Is Organic Food a Rip-Off?

Organic food is generally accepted to be food grown without pesticides, herbicides, genetic modification, or in the case of animals, fewer added drugs and in better living conditions.

Organic food is touted as being healthier than conventional food and is undoubtedly more expensive than conventional food.

So, it is worth the added cost?  Let’s take a look at what both sides of the argument have to say. You might just be shocked by what the experts have to say about the benefit to the environment.

If you are an organic proponent, you will definitely feel taken advantage of by the marketing and labeling, so read on to discover why.

A Marketing Scam

Organic food is a marketing scam, according to the Hoover Institute. They think changing labeling laws and scare tactics encourages people to buy organic.

Organic advocates throw around the boogie-monster term of Genetically Manufactured Organism (GMO) to frighten people. Organic advocates count on Americans having dismal scientific backgrounds and few reasoning skills.

Apparently, the marketing is working because organic foods are slowly growing in market share. However, labeling laws are often defeated because conventional food producers don’t want you to know what’s in your food.

Harms the Environment

Green is always better than conventional, right? Not so fast, organic foods may be sprayed with more than 20 different pesticides and fungicides. Organic pesticides are thought to be less toxic because they are natural. In reality, they aren’t.

One organic pesticide is Rotenone. Derived from plant-based toxins, rotenone is linked to health issues, including Parkinson’s, in rats. It is commonly used to kill unwanted fish in reservoirs around the US.

Organic pesticide use is not monitored either. Who knows how much is used every year?

Wastes Water

Organic farms produce less than conventional farms, and not just because organic farms are smaller. When results are controlled, organic farms produce up to 62% less than conventional crops. The water usage doesn’t decrease just because it is used on organic produce.

If you are purchasing organic produce because it is better for the environment, you are not really helping.

There are problems with fertilizer run-off with resulting algal blooms that kill thousands of fish, bee die-off caused by neonicotinoid insecticides with lessened pollination potential, and antibiotics in our water supply from manure produced in mega-meat factories. But the next concern may take care of all that.

GMOs Aren’t Bad

Many people prefer organic food because of genetically modified organisms (GMO) concerns. Basically, scientist insert DNA into plants to make them more disease-, pest-, drought-, and flood-resistant.

Proponents claim that all crops are genetically modified and that is true. The difference is that genetic modification comes from selective breeding, not introduced from bacteria or other plant species.

Despite trials, long term effects are not known. Twenty years ago, trans fats were harmless. Now, they are known to be bad. Is the same true for GMOs? We don’t know.

Organic Just a Label

Organic food is just an image. You buy organic food; therefore, you are more in touch with health, quality, and other intangible concepts. Shopping farmer’s markets is a trendy, dare we say Yuppie (to use a dated term), occupation.

Whether or not organic food tastes better, is better for you, or puts you more into contact with the natural world is debatable. Just remember that sugar-soaked organic cereal is no better for you than, sugar-soaked GMO cereal.


Is organic food a rip off? Good question. It is definitely more expensive. The environmental issues could fill an entire series of articles. GMO concerns are poo-pooed on one hand and portrayed as Frankenfood on the other.

As with any issue based in emotion, deciding on organic food versus conventional food needs to be examined carefully and conclusions arrived at by checking reliable sources. Perhaps choosing some organic foods and some conventional is a better use of money that picking one side entirely over the other.

And it comes down to you. What do you want? What will make is easier to feed healthy fruits and vegetables to your family?