Shoppers Believe Organic Labels Are Just An Excuse To Charge More

Organic baby radishes from Shagbark Farm (Rochester, NH) - from the Portsmouth Farmer's Market
Organic baby radishes from Shagbark Farm (Rochester, NH) - from the Portsmouth Farmer's Market

When it comes to eating organic, the question isn't whether or not it's good for you — for most consumers it's about whether or not you can trust the labels.

According to a new study by market research firm Mintel, consumers still don't trust organic labels. In a similar study from 2013, 63 per cent of men and 54 per cent of women stated that they felt the word organic was just used to charge higher prices.

Betsy Rakola, the USDA’s organic policy advisor, tells Time that while consumers know organic foods are better for them, it's the production process that can be confusing. And Billy Roberts, an analyst at Mintel says big corporations aren't helping clear the air either. “It’s a question of whether the whole supply chain is delivering on an organic promise,” he says.

But in Canada and the U.S., strict guidelines have been put in place regarding the use of the controversial term. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, organic foods must be verified by the government before displaying an organic logo, the food must also be made with 95 per cent organic ingredients.

So the next time you look at an organic label, you can rest assured the product really is what it says. But that sentiment doesn't hold up when looking at labels that use terms like all-natural or artisanal, reports Time. While these terms give the impression that they are healthier or are made in smaller batches, companies are not bound to government regulations when using these buzzwords.

While the high prices might be a deterrent for most organic shoppers, there is a way around it. Researchers say that not all foods need to be organic, but there are a few that really should be. Here you can find a list of 15 foods the Environmental Working Group recommends you buy organic.

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