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Providing information on organic food and farming in Wales
Price and quality
What about the price of organic food?
Organic food may cost more because:
• labour costs can be higher because of organic farming methods;
• yields may be lower;
• organically grown feed for animals can be expensive to buy;
• processed organic foods can be more expensive than conventional equivalents, because ingredient costs are higher and other organic restrictions can lead to higher costs;
• smaller quantities and longer distances usually raise the costs of distribution and marketing;
• as with any product, when demand is high and supply is low, the price goes up and the farmer has very little control over this!
How can I find organic food at a reasonable price?
• You can often buy direct from the producer. This might be by box schemes, from farmers' markets, online sales, mail order or farm shops.
• Produce can be cheaper when it's in season.
• Most supermarkets and wholefood shops stock organic produce: if you can't find it,
ask for it!
• By preparing your own food and avoiding highly processed foods, you may find that you are not paying any more overall than you would for non-organic food.
• to find out where you can buy organic produce, download our booklet Local and Organic.
What about the quality of organic food?
• Organic food contains fewer residues of the pesticides used in conventional agriculture, so buying organic produce is one way to reduce the chances that your food contains these pesticide residues.
• There are indications that organic fruit and vegetables may, on average, contain higher levels of vitamin C and other important minerals.
• The routine dosing of farm animals with antibiotics is not allowed.
• Only about 30 additives, such as salt and baking powder, are permitted in organic processed food, compared with more than 290 additives permitted for use in non-organic processed foods.
• Hydrogenated fats, linked with heart disease, are not allowed in processed organic foods.
• Milk from organic cows fed on high proportions of grass and clover has a higher content of Omega 3 and other essential fatty acids.
• A healthy diet should be well balanced and should contain plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. A diet dominated by highly processed foods may contain unhealthy levels of sugars, saturated fats or salt, whether or not it is organic.
Organic Centre Wales, IBERS, Gogerddan Campus
Aberystwyth University, Ceredigion, SY23 3EB
T:01970 622248 E: email@example.com