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Your Take: Do You Pay More for Organic?

When it comes to organic products, I’m conflicted. On one hand, I love our planet and do as much as I reasonably can to preserve it. We didn’t carpool much but we did when only mildly inconvenient, follow the mantra of reduce, reuse, and recycle (in that order) and we conserve energy and water use around as much as possible.

But I’m conflicted about organic foods. Until a few months ago, the price disparity between a “regular” product and its organic counterpart was significant. You were talking larger than double digit percentage differences for products that, in some cases, weren’t very different. There have been articles on which fruits and vegetables benefit the most from pesticide-free growth [3] and how some organic vegetables, while smaller, pack more nutritional punch [4].

But my frugal upbringing brain always runs into my Vulcan-blooded heart (* Star Trek nerds will get the reference) and I find myself only getting organic when it’s a little more expensive.

What do we buy organic? On a regular basis, we buy half & half creamer and eggs from our local Trader Joes and we recently purchased organic skim milk from Giant. In those cases, the creamer and the milk prices were very close (single digit differences) in price. The egg price differences were a little higher but I abhor those Styrofoam egg containers and prefer the cardboard.

Ultimately, we don’t buy that much milk, creamer and eggs for those small price differences to affect us. One category I find it difficult to overpay on is meat. Organically grown beef and chicken is significantly higher in price than its regular counter parts, again it’s the frugal brain running smash into the heart that has seen slaughterhouse videos.

How about you? Do you buy organic products whenever possible, paying the potential premium? Do you do it for the health benefits or the environmental benefits?

(* Vulcans in Star Trek have green blood, I wasn’t referring to their emotion suppression 🙂 )

(Photo by debaird [5])