Organic Expensive but really?
Organic expensive but really? Is organic really expensive? We think it all depends on how you look at it and what you compare.
Why are some wines more expensive, why are some shoes more expensive, why are some restaurants more expensive, why are some cloth more expensive? It is all about quality and value for money.
Well, organic represents value for money and you get what you pay for, a higher quality, simply put, a premium product.
Tastier, cleaner, more nutritious food, grown in an environment-friendly way. Organic Food is easier to digest (you don’t have to digest the chemicals), better for you and after following an organic diet for 2 weeks the levels of pesticides residing in your system will have almost disappeared . (click here for a short video on this subject)
Why it is more expensive:
With organic you are paying for farmer’s extra effort to grow produce without chemicals. Organically grown crops are grown for quality not quantity, there is often less yields (less income for the farmer), more manual labor, less industrial production, what you get in return (the value) is not only a pesticide free, chemical free product but a more tasteful and nutritious product, and the environment has not been damaged in the process.
Most organic crops take longer to grow, relying on the sun and nature as opposed to chemicals enhancers, farmers use healthy EM (Effective Micro organisms) fertiliser instead of sewage sludge and chemical fertilisers. And instead of weed killers the organic farmer uses alternative mehods, he sows other plants along side his crops which prevent weeds growing and discourage pests. Also they often use a fluid made from some herbs which animals don’t like (Lemongrass, Ginger, Turmeric etc) . In addition organic farms do not receive subsidies.
Organic farming produces a superior product; Chateaux Margaux wine is better than Tesco’s house wine, Manolo shoes are better made than flip flops, George V is a better restaurant than McDonalds, and Louis Vuitton makes better bags than the plastic ones.
Why is it that organic produce is compared to non-organic in price?
What to compare? They are different and thus represent different values.
With wine, the expensive wine looks like the cheap wine but there is a difference, organic vegetables look like toxic ones but also here that’s where the comparison ends. The value difference is in the quality of the product, how healthy it is, how much better it tastes, and many other elements which come into the equation (less pollution, better for the environment) and as such it is more expensive.
How much more expensive?
Lets compare the prices and lets say Pura Organic products are on 70% more expensive than the toxic equivalents sold in lower quality stores and on average about 30% more expensive than almost the same toxic equivalents sold in high quality store BUT for organic versus organic pricing Pura is a lot cheaper and has a larger variety with better quality as we see to it that the products grow where conditions are optimal for taste and nutrition.
Organic more expensive, yes but it’s worth it! Like a young man once said, “Who would you rather pay for your health, the hospital or your farmer?”
Below this article, I will put some links to articles about why, especially here in Asia, more specifically, here in Thailand too many chemicals are used which potentially affect your health in a negative way.
70% more expensive?
That could be about right but to us, it sounds just as bizarre as stating that “Chateaux Margaux wine is 600% more expensive than Tesco’s house wine”, you simply can’t compare on price only, you can’t compare apples with oranges.
Perhaps you can’t value the quality in exact cash but one thing we do know, organic is better for you! 2 THB is 100% more than 1 THB but is 1 THB worth it or not, thats the point I am trying to make.
Organic Expensive but really?
But how much is that REALLY per day?
Let’s calculate what it really costs you to opt for organic veggies, fruits, and herbs instead of the non-organic equivalents. Yes, the 70% doesn’t really disappear but we want to try to put this in another light, in a more valuable comparison, in outright money, real cash expense and thus how it affects your wallet.
Western governments, through their FDA’s, advise people that for a healthy diet they should eat 200 grammes of veggies and 200 grammes of fruit per day.
Based on an average price for organic of about 200 thb/kg, and for toxic 117 thb/kg:
(we’ve added 10% weight for spoilage/waste)
A regular diet: 440 grammes of organic veggies and fruits, or 88 THB versus 51 THB i.e. 37 THB per day more
A vegetarian: 660 grammes of organic veggies and fruits, or 132 THB versus 77 THB i.e. 55 THB per day more
A vegan: 880 grammes of organic veggies and fruits, or 176 THB versus 103 THB i.e. 73 THB per day more
So opting for a healthy, better tasting, more energy giving organic diet will cost you 37 THB per day more.
Worth it? Is it really not worth it not to opt for organic, better for you, better for the environment…. 37 THB per day? Who would you rather pay for your health, the hospital or your farmer? (and tasteful appetite)
The professional kitchen
Let’s take something easy: a simple salad in restaurants or wellness centres on Phuket costs between 150 to 250 thb.
Mostly this consists of a mix of lettuce and some extra ingredients.
About 80 grams of lettuce is used (toxic or hydroponic lettuce used mostly which costs let’s say about 100 thb / kg, Pura Organic Lettuce for the hospitality sector costs 137 thb / kg) (37% more expensive), wow, but let’s see how this actually works out:
88 grams (plus 10% waste) at 100 thb = 9 THB versus organic 12 THB for organic = difference 3 thb
33 grams of other products at 150 thb = 5 THB versus organic 8 THB for organic = difference 3 thb
Total difference 6 THB which on an average price of 200 THB equals 3 %, thus. Not that much of a difference is it?
The salad went, to speak in hospitality lingo, from a pure food cost of 7% to 10% (excluding other non-food items).
Yes, salads are a very profitable menu item in most restaurants (of course depending on the ingredients used).
A non-organic salad’s food costs are 14 THB but sells for 200 THB – gross profit 186 THB (before labor costs, electricity etc etc)
An organic salad’s food costs are 20 THB but can sell for 220 THB – gross profit 200 THB (before labor costs, electricity etc etc)
What most restaurants tend to forget is that while the organic version of this salad has a higher cost of 6 THB they could easily ask 20 THB more for it because of the premium attractiveness of organic. More and more people are wellness-minded and they know what is good for them. They will appreciate an organic being available and encourage your guests to come back for more.
Organic correctness must be challenged, verified, checked, the story must be believable
Many restaurants call dishes organic without checking, simply accepting products to be organic because this is what their supplier says they are.
There’s even a butcher on the island who calls the chicken he sells organic and thus the restaurants who buy from them call their dishes organic chicken, because they know organic gives that little bit of extra. Both the supplier and the restaurant are wrong here! The supplier is wrong because he tells his clients his chicken is organic while it is most probably not (perhaps because he doesn’t know what it takes to be called organic perhaps because he is simply lying because he knows organic is a premium product and he can get a better price, out of experience I know there is no organic chicken in Thailand).
The restaurant is wrong because they simply accept the supplier words without verifying his credentials, checking if there is an organic certificate or at least question his reasoning to call his products organic.
As I said before, possibly by being as negligent as this might have a big impact on those who opt for organic for health reasons and their efforts to heal themselves by opting for a clean diet.
Some links to articles on why organic is a better choice, especially here in Asia
” in European countries the healthy and food specialists, when asked if non-organic food is bad for your health sincerely answer “No, not if used in normal quantities”. This is because government controls keep a tight grip on the use and overuse of chemical pesticides. BUT they do add “Except for the vegetables which come from Asia!”.