By Ghanim al-Sulaiti
In a world where more processed, polluted and packaged food, riddled with pesticides and preservatives is continuing to drive down the cost and cheapen meals, the organic industry is moving the opposite way. Natural, healthy food is becoming increasingly expensive, resulting in a question I hear from people daily: why should we pay more for healthier food? Which is usually followed by further queries, including ‘shouldn’t healthy be more affordable?’ and ‘why would I spend more, if I can get a similar food cheaper?’
While the demand for junk food has slowly started to decline, the demand for higher quality food that is certified as organic, chemical free, fair-trade and freshly made is now booming. Businesses across the globe are being forced to switch to more vegan friendly practices, and companies in large industries have pledged to ensure that they’re offering healthier products that are accurately labelled, with full ingredients list displayed — in an honest and transparent way. Well to put it simply, it’s costlier to ensure that the food is genuinely organic, and hence, we need to be prepared to pay for it.
One might ask, “Shouldn’t it be cheaper to grow food organically?”
If we lived in the 1800s, the quick answer is yes. But in 2019, industrialisation of the farming system has led to added complications to the journey from farm to the store.
We live in a time whereby our governments have subsidised certain basic foods, including mass producing flour, dairy products, grains and vegetables. As the cost of production of these foods decreases, so has the quality. In order to meet the demand, food companies are able to offer sub-par, poor quality food products, with unnecessary additives to preserve and prolong the life span — at the expense of our health. For example, Milk is often injected into products that both do not need milk, and do not obviously contain milk as an ingredient. This unnecessary reliance and habit of adding milk to everything has kept the milk industry alive, and creates a new market for the byproduct of milk — which in turn, makes producing milk so cheap.
Understanding the difference between conventional farming, and organic farming is key. Conventional farming uses pesticides and hormones to grow crops faster, shinier, and using less quality resources which results in a faster turn over, and cheaper prices. On the other side, organic farming is using no enhancements, nor chemicals to expedite the process, and crops takes their natural time to grow (which often tend to be longer than conventional).
It’s for this reason that we shouldn’t be asking why organic food is expensive, we should be concerned with how junk food is cheap
A purchase of organic food is an investment to your health. After all, these food products reward us in the long-term.
Researchers out of the University of California at Berkeley and the University of California at San Francisco, just came to a breakthrough conclusion that after less than one week of eating organic food, the toxin levels in the body were dramatically lowered.
Our mind and mentality needs to shift in the way it has shifted when we’re purchasing clothing, house appliances, and cars. We see people riding the most expensive cars. Others carrying the most exotic bags, traveling around the globe, or spending on one-time experiences. Yet, when it comes to food, many questions come in mind. In the same way designer bags are considered an ‘investment’ in a quality product, we need to realise that organic food is an ‘investment’ in…ourselves.
We invest in phone cases to protect our phone, we make sure to put the best oil when we refill our cars — and yet, we (as a population) continue to neglect the most vital investment of all: Ourselves.
* The author is an expert in vegan well-being and health. Instagram handle: @Ghanim92
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