I mean , have you looked at the price of good agricultural land recently? You organic farmers always talk about healthy soils, compost, the joy of living on the land blablabla – It’s got to be your doing, at least in part, that’s causing land prices to be so expensive! Hard enough to deal with it when building a housing development or a new shopping center — but at least, those land uses bring value. Growing non-GMO carrots and those chi-chi greens or raising designer pigs — what a waste!!!

    Where was I? Right! Cheap, cheap, cheap food. Our right. Who cares if it’s produced immorally using slave labor, torturing animals or in manner that wreck the environment or the long-tem health of those who eat it? Who cares what it taste like? Don’t you know about salt? MSG? cellulose? high-fructose corn syrup? irradiation? cotton seed oil?

    Come on!!!! What is wrong with you Forrest? Have you not heard of herbicides to control weeds? of better living through chemistry? of antibiotics indiscriminately administered to confined animals to control sickness caused by an improper diet and dreadfully unhygienic conditions?

    Yes, clearly you and all those college educated graduates working long, physically demanding jobs that also require people skills and brain power, are out to gouge the rest of us! It’s about time you acknowledge it. I knew it was a conspiracy.

    (If needs to say – In the manner of “A Modest Proposal”)

  44. Rin Zi

    If anyone knows of any of these old hippies with kids that won’t take over their farms, send them my way. I’d love to sell it out to Monsanto and grow their soybeans for them. I’ve been looking for a non-chemically polluted family farm to take over and destroy for years!

  45. Alison

    We’re clearly all at different places in the Food Web, or rather in consuming information about our food. I think your post was particularly meaningful, Forest, because you wrote it while knee-deep in producing good food. Most farmers I know are like you, who rent the tux and have to work their tails off to make it work. Let’s acknowledge that the lawyer complaining about the price of quality food is not dealing with the real challenges of families that struggle to afford the same. For some people, their incomes and their locations may limit how well they can eat; in our case, we eat more legumes and less meat, and savor what we have. Thank goodness for small farmers, and especially for those who can make us laugh, then think.

  46. Graham

    Thanks for the article. I look forward to reading the blog that outlines the costs that go into producing the food to arrive at the prices. We really want to eat healthy, organic meat, veg and fruit in our family but the costs here in Australia are so high! I don’t mind paying a bit of a premium but I really sometimes feel like we are being ripped off by over pricing due to organic food being an “in thing”.
    For the following keep in mind that $1 Aussie is pretty much equal to $1 US at the moment.
    For instance I recently went to one of our local organic food shops here in the Gold Coast in Queensland where we bought a few things. The tomatoes on sale were $10.95/kg ($4.98/lb). Tomatoes at the local Woolworths grocery store are $3.98/kg ($1.81/lb). What I want to understand is why these tomatoes, which also looked like they were about to expire (probably from sitting there for so long with no one willing to pay the price), cost about 2.75 times the cost of the mass produced ones.
    Or olive oil, which one producer sells for $21.25/litre ($80.54/gal) for their organic version. I can buy 4 litres of extra virgin olive oil in the shops for $8.06/litre ($30.55/gal) which is around 2.64 times cheaper. I recently watched a show on different organic farms in Australia and one organic olive grower said that he felt that the costs of organic and non-organic olive growing was about the same since olives in Australia generally don’t suffer from many pests and diseases so the organic control methods were about the same amount of time and cost as the non-organic. Therefore in my mind if the cost of producing the olives is around the same and the crushing and centrifuging can’t be that different, how do I end up paying 2.64 times as much. It wouldn’t bother me if it was maybe 1.5 times the cost as I understand that the organic farmer may have lower volumes and all that, but 2.64 times! That is being ripped off.
    My solution is to try to turn our garden into an edible garden and produce as much of the fruit and veg we need as possible. I’m just getting my aquaponics system going and hope that that helps me to produce some of that produce throughout the year.
    Then we can spend the extra money on meat since I can’t produce that myself (besides keeping some chickens for meat and eggs) and I feel that the better treatment that organically raised animals receive, as well as the lack of antibiotics and chemicals, is worth the higher prices.

  47. chelle webb

    yes, we lived in a leaky moldy travel trailer for seven years to save up money for plot of farm land. working hours upon hours, weeding on the holidays, working jobs and full time farming……………….it really doesn’t take much effort, much care……you are right, sir. It should be cheaper.

  48. Kelly McGuire

    I’m a college student, working on a speech to promote organic farming. After hours of researching, I’ve come across this gem of an article which brightened my day. Spot on. This is hilarious.

  49. sam

    The NPR: Planet Money podcast has a couple of episodes that are pretty interesting. You might want to listen to `Episode 224: The Cotton Wars’ and `Episode 454: The Lollipop War’.

    In a nut shell Brazil wanted to sell cotton but can’t because the US government subsides cotton farmers making it too cheap. Brazil starts to sound like a whiny hippy. The US government had signed agreements not to do such uncompetitive things. US tells Brazil too bad, so sad… deal with it. Brazil deals with it by sending a letter to various American industries that depend on exporting stuff to Brazil telling them to enjoy being taxed. Oh, noes! A few industries then gang up on the cotton industry. US and Brazil make agreement over cotton. The End.

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