When Buying Organic Pays (and doesn't)
Consumer Reports put out an article on the items that are worth buying when labeled organic. It goes further by explaining which products are "must be" organic, "can be" organic if price is no object, and "don't need to be" organic.
For many products, the price premium attached to "organic" has invited abuse among food companies. In Austin, a gallon of Horizon organic milk is $5.25 right now at the HEB Grocery store, sixty percent higher than the non-organic store brand. Rightly so, organic apples, strawberries, grapes, and bananas carry a similar premium at the Whole Foods Market down the street (HEB has lousy organic produce). Like so many new developments, however, unscrupulous companies have glommed on to the organic movement to take advantage of the price premium without delivering any real value. Organic cosmetics? Organic ice cream? Come on. I actually saw a bag of potting soil at Home Depot labeled organic as a point of differentiation, as if soil was ever anything but organic.