Picture this: you're in the supermarket alone. That's right, you're the only person in there (what a dream?!). It's just you and the fruit section. All of the other aisles are empty and not a person in sight. You look to the apples and think to yourself, "hmm... is it worth paying lots more for an organic apple? Will it make me healthier?". You look at the apples and the apples are almost glaring back at you. What to do?
Then you consider your bank balance and end up picking the generic, cheaper one. You feel a little bit guilty. "Did I pick the wrong one?"
Going organic is better for the environment, but there is a commonly held perception that switching to organic food is expensive. Is this really the case? Or, are we being brainwashed by supermarket chains into sticking with budget brands and mass-produced groceries?
Rising Demand for Organic Food
Back in 2008, consumer demand for organic food was growing, even though upmarket supermarket chains had stocked organic food for a quarter of a century. The rise of popular TV chefs such as Jamie Oliver, fuelled a market for healthy, environmentally-friendly fruit and vegetables. Shoppers were beginning to understand the value of purchasing food that was free from additives and pesticides and tasted better. Some would also argue eating organic foods is healthier, and some would also argue that there's very little scientific evidence to support this.
To this day, the demand for organic food is still growing. It comes down to us wanting choice. We want to be able to choose what we eat and where it comes from. We want to know that with every purchase we make, we're not having a negative impact on the environment.
Organic Fruit, Veggies, Dairy, and Other Groceries
As we all know, the demand for organic food is steadily increasing. Shoppers have decided that they don’t mind paying extra for organic fruit and veggies. In the U.K. Tesco sales of organic foods rose by 15% between 2016 and 2017 and Ocado reported a similar rise of 16%. It isn’t just organic fruit and vegetables that are hitting the mark. Today’s shoppers also want organic fish, dairy, and other types of groceries.
The Price Barrier
Ten years ago, buying organic foods cost an arm and a leg (and maybe a house... and an overseas trip...). It was the main barrier for shoppers. Organic food costs more to produce, so inevitably, shoppers have to pay more for the privilege of buying organic. Organic chickens cost around two and half times more than a regular chicken. Organic vegetables are also twice as expensive.
For a cash-strapped family, it is hard to justify paying twice as much for a weekly shop, even if the food tastes much nicer and is better for our health and the environment.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep your grocery bill down, even if you are feeding a large family. The average family spends 10% of its budget on food. If you switch to organic, this figure will rise. However, if you become a smart shopper, you can reduce your costs.
The best way to reduce the cost of organic food is to grow it yourself. Cultivating fruit and vegetables is not as difficult as you might think. All you need is a garden or planters and some time.
If you don’t have green fingers, try shopping locally. Local organic food producers often sell their produce at farmers markets and in farm shops. Since they are not paying high distribution costs, they can afford to sell at a more competitive price.
Also, try using the almighty internet to look for savings. We can make money online via currency trading, and we can find organic food delivery services that offer great deals. You could try organic meat deliveries and subscribe to organic box deliveries so you can save more money and can be suited to fit your lifestyle. Subscription services are available at different price points, so pick the service you want and look forward to receiving fresh, organic produce weekly or monthly. It's like a little present to yourself!
Obviously I'm not going to tell anyone that they need to buy everything organic! It's a personal choice. However, if you do want to give it a try, don’t let higher prices hold you back from living your organic dreams.