Organic vs. conventional report designed for consumers

04/05/2012 10:40:00 AM
Coral Beach

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market News office is developing a weekly report to help consumers compare the costs of conventional vs. organic produce.

Information for the report will be gleaned from data that is already being collected for the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Market News reports, said Audrina Lange, assistant to the director of Fruit and Vegetable Market News.

Lange“Right now we are working on determining serving sizes per unit for all of the commodities. For example, how many cups of broccoli are in a bunch or a pound?” Lange said.

The same commodities listed in the weekly Fruit and Vegetable Market News report will be included in the cost comparison report for consumers, provided there are both conventional and organic varieties available.

The AMS tracks weekly advertised prices of fresh produce at retailers, in addition to other market data. Although the reports are available to the public, they are mainly used by businesses involved with the fresh produce industry.

Lange said the comparison report for consumers stems from the overall effort by the USDA and the White House to encourage Americans to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.

“We are looking for ways to help consumers get the biggest nutritional bang for their buck and this report is one way we can show how affordable it is to eat fresh produce,” she said.

The weekly cost comparison report will be available on the Internet through the AMS Market News Portal at www.marketnews.usda.gov/portal/fv.

A specific launch date has not yet been set for the report. Lange said it will likely take at least six months for AMS staff to nail down serving sizes and complete a pilot run of the report before it will be ready for the public.



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John    
Peshastin Wa.  |  April, 05, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Will this report attempt to identify higher nutrition in one form over the other; organic vs conventional ?

Coral Beach    
April, 05, 2012 at 05:04 PM

John, From what the USDA sources told me, the report will compare only prices. Coral Beach Staff Writer

Andrea Chavez    
Arroyo Grande, CA  |  April, 06, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Why would a report comparing the costs of conventional vs. organic produce "help consumers get the biggest nutritional bang for their buck" or "show how affordable it is to eat fresh produce?"

Chip Seck    
Gonzales, Ca.  |  April, 30, 2012 at 07:22 PM

I agree with John 100%. I am a PCA and have also been an applicator in my early years of my career. When I was an applicator, I was required to hold a California Qualified Applicators certificate issued by the California Department of Pesticide Registration. There are very strict rule and regulations that are adhered to when applying a crop protection product. I can't tell you how many times I hear statements like "Organics don't spray" YES They do. Or "organic is more nutritious than conventional" Show me any proof of that one. I am not for or against organic, but rather a proponent of stating facts instead of the mass of organic supporters that know no facts to support their position.

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