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How organic candy could change the future of food

If your New Year’s resolution includes eating more fruit and vegetables, you’re in luck, because Jelly Belly has started making organic jelly beans — and organic candy is practically the same thing as real fruit, right? Look at you, making healthy choices! 

We’re joking of course.

Sadly, eating organic jelly beans is definitely not the same as eating real fruit, and organic candy is indisputably bad for you. It’s still got way more sugar than your body wants all at once, and despite the “natural” flavors and colors, it has no — absolutely zilch — nutritional benefits. None of the vitamins, none of the fiber, none of the minerals you get from eating things that have grown in the earth.

More: Buying organic on a budget

This is not news to you. I know it’s not. We all see through that organic health halo, and I doubt many of us would hand our kids a bag of organic jelly beans and feel like it’s virtually the same as handing them an apple. At best, organic candy is merely less-bad for you, because somewhere down the line, it’s had less contact with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

More: 10 Family-friendly organic snack ideas

So if it’s not going to make a big impact on your health, why should we care if candy is going organic? Not for the candy itself, clearly. We should care because it could lead to lower prices on organic food — as in food food.

The thing is, they’re not kidding when they say there are a lot of challenges involved in getting certified organic. That’s one of the main reasons organic food is so expensive. Without getting too boring, whenever you create a new market, you have to create the infrastructure that supports it, which can mean everything from new supply chains to new facilities to bargaining for shelf space to — hey, are you about to click away? Stay with me here.

So the more companies get into organics, the bigger it gets, the more infrastructure gets built, and it gets cheaper to produce.

Now hopefully that means companies will eventually pass on the savings to us. Right now organic food gets treated as a premium product, which is why companies like Jelly Belly are doing it in the first place. “Ooh, they’ll pay more for it! Cha-ching!”

More: Your jelly bean personality quiz

At some point we’re going to have to be, like, “Guys, organic has been around forever, and we know it’s not that expensive for you to do anymore, so stop charging us so much.” Actually, we should be saying this now — to the big companies, anyway.

Another reason this is good news is that if even candy companies want in on the organic food game, that shows how important it’s becoming. It’s a growing market, which means every year we have more options for organic food — instead of having to go to a heath food store or that weird little corner of the supermarket.

Maybe someday everything will go organic, and all this will become moot. With even jelly beans going organic, I almost feel like it’s possible. We can dream, right?

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