Splurging or Investing?

When we start to think about the Holiday season, many people grimace at the thought of tighter wallets and tougher choices between gifts, parties, and an overall season of giving. Many question if indulging in organic foods for their holiday meals is worth it and we say, yes definitely! We have been investigating the answers to this question.

Protect Our Breasts’ national executive board members are each assigned a section of the grocery store so that we can share advice based on everyday purchases that consumers, especially college-aged women, might make. I personally cover meat, fish, dairy, fruits, and vegetables which many people affectionately call “food”. I visited grocery stores of the same and different chains in different towns within southeastern and western Massachusetts to check on the availability and cost of organic foods as I had been asked frequently about prices.

Some of the things I noticed while at theses stores was that organics started to show up in towns where they had not previously and the stores in towns that had higher average incomes had more varieties of organic options. Interestingly, those options were also cheaper. It would make sense that the demand and thus, supply would be higher where there is a higher average disposable income. With organic production as expensive as it is, the decreased price for a crop such as apples made only partial sense. This observation sent me down a path thinking about what makes organics accessible and affordable.

According to the 2015 Organic Trade Association (OTA) State of the Industry Report, sales of organic goods have increased by 11% from 2014 totalling $43.3 billion, organic foods accounting for $39.7 of that total. A cap of growth could be attributed to the limited amount of acreage available for organic production. This is because it takes three years for fields to turn over and become certified organic after being used in conventional production causing a delay in the supply to meet the demand of organics.

It is our individual purchases of organic foods that act as votes being cast for farmers to start transitioning their fields and production methods. As a college student between pay cycles, when I feel that I may be indulging myself with my organic snack crackers that I have been munching on while writing this blog, I remember that I am investing not only in my own health but the health and future of food out there for everyone. So, when it comes to choosing organic, know that your organic snacks or Thanksgiving dinners aren’t a splurge, but an investment – one we will be thankful for in the years to come!




Farm Picture:

Langwater Farm – Easton, MA

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