Do you know there are several studies that show organic fruits and vegetables have higher nutrient and anti-oxidant levels than conventionally grown produce? Although the evidence has not been deemed conclusive (due to other potential factors leading to increases or decreases in nutrition levels), these studies validate what proponents of organic farming have claimed all along. If you add up all that goes into organic farming, it only makes common sense why organic produce is indeed better for you.
When it comes to taste, just give some organic produce a taste test for yourself. In 2001, a team of researchers out of Washington State University (where a large portion of U.S. organic produce is grown), unanimously concluded that organic apples were sweeter, and had higher ratings of firmness and texture than their conventionally grown counterparts in the same region. Scientists concur that higher quality soil from organic crops resulted in the better tasting (and more nutritious) produce.
So why not buy organic produce if it is so beneficial to yourself and the environment? Many consumers cite increased costs. Indeed, organic produce typically costs around 10% to 40% higher than conventionally grown produce, and in some cases can cost as much as 65% higher. However, these percentage stats are from 2004.
The year now is 2007 and it is evident that prices are coming down on organic produce. Since production is happening on a larger scale (due to increased demand and a surge in supply from large food chains like Whole Foods and now Wal-Mart), prices for organic produce are becoming more affordable to consumers on a fixed budget.
Keep in mind that the notion of growing organic produce did not even come around until the 1950's, while private sector organic certification did not spring up until the Reagan era. Not until the 90's did governmental certification begin and the organic food industry begin growing at a phenomenal rate of more than 20% every year. Prices are bound to keep coming down.
Also remember that buy locally grown produce if at all possible, especially if it also happens to be organic. Seek out farmer's markets and make it a point to hold off on buying your produce until you have a chance to make it to the market. Not only are you promoting sustainability in your neck of the woods, you are contributing to less demand on global transporters who often ship produce from around the world, thus contributing to more transportation pollution.