It does seem like locally produced, organic food should be cheaper, but there are a few reasons it is not. For starters, local growers typically have much less land space available for growing food. This means they produce less than the large agricultural corporations. They have less to sell, which puts it at a premium.
Another reason is that mass-farmed food is simply cheaper to produce. With fertilizers and pesticides, large farms and cheap help, corporations are able to produce a much larger amount than a small, local and organic farmer. The supply is greater, making the food cheaper.
Mass-farmed food is also subsidized by our tax dollars. The government subsidizes larger farms, and that covers part of the cost before you even set foot in the market or store.
A larger demand for organic food could help to close this price gap. But the current demand is for cheap, mass-produced food.
A relatively easy way to increase your access to cheaper organic produce is to grow some yourself. Even if you don’t have that much space, its relatively straighforward to grow potted herbs, greens or tomatoes.
It depends on the situation. Sometimes locally grown produce is a little more because it’s more expensive to grow, but that usually also means it was grown more carefully. However, most of the time, it can be less expensive. The least expensive option is to grow your own, which costs only a fraction of the amount that it would to buy the fruits and vegetables alone.
Mass produced items will always be cheaper than those made in smaller quantities. Therefore, smaller crops of organic produce are usually going to be more expensive. Right now, though, organic food is growing in popularity and cheaper options seem to be on the horizon. Growing a garden is probably the cheapest organic solution, and if we all make a shift to local food, the prices will come down proportionately.
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