Upon talking to many farmers and examining the literature, it is pretty clear that one producer advantage of using “organic” production methods to grow crops is that it allows sellers to price discriminate and charge higher prices for these products than more conventionally produced fruits, grains and vegetables. Indeed, a recent meta-study concluded that the profits from producing “organically” are up to 35% higher on average than producing by more conventional methods.
Let’s accept this as perfectly correct.
Here is a simple philosophical question. It seems to me to be the case that the popularity of “organic” is strong among the group of individuals who tend to be very much opposed to our current “system” and do not much like capitalism, profits, or the people who are part of said “system.” If this is the case, and organic farming allows sellers to reap larger profits than in a more competitive and conventional framework, it would seem strange for the anti-capitalist community to so lovingly embrace organics as they do, no?
I don’t think that’s a great argument. I may think that the organizational structure at Capital One perpetuates some great injustice, but that doesn’t mean it would be ethically inconsistent for me to bank there. You’re making a jump that limiting profits is more important than the perceived environmental benefits of buying organic. Moreover, one could (and would) argue that society is so entrenched in this system that they have no choice but to buy their food from some corporation that makes a profit, so all else equal, it’s better for them to support practices that are environmentally responsible.
Good to have you back.
I’m genuinely asking the question. I honestly wouldn’t expect anyone, left, center, or right, aside from the most rigid and dogmatists to think through every issue like this – but if indeed someone did, I wonder what is more important – the environmental concern or the capitalist concern. This is aside from the fact that there is no clear environmental benefit to organics, once that was understood, I suspect the question above has a bit more relevance?