Modern consumers have more choices than ever. Whether shopping for appliances, books, clothing, or one of the myriad necessities of daily life, consumers have a multitude of products to choose from.
An abundance of options are also available at the grocery store. This is especially true in the produce aisle, where many stores have expanded their fresh produce offerings. This expansion reflects a growing consumer preference for fresh produce, including fresh produce. A 2018 report by market research firm IRI and the Food Marketing Institute found that fresh food sales accounted for just under 31% of food industry sales in 2017.
Customers who prefer fresh fruits and vegetables to frozen alternatives may wonder if they shouldn’t be even more selective when buying their favorite foods in the produce aisle. This decision can come down to whether or not to buy organic products.
Organic produce can be much more expensive than non-organic fruits and vegetables, so it’s understandable that budget-conscious consumers can’t afford to go all-organic. However, it is important that consumers recognize the many ways in which organic farming has a positive impact on the health of humans and the planet they inhabit.
• Organic produce reduces exposure to pesticides and antibiotics. UC Davis Health notes that organic produce has been shown to reduce consumer exposure to pesticides and antibiotics. This is a significant benefit, as exposure to pesticides has been shown to cause neurodevelopmental problems and has been linked to a higher risk of cancer. Consumers shopping on a budget can choose the organic foods they buy, as UC Davis Health notes that some foods have been shown to contain more pesticide residues than others.
Apples, celery, grapes, spinach, strawberries, and tomatoes have high levels of pesticide residues, so choosing organic versions of these foods can be a smart choice. Avocados, broccoli, cabbage, and cantaloupe are some of the foods that typically contain low levels of pesticide residues.
• Organic farming reduces environmental degradation. The Organic Trade Association notes that synthetic pesticides and fertilizers used on some conventional farms can deplete the soil of valuable nutrients and increase environmental degradation. Organic farmers do not use such pesticides or fertilizers, but instead use practices such as composting, cover cropping, and crop rotation, each of which can have long-term positive effects on soil quality.
• Organic farming benefits local wildlife. A 2015 study by Argentine researchers and published in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment found that small mammals were more abundant around organic farms than on conventional farms. This is not only good for these mammals, but also for farmers, as small mammals can feed on insects that would otherwise harm crops.
Many grocery stores are increasing the availability of organic fruits and vegetables. These foods can benefit human health as well as the health of the planet.