If there is a misnomer that plagues our community – and by community, I mean our fellow enthusiasts of healthy living and sound nutrition – it is the belief that organic is a synonym for expensive.
That it is a lifestyle label, a stamp or certification (or even a gold-embossed seal) reserved for products at high-end markets and boutiques, not conventional retailers and mainstream grocers.
The fact is, organic options are everywhere. From the fruits and vegetables we can buy from roadside stands and mom-and-pop businesses to the spacious aisles of national retailers, where shopping carts move north and south like vehicles on a massive stretch of freeway – with glistening apples, oranges, cucumbers and carrots arranged toward the east, watered by a soft overhead mist and elegantly packaged cosmetics and everyday staples stocked on shelves facing west – organic goods and services surround us.
I offer that testimony from personal experience and professional pride because, as the founder of Kiss My Itch Goodbye®, a safe and organic means of alleviating the symptoms of chronic itch and irritated skin, I know that these things are often less costly than items containing additives, preservatives, dyes, chemicals and other artificial ingredients.
I also know that an organic product is neither a novelty nor a hard-to-find commodity. We are, in other words, decades past the lone health food store in some Midwestern town or New England village; cultural exports from Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California and purveyors of wheat germ and yeast from Woody Allen's noirish (albeit with smog and sunshine) depiction of Los Angeles in "Annie Hall."
As consumers, we have ready access to – and understand the benefits of –organic foods and lifestyle accessories. We have a surplus of information, and an abundance of choices (and competitive prices), thanks to the Internet.
Let me, therefore, repeat that organic is good but not exotic; it is not the modern equivalent of cardamom and cinnamon, boxed and shipped from the Orient to the New World, to be savored by Her Royal Highness and the merchants and aristocrats of London and Richmond, Virginia.
If an organic product is more expensive than a non-organic alternative, the reasons may be twofold. On the one hand, a company decides that many customers believe organic is better . . . and that brand then charges a premium for its best products and services. Or, because of aggressive marketing campaigns and the use of TV, print, electronic and online advertising, a company seeks to recoup its investment by passing these costs to consumers.
Those scenarios are not exclusive to organic goods – indeed, they have nothing to do with the inherent fee of developing organic products – and are, instead, the result of business directives to increase profits and reduce operating expenses.
These actions are also an effort by some companies to conflate organic with luxury, and to charge consumers for the privilege of enjoying such perceived rarities. And yet, there is nothing scarce or sacred about something that is so commonplace.
Organic is good, yes; it may even be great, but it does not mean any and all organic products are overpriced. With some due diligence, and with some smart searches and reviews, you will discover that organic is not beyond your budget or reach. The former includes a wealth of affordable choices, while the latter makes these things available, online or elsewhere, within seconds (by computer) or minutes (by car, bus, subway or sidewalk).
Rejoice in this freedom, and revel in the benefits of organic foods, products and services.
The rewards are too great to ignore.
Posted on WholeFoodsMagazine.com 5/7/2015
This piece is not intended to be taken as medical advice. Speak to a healthcare provider to get more information about diabetes and any potential side effects.