Ahh, the perennial question to all grocery shoppers: What is organic? How different is it from regular food items?
So you’re walking down the wide aisles of the supermarket and you chance upon a special section dedicated just to organic food items alone.
What exactly is organic? How different is it from regular food items? And most importantly, why are they more expensive than other similar food items?!
Well, organic food is firstly, a category of food. Organic also refers to a certain process of how food is produced. Organic items are more natural and healthier. Think farming in the olden days where chemical fertilizers or pesticides were not yet invented, and when you knew everything that went into the food you consumed.
Take for example the organic vegetables that you are looking to buy – the seeds are not Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), the soil is naturally enriched with compost with no harmful pesticides or insecticides used, and the majority of the work is done by human hands instead of machines. This is as natural as it gets!
The whole organic process ensures that only the best quality natural food is produced while not being reliant on modern chemicals and man-made materials. The result is the freshest, most nutritious produce being delivered to our customers.
Pick up a food item and compare it with an organic equivalent. Go down both the ingredients list and compare them, you will see that the regular food item probably contains many unpronounceable scientific terms as compared to the organic one. This is evidence of how much chemicals and unknown goes into your body in food you consume everyday. By choosing the organic food item, you may be paying a little more (we’ll get to that in a bit), for not only a peace of mind, but also as a favour to your body!
Now, to the most important question: Why is organic food more expensive than other regular food items?
This is actually one of the easiest questions, with the most logical answer. Organic is costs slightly higher than regular food items because firstly, it is not mass produced. It is labour-intensive to produce and ensure its highest quality, and as it gains popularity, the supply is not enough to meet demands. Also, if we are talking about meat products, the additional amount goes into higher standards of animal welfare.
Take for example the health of a chicken which is caged up in a small metal box 24 hours a day, as compared to a cage-free chicken allowed to run freely. The former would obviously not be in good condition for consumption. Movement develops muscles and wellbeing of an animal. Being caged up causes all their muscles to shrink and the animal to be sickly. Farmers then inject chemicals and hormones into the chicken (which would later be passed into your body when you consume it) to plump it up enough and sell it off.
Organic food is typically not that expensive overseas. For Singaporeans, however, there are added layers of cost as the fresh produce has to go through many ‘hands’ to get to our local supermarkets. At Quan Fa Organic Farm, you’ll find that the produce is more reasonably priced as we deliver you the freshest – from the farm to your doorstep.
So, organic or not? The choice is yours!
Image from theecologist.org