Monday, April 18, 2011

Putting Organic and Conventional Foods Side by Side

Since the markets where I usually shop are dedicated (or at least partly dedicated) to clean food, I’m always intrigued by how conventional supermarkets handle organic and “health” food.

This weekend I was in two markets that grouped organic goods in their own section, which seems to be the norm for the bigger chain stores.

One part of me feels that this is a good thing, as those looking for organic foods know exactly where to go. On the other hand, though, I feel this Balkanization stigmatizes and ghettoizes the food items that we all need to be eating, or at least, need to be more aware of.

Wouldn’t interspersing organic products with their conventional counterparts afford those who might never venture into the organic section the opportunity to learn about healthier alternatives?

And wouldn’t it allow for more engaged ingredient and price comparison? I would think that at least some parents would opt for better products for their children if they saw that organic foods don’t contain a plethora of unpronounceable ingredients and aren’t necessarily prohibitively more expensive.

Education is an important component of helping people make better shopping decisions. Placing organic and conventional food items next to each other would be a positive first step in making this happen.


Oni said...

It'd be a good idea to put them next to each other. Your right, someone could try an organic version of what they usually purchase and notice the difference in quality.

Oni said...

And I'd like to add that there really shouldn't be an isle just for organic foods just to make it convenient for organic shoppers. If they want organic eggs, go to where they keep all the dairy products and look for the organic eggs.

I had to think about this whole separate isle thing twice, the only explanation I could think of is for advertising purposes. "We have two isles dedicated just for organic products" sounds a lot more marketable than "We have organic products in our store".

Debbie Gundelach L.M.T.,C.M.T. said...

It makes a huge difference. I'm in Springfield Illinois, the stores here do put organic items right next to the other brands. I have purchased more organic food just by not having to run back and forth to an "organic section" compairing prices, they're right there! Here, here, for progress!

Gansetter said...

But you see the Big Guys wouldn't like it. They don't want GM products labeled, and they sure as heck don't want their stuff near organic products so people could do actual comparisons. I guess the best news is that THEY ARE AFRAID!

Oni said...

That could be a possibility, didn't think of the food companies having a say in where their food is located in stores.

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