58 Percent of Consumers Prefer Organic


Photo: ianmalcm

A recent Thompson Reuters poll found that 58 percent of consumers prefer organic to conventional foods if given the choice, according to an article on Huffington Post. The numbers are highest in the young and educated segments of the population. But does this mean that we're buying more organic than conventional? Not so fast.Each month Thompson Reuters surveys about 3,000 people on varying health issues and this month the questions revolved around organic food. While Americans are more concerned with toxins and want to support more local farmers than ever before, cost seems to cause them to often make different choices. With world food prices growing as a result of increased demand, external conflict, and strange weather patterns, consumers are hesitant to buy organic which they deem more expensive.

According to NPR's SHOTS:

A majority -- 54 percent -- say organic food is too expensive. Harsh weather and strong demand for all kinds of food are pushing prices higher across the board, as NPR's Marilyn Geewax reported last month.

After price, the second-most common reason people prefer non-organics is that they're more readily available, a sentiment expressed by 21 percent of respondents.

This is more than a little disheartening considering that while organic can be more expensive at the grocery store when compared to many conventional foods, there are many ways around this. Buying organic foods that are in season is always the best way to go. If you live in South Carolina and you buy a mango from Mexico or an avocado from Chili you're bound to pay top dollar. So cook with what's growing in your area and avoid organic foods that travel a long way to get to your plate. Secondly, consider joining a natural foods co-op where you can find organic foods at reduced prices in exchange for being a member and volunteering or join a CSA.

Support local farmers, organic or not, by making sure that they use sustainable practices in the growth and production of the foods you love. Cut out meat and dairy as much as possible, considering that these are often the most expensive items on your grocery list. And minimize your grocery list by removing as many processed foods, organic or not, from it. Processed foods are also pricey. These steps can have a HUGE impact on the prices you pay. Here are more tips for saving green while eating organic.

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More on Organic Foods
Ask TreeHugger: Does An Organic Diet Matter?
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