You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Staff Writer
A recent poll reveals Americans prefer organic, but cannot afford the high prices

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Each month Thomas Reuters and NPR team up to poll approximately 3,000 Americans regarding various health topics and issues. The poll that was released this June showed that the majority of Americans prefer eating organic foods. Demographics reveal that out of the 58% of consumers who reported favoring organically-grown produce, the majority of them are young, educated adults.

As to the question of why, the poll found that among those consumers who said that they prefer eating organic, their main reason was wanting to support local farmers (followed closely by wanting to avoid toxins). While it's great to hear people are becoming increasingly more concerned and aware of what they are eating, don’t go expecting a revolution in the agriculture industry anytime soon. Even though Americans may like organic food better, many of them still end up buying conventionally grown produce. Why? Because it’s cheaper.

The very same poll also discovered that among those Americans who take the conventional route over the organic one, their primary reason for doing so was not being able to afford the high price tag on most organic products. Accessibility was a close second on the list of reasons why Americans end up going with conventionally produced products.

While there is really no way of getting around the bit of extra effort it might take to track down organic produce, environmentalist blogs such as TreeHugger have been responding to the poll results reminding us that there are, in fact, ways to avoid steep costs. State-wide CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs and local food co-ops sell organic products at a cheaper price to their members, in exchange for their support and monthly contributions. Also, eating according to what’s in season can save you quite a bit the next time you head to the grocery store.  

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.