Study, Society of Chemical Industry, June 2007 – Organics seem to be such an important topic for special dieters. The health and social implications encourage vegans, the GMO concerns of conventional foods fuel food allergy moms, and the rest of us just like the idea of food that hasn't been chemically treated.
While most of us would love to go organic with our entire grocery basket, the cost is often very prohibitive. In my local grocery store a package of fresh strawberries might run $2.99, but its organic equivalent would set me back $4.99. Likewise, potatoes, apples, and other organic produce can easily cost double or even triple of the amount of their conventional counterparts.
It seems that one major contributor to this high cost is actually storage. Organic produce has a much shorter shelf life than pesticide-raised produce. However, some researchers in Israel have identified an easy and cheap oxygen treatment that may allow growers to store organic produce for longer, and consequently deliver lower prices to the consumer.
By using a simple week long pre-treatment with low levels of oxygen, 90% of the the apple test group was "saved" from typical problems and diseases after eight months of cold storage. While none of the untreated apples survived the eight months. The researchers believe that the same oxygen treatment will prove successful for a variety of produce.
While the technology is not yet on its way to producers, it does look like organic produce prices could potentially see some relief in the future.
This interesting little tidbit was reported on Science Daily.