Disadvantages of eating organic food include higher costs and lower availability than conventional products. Farmers producing organic products do not use certain fertilizers and pesticides to encourage crop growth and prevent spread of weeds. Although doing this produces environmental benefits, it also reduces output and impacts consumer prices.
Organic farmers face higher risks of crop threats than conventional farmers. Their crops develop less resistance to natural factors like drought and disease. Lower resistance produces crop damage and reduced output, which necessitate price increases. Organic farmers also produce lower-quality crops without assistance from conventional agricultural products. Organic products typically take longer to reach store shelves than conventional products.The harvest, shipment and distribution process lengthens for organic crops. In turn, these crops appear older and less fresh upon reaching consumers.
Lack of predictable availability detracts from organic crops' appeal too. Consumers often find traditional agricultural products in stores year-round. Organic products, however, arrive during specific seasons. Organic farmers grow organic crops for consumption in raw form and for the production of other grocery items. Food manufacturers use labels indicating compliance with federal organic requirements, as outlined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Labels indicate the amount of organic substances in products. Items bearing 100 percent organic labels derive from all organic ingredients. All items with labels stating "organic" must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients.