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Every apple, pear or lemon we buy comes with a backstory, a cost that isn’t factored into the price at the checkout. A new report, welcomed by HRH Prince Charles, scrutinises food supply chains, uncovering the true cost of our everyday shopping habits. The results are surprising: organic food is less expensive than you may think, while regular products are far too cheap.

When we buy an orange or pineapple in the supermarket, we imagine that the price shown reflects the costs involved in producing it. This logic leads us to believe that intensively farmed and low-welfare food items are cheaper to put on the shelf. However, new research from organic trading company EostaSoil & More, and financial consultants EY and, co-sponsored by Triodos Bank, reveals that the social and environmental implications of production make the ‘true cost’ of food much higher than you may think.

The study, titled ‘True Cost Accounting in Farming and Finance’ and released in June 2017, considered the impact on health and society, as well as the detriments and negative impacts on our climate, biodiversity, water use and soils. By considering these six elements, the researchers were able to build a broader picture of how food systems operate in the wider context of production.

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source: The Colour of Money
published: 31 August, 2017