As money becomes tighter, organic food becomes expendable for many.

I’ve been hearing from organic food producers, especially dairy farmers, who say that after years of soaring growth and markets for all they can produce, the reality of dealing with rough economic times is painfully hitting home.

(c) photo by a. schneider
(c) photo by a. schneider

They say that sales they could always count on, are falling off.

But many shopper are more carefully weighing the presumed quality of organics with the cost.

“I want the best for my children but I know I can get this for half the price at the chain groceries. Four or five dollars make a difference these days,” said a woman I chatted with yesterday at Whole Foods who was holding a head of organic lettuce in one hand and tomatoes in the other.

I’m going to hit some farmer’s markets this weekend to talk to some producers but as one farmer told me recently, he’d spent so much money bringing his farm up to organic standards that even a drop of five or 10 percent in his sales can close him down.

If you want to read more on this, Katie Zezma wrote a really well-researched piece in today’s New York Times. Here’s a link to it.


Comments

As money becomes tighter, organic food becomes expendable for many. — 1 Comment

  1. We are artists/artisans in Kansas, rural, and actually have increased our organic purchases over the years since we moved here. I had lived in an area where it was easy to be completely organic, Port Townsend, WA. Here, it is a challenge.

    I had become committed to organics, not because of the effect on me, but because of the farm workers’ exposure to herbicides and pesticides. It meant going without many foods for years in the 70-80s in Montana. Now there really is no excuse for not buying organic, just buy less, calculate the difference and eat more organic rice! It helps if you have removed animal flesh from your diet.

    I just discovered your wonderful blog, I hope you get more attention. I reviewed your blog, and thumbed up some posts on Stumbleupon. I was surprised no one had found you already!

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