Why Organic Groceries Might Be Getting Cheaper

When you go grocery shopping, do you make an effort to seek out organic items? We've all heard that organic fruits and vegetables are supposed to be better for us, with far less chemical pesticide and herbicide residues than what is found on conventionally grown items (via Mayo Clinic). Organic meats and eggs, meanwhile, must be raised without the use of antibiotics, and usually boast higher levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, Mayo Clinic adds.

One thing that can be challenging about shopping organic, though, is the cost. On average, organic food can be more expensive, costing anywhere from 10-30% more than conventionally raised food, according to How Stuff Works. This is due, in part, to the costs of the organic certification process, which organic farms have to pay — and then pass on to consumers (per Organic Valley). Other costs that are passed on to consumers include those associated with the frequent inspections of organically-produced items as they're raised, harvested, and transported, in order to ensure that they're adhering to strict procedures.

But, according to a recently released study, certain organic foods might soon be cheaper than their conventional counterparts, making it easier to stock up our shopping carts.

Food prices are rising across the board, but organic prices are rising more slowly

According to a study recently released by Magnify Money, the prices of conventionally raised food items might soon be higher than traditionally pricier organic food. In the study, researchers analyzed prices for organic and conventional meats, dairy items, fruits, and vegetables in 2019 and 2021, noting that, while food prices are rising across the board, the prices of organic items are only going up a little when compared to their traditional counterparts.

Since 2019, the study noted, the price of conventional meat, dairy, and produce has gone up by an average of 13.9% — while the price of organic varieties has gone up by only 1.6%. So far, organic items are still more expensive, but that might change if prices for conventional items continue to shoot up.

For instance, regular boneless, skinless chicken breasts rose in cost by 43.8% on average since 2019. During these same two years, organic chicken breasts actually went down in price by 2.2%. Traditional broccoli saw a sky-high rise in price of 141.3%, while organic broccoli only went up in price by 24%.

The study didn't note why organic prices are climbing more slowly, or when those items might end up costing less than conventional goods. But for lovers of healthy food on a budget, this is good news.