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Organic options for everyone

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If the expense of your grocery bill still takes precedence over these considerations, here’s some food for thought.

While the production of organic food relies on manual labour, livestock and light machinery, conventional farming relies heavily on the energy of fossil fuels to spray synthetic herbicides and pesticides.

The mass consumption of fossil fuels can only cause the price of this non-renewable resources to increase, which will in turn increase production costs. The real costs will one day be passed on to the consumer.

Conventional farming can also take its toll on the environment, polluting waterways with pesticides, herbicides and biological waste, and promoting soil erosion. It also impacts on local wildlife habitat.

When these problems occur, and some areas are already dealing with the fallout of factory farming, the cost of rehabilitation projects is often passed off on the public.

So are the costs of medical care for illnesses caused from years of consuming contaminated produce.

Neither of these costs are included in the price of groceries at your local supermarket.

"In Canada these costs are paid out of our tax dollars and thus conventional companies can offer to charge less for the food they are producing," Skrpicajko states.

Buying organic can be seen as an investment in your health and environment for the future. By paying slightly more today, you may be saving yourself a lot more in the long run.

"At first glance, organic food can seem expensive, but when all the short or long term externalised costs of the food system’s impact on the Earth are considered, it appears quite reasonable," Skrpicajko suggests.

"The Organic Way" believes that conventional food prices only represent a fraction of the true cost of producing and eating food.

"Conventional’ food prices do not reflect the government subsidies given to ‘agri-business’ in the way of tax breaks or sums given to them to buy up their unwanted surpluses.

"The cost of organic food is the true cost of growing food and supporting a food system with the safe, ethical and labour intensive techniques with which we envision food to be produced," she writes.

It is possible to stretch your dollar further when buying organic. Avoid packaged and processed food that is imported and out of season and take the time to shop around for local produce that is "low on the food chain". This is food in its simplest and most unprocessed form.