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September 07, 2010

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T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

Don't most people perceive organics to be expensive because they see unusually high prices at the supermarket? My experience has been that affordable organics come through a CSA share. I am absolutely rolling in food and the cost of membership was low comparednto the yield.

Dan @ Casual Kitchen

Fascinating article Julia, some provocative data here.

I'd be curious if these findings scale up to the mega-farms that represent the bulk of our food production, or if this relationship between organic production and yields only holds for the small- to mid-scale farming represented in the studies.

One other thing I find very striking about the organic food debate is how organic foods are one of the largest incremental profit drivers at almost all grocery stores. I'm not sure what the answers are, but it seems clear that if consumers don't seek out retail sources outside the traditional groceries, they will never capture much of the value of organic foods.

Dan
Casual Kitchen

Nomore560.wordpress.com

We get very good and affordable organics (top grade to with the label starting with 9's)from the CSA's we augment this with purchasing the occasional organic item from grocery stores. I have noticed a great increase in shelf space given to items and new SKU's showing up, such as Compliments (Sobeys house brand) now has free run eggs and they are right next to the Braeburn Farms free run. The best thing is that Braeburn is $1 cheaper per dozen. It shows that increased competition will greatly benefit the consumer and with more consumers actually seeing organics as a viable option the prices will start to lower. I do not believe it will ever be a huge drop in price as there are other cost contributors as pointed out above.

What I do see as a major opportunity is for mega corps to start adopting organics. For instance in Canada Unilever which owns Hellmanns switched to free run eggs in their light dressing! its small but its a start. If more corps start demanding free runs, organic produce and such there will be an increase in producers which will gently start a shift in the overall quality of food in our food chain. It may be a pipe dream for wide spread adoption but you never know.

Ira

Julia

TW - it's great to hear that CSA's are definitively cost effective!

Dan - There's definitely a "branding" effect that allows supermarkets to charge a higher price for organics.

Ira - very interesting how mega-corps are expanding into organics to increase market-share (I wish they were doing it do be altruistic)- I'll be curious to see its effect on the economy.

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