Organic is Value For Your Money
What's the most common reason people give for not buying organic? Price. Yes, organic food is often more expensive, but you are still getting value for your money. Organic principles and practices are based on the long view, producing high quality food today while protecting and improving the environment for high quality food in the future.
Organic is one of the most stringent food production certifications in Canada. One reason organic food is more expensive is because of the strict Canadian Organic Standards required on the farm, during transportation, and in processing facilities. Getting certified takes time, dedication and money. All inputs, including soil amendments, animal feed, and processing ingredients, must meet the Standards. Organic inputs are often more expensive because there are fewer suppliers of these responsibly sourced products. Inspections of farms and processing facilities also cost money but are vital to ensure that the integrity of organic - and your expectations - are being met.
Organic farming respects natural cycles. Yields are not pushed to maximum at the expense of the land. Building soil health by growing legumes or managing pests through crop rotation means that the land is not always planted with a marketable crop. Organic animals are given more room and outdoor access so fewer fit into barns and paddocks. And managing diverse farms organically usually requires more skill, time and labour. All these add to the cost of production.
The demand for organic food continues to grow. This supports price premiums on organic food and helps to make organic farming a more economically appealing career choice. This is a good thing for the future of family farms. The average age of farm operators across Canada in 2021 was 56 and it’s even higher in Atlantic Canada. Meanwhile, the proportion of farm operators under age 35 is decreasing and thousands of farm jobs go unfilled in Canada each year. Smaller organic farms may be the answer to attract young families into this vital profession.
Organic farmers aren’t just skipping the synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, GMOs and growth hormones, they’re working to build balanced sustainable agroecosystems. When you buy organic food, your dollars are building soil health, providing habitat for diverse species, keeping pesticides out of the environment, supporting rural employment and ensuring farm capacity for the future.
Consumer pull is a powerful force. You vote with your dollars. If you're concerned about what your money pays for, you can feel good about choosing Organic: Food with Principles. Guaranteed.
Did You Know?
You can eat organic food even on a limited budget.
Did You Know?
Most people don’t consider the true cost of food.
People have lost touch with how to grow food. In a UK survey, almost a third of primary students thought cheese was made from plants and one in ten secondary students thought tomatoes grew underground.
Similarly, most people don’t think about how their food choices impact the planet. Half of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture. That land needs to take over ecosystem services that natural landscapes used to fill like purifying air and water; regulating temperature, erosion and flooding; storing carbon; and supporting pollinators. These services are vital to our survival yet they are still considered “free” services and not taken into account when calculating the true cost of our impact.
Organic production supports ecosystem services in many ways:
Healthy soil is the focus of organic farming; adding organic matter to the soil each year increases the amount of carbon stored in the soil. In light of the climate crisis, the value of carbon storage - or carbon sequestration - is starting to be recognized. There is a trend toward paying farmers for carbon sequestration, acknowledging a public benefit for increasing soil organic matter.
Fresh water is a limited resource. Soils high in organic matter are better at holding water making them less dependent on irrigation. The soil acts as a water purification system and without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, organic farming is less likely to pollute waterways.
Biodiversity on organic farms makes them more resilient to disturbances like extreme weather or pest infestations. Plant biodiversity supports pollinators and genetic diversity and, more broadly, supports food security for the future.