Consumers are willing to pay a premium for organic products, but the realities can mean you get little more than a psychological boost for your buck, notes Jon Entine. More than 80 countries have organic standards and products carry one or more of 200 seals, logos and certification claims. Not all of them are even honest, as was found in a Whole Foods sample where 25% of the organic food from China was as conventionally processed as anything in a regular store.
And organic is not even the most environmentally responsible way to farm much less eat. So why buy organic? Well, it's complicated.
Europe is no better than the US. Its organic label only requires that farmers and processors certify that 95% of the product’s agricultural ingredients have been organically produced and certified as such. And the US and Europe have a handshake deal to recognize each other's certifications, which is a cozy arrangement for a $40 billion industry - 90% of the world total.
Organic food isn't more nutritious, nor is it more ethical or better for the environment. It is an intellectual placebo for the 1% who can afford it. Organic food companies are trying to increase their market share by creating an anti-science scare about conventional food. Their customers should instead be demanding their own truth in labeling.
Organic food – What is an ‘organic’ label really worth? By Jon Entine - EthicalCorp.com