Are organic and non-organic foods getting closer in price?

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Texas producers are seeing sales growth from organic. Do you know which Texas-produced organic product has the highest total sales?

DALLAS — Recently, the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension published an article about organic agriculture in Texas. 

So, let’s talk about that subject, starting with a trivia question: Of all the organically produced products from Texas, what’s the biggest money maker? The answer later.   

Prices for organic goods are usually much higher than what you pay for non-organic. But it turns out that the worldwide pandemic inflation we keep talking about is closing that gap a little. 

Magnify Money did an analysis of prices for 29 different products over a couple of recent years and found that the conventional (non-organic) foods went up 13.9% while the organic versions rose by 1.6%. 

For instance, broccoli (the organic kind) became 24.3% more expensive. But conventional (non-organic) broccoli went up by 141.3%. 

Another example: Boneless skinless chicken breasts. The conventional (non-organic) kind went up 43.8%. The organic variety was 2.2% less expensive. 

So again, some of the price gap may be closing. But the overall analysis still found that buying the organic stuff (which started out so much higher in price) still costs 70.7% more than buying non-organic.

Texas only has the fifth most organic acreage… that acreage just a fraction of the total agricultural footprint in this state. 

But more Texas growers have apparently decided that this whole organic thing might be a good investment. 

The Agrilife Extension article found the number of organic acres here went way down between 2008 and 2014 but rebounded in 2019. The amount of money those organic acres bring in in sales is up sharply.

Which gets us to our trivia answer: The Agrilife Extension article says the biggest organic cash maker in Texas, registering $277 million in sales in a recent year was livestock and poultry products (like organic milk and eggs). 

If it feels like a trick question because you were thinking of crops, we’ll do that, too. With $33,750,000 in one-year sales, peanuts are by far the biggest organic cash crop in Texas.

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