03 Why should I pay more for organics?
In Australia, household expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages is about
17% of our income, with 37% of our income being spent on discretionary items including
alcohol, tobacco, clothing, recreation, household furnishings and personal care.8
For many Australians, the argument that they cannot afford to purchase organic food
is more about the value they place on purchasing food in comparison to other lifestyle
Spending a bit more on organic food is about placing greater importance on prioritising
your own health, the health of the planet and the livelihood of many smaller family
Another way to look at why organic food costs more is that our economic system does
not factor in the true environmental and health costs of conventional farming; this
cost is felt down the line and paid through our taxes. For example, environmental
damage such as land degradation, pollution to waterways and over-irrigation becomes
a public issue that requires large government investment. In addition, the health
implications caused by a build-up of chemicals in our bodies and poor diets places
pressure on the public health system.
In fact, if you shop smartly by purchasing your organic food in season and direct
from the farmer at a farmers' market, through an organic box system or a box system
such as Food Connect you will find you are paying little or no more than conventionally
grown food (see What You Can Do for more information).