Organic food is well worth paying for – for your health as well as nature

Author: Peter Melchett

The most often repeated criticism of organic food is that it costs more than non-organic food.

It’s often accompanied by the strong implication that it’s not worth paying any more for organic because it delivers no additional value to consumers.

After long and bitter disputes, the overwhelming evidence showing substantially more wildlife on organic farms, better animal welfare, almost no pesticides, less greenhouse gas emissions, more jobs and less pollution has eventually been accepted.

But all these public goods still did not justify more than a small handful of committed citizens wanting to eat organic food (so opponents of organic argued), because none of them benefit individual consumers.

This is the background to the protracted and high profile struggle over scientific studies into whether organic farming makes any difference to the quality of the food produced. The idea that consumers might be getting better quality, more nutritious food for the extra money they spend would be a serious blow to many in the non-organic farming and food industries.