What does organically grown mean, and why does it cost more?

The USDA states that the goal of organic farming is to “integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.” Certified organic foods are free of most synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes, and must not be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic engineering.

Production costs for organic foods are typically higher because of greater labor inputs per unit of output – in short, it takes greater time and money to produce an organic product. Simply acquiring the USDA Organic certification is an expense too great for some small family farms.

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