From fruits like bananas and watermelons to vegetables like tomatoes and lettuce, paying a higher price for organic products as compared to their conventional counterparts is now a bigger part of American grocery spending than ever before. One of the major dilemmas for consumers is the trade-off between the environmental and health benefits and these higher prices – premiums – charged on organic products.
This environmental studies capstone project examines the reasons behind these premiums and how they are charged. It explores how these organic premiums are affected by various characteristics of the products and by different geographical factors across the US. Preliminary findings suggest that the organic premiums are affected by the region the product is sold in. They also appear to be affected by the class of the product (fruits, vegetables and potatoes and onions) and whether the product is one of the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen.”