The “Value” of Organic Food

August 6th, 2011 by

In my line of work, I often need to discuss changing one’s eating habits.  One of the more common hesitations I hear is that eating organic is too expensive.  However, as a rancher’s wife, I know the value of the work we do, and therefore, I have found this argument to be fairly invalid from my point of view.  Yet, this week I was once again faced with the realization that the general population values the quality of their food quite little.  You see, yesterday I helped my children set up a booth at our local farmers’ market.  It was definitely an eye-opening experience! 

My children have spent a significant amount of time planting,  weeding, watering, and harvesting in the garden with their grandpa.  Not to mention the money they have spent for non-GMO seed, marketing materials, and fuel for the trip to town.  I have taught my children that vegetables help build strong cells and fuel the brain.  Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy sugary treats at our house just like the next family, but we reserve them for “once in a while”.  Instead, I freely allow my children to gorge themselves on snow peas, cucumbers, and carrots straight from this garden.  They feel rewarded for their work.  You can imagine their surprise when people walked by their booth, passing up the chance at organic beets, cucumbers, and lettuce, but stopping to purchase pies and hot dogs.  I am glad that people were supportive of the farmers’ market vendors no matter what they sold, yet I realized that the same people that complain about the high price of organic cucumbers have no problem shelling out high prices for homemade cookie confections.  The kids did well.  They paid for their expenses and had a little left over for some books that they’ve been looking at.  They’re happy.  I’m a realist (or I guess a pessimist today) since I realized that after expenses they made about 10 cents per cucumber. 

It really boils down to what you are willing to invest in.  The reason you can buy produce in the grocery store much cheaper than at a farmers’ market is because large farming operations loose money on their crops.  It’s okay though, because the government steps in to “subsidize” these crops.  The operation is happy, the government is happy, the consumer is happy.  The problem is the small, family farm doesn’t qualify for these subsidies.  Farming is becoming more regulated, larger, and producing less variety and less nutritious food.  Our bodies are breaking down with diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancers.  Is the trade-off worth it?  I don’t think so.

I’m going to look at the brighter side.  I feel like my family gets a great deal in our organic food.  My children are fairly healthy and strong.  They have learned how to work hard and as a team.  They feel pride in being able to provide for our family.  We enjoy a family relationship around the supper table with lively conversation.  All in all we are getting a great “value” in our organic food!

I encourage you to invest in eating organic.  Notice how great your body feels when it is not polluted with pesticides and chemicals.  Find a local farmers’ market or better yet, find a small family farm that raises animals and produce with careful attention to healthy practices.  Our new little farmers’ market here in our home town is trying their best and doing a great job to educate the public on locally produced goods.  Now is the time to make the change.  In some countries people have been known to stand in line all day just for a loaf of bread!  Protect the future food supply in our country.  What are you willing to invest in?  Our broken health care system?  The stock market?  Your health?  Your life?  Just a little “food for thought”.

For Health,

Summer Joy


2 Responses to The “Value” of Organic Food

  1. Ruth Frazier says:

    Summer, thank you for your blog … so true. And what benefits your children are learning. Isn’t it wonderful they have their Grandpa, too, in training for a healthy lifestyle! Thanks,
    Aunt Ruth

  2. Mary Lytton Hayes says:

    Well said! You have chosen the better part! Luke 10:42 Thank you for helping more see the light.

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