Organic Food | Growing in Popularity, Exploding in Price

organic food carrots popularity high price Organic Food | Growing in Popularity, Exploding in Price

The rising price of food is making headlines around the globe. While price hikes in basic commodities such as wheat, maize and corn are the root of much suffering in the developing world, here in the U.S. the impact is being felt particularly hard by consumers of organic produce. The cost of organic food, those grown without “pesticides, chemical fertilizers or antibiotics” has reached record levels — “a loaf of organic bread can cost $4.50, a pound of pasta has hit $3, and organic milk is closing in on $7 a gallon”.

The reasons behind the organic price increases are much the same as for conventional produce: higher fuel costs; ever increasing demand; and a strict grain supply that’s needed for animal feed, bread and pasta. Farmers raising organic livestock, organic bakers and organic pasta makers say they’re “struggling to maintain profit margins, even though shoppers are paying more”. Manufacturers and retailers worry that the spiraling price of organics will price some consumers right out of the market.

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Is Organic food really healthier for you?

organicfruit 01 Is Organic food really healthier for you?

According to new findings, it is. Contrary to what some previous research and skeptics have suggested — that there is no benefit to eating organically grown produce — a 10-year study at the University of California, Davis on organic and conventional tomatoes has shown dramatic differences in the levels of nutrients. The organic tomatoes had 79-97 percent higher levels of the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol — both beneficial antioxidants associated with reducing the risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Other research found organic tomatoes have significantly higher levels of lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin A.

So what could make the levels of some nutrients so much higher in organically grown food? Alyson Mitchell, the food chemist who led the research says it can be explained by the availability of nitrogen. Reduced levels of flavonoids are likely due to overfertilisation of conventional fertilizer with high concentrations of inorganic nitrogen. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

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