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Why don’t we buy organic food?

With this article, I will not pretend I am part of the ones who only buy and consume organic food, not at all. I belong more to the “I would like to but I can’t” group.

Nevertheless, the idea of this article came with my experience in the US. Last year, I spent a semester over there, and I tried to learn the most from my new fellow citizens through my “innocent” French eyes.

Obvisouly, organic food is not the first thing that stroke me. But as in European countries we are getting more and more sensibilized to this topic I began to observe what is the American attitude towards environmental matters and alternative ways of consumption.

Well, I quickly realized that was pretty ambitious, but what appeared quite clear to me is ¬†that in the US, organic food is only good for hippies and other “aliens” to the average American. No offense folks, it is almost the same in France.

First of all, as far I’m concerned, I think most Americans do not feel the necessity of buying organic food or other kinds of environmental-friendly items because they do not believe in global warming and in the evident damages of unsustainable industries and the excessive use of pesticides, fertilizers that comes along with it…

Organic Food

We justify ourselves saying that we are lacking scientific proof or that it is used as a political strategy: culturally, Democrats promote environmental-friendly politics while Republicans prone a liberal economy no matter what… But there is also the proeminent belief according to which “God won’t let us die” this way… but all of these justifications hide the true reasons: global warming, depletion of ressources, the not that safe GEOM… it is a too pessimistic view of the contemporanean world. So we prefer choosing a “cooler” short-term prospect, forgetting about the future generations, rather that a too depressing long-term view.

And, my bad, I almost forgot: “Organic food is way too expensive”. You got that one, but actually, we are willing to spend a lot for goods that we judge “necessary” while in many cases there are just one more luxury supposed to make your life easier. In addition to, I will not teach anything to anyone if I reveal to the face of the world that with the system of offer/demand, the more we buy the more the prices go down. But true, we can always find “everyday low prices” at Wal-mart and it is so convenient.

Organic displays at Wal-Mart

However, even Wal-mart starts to widen its range of organic food because tomorrow protect our health and our environment will be a duty… or maybe just because it becomes more attractive, economically speaking (let’s hope it is for both reasons).

Organic Label

So as we stroll about our gigantic supermarkets, we see more and more brands such as “Eat right” and its wide range of food products, or “Whole organic milk” and many others slogans outlining the benefits of eating organic food.

Display of "Eat Right" products

So why don’t we buy organic food? Because we are not willing to take right now the risks and efforts of spending more for unpredictable results. That is pretty sad if we think about it: because then we let no choice for our children. We are about to make them grow in a polluted world (a kind of gigantic trash) and while we are still massively producing unhealthy food we are taking the risk of not being able ever to produce true organic products.

I am not the risk-taker kind of person, but frankly, I am willing to take this one, what about you?

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