Why Organic Food Might Be Worth the High Price

The most infamous fact about organic food is that its expensiveabout 47% more expensive, according to a recent analysis from Consumer Reports. But a new review study published in Nature Plants analyzed everything research currently knows about organic farming versus the conventional kind and found that organic offers a lot of good that outweighs its sticker shock.

When organic farming first began, it was derided as an idealistic and inefficient way of feeding people. Not surprisingly, there was little research about it. There were just a couple handfuls of studies back in the 80s, says John Reganold, professor of soil science and agroecology at Washington State University and co-author of the new study. Reganold has been studying organic agriculture for more than 30 years. At the turn of the century, it just skyrocketed, and now there are probably at least 1,000 studies, he says.

Reganold analyzed 40 years of available data and focused on how organic farming impacts several types of sustainability: productivity, impact on the environment, economic viability and social well-being.