Nowadays, everyone at the grocery store is paying more for less. At the same time, this particular food's supporters frequently tout its health benefits, while naysayers claim it's little more than a marketing gimmick.
It's just another day in the life of the organic food craze, where products that claim to use only natural methods to grow and produce food represent almost 5 percent of U.S. total food sales — exceeding $35 billion in sales in 2014 and up more than 11 percent from the prior year, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Over half of U.S. families are buying more organic products than a year ago, the association added, and the country as a whole is shipping more than $500 million in organic products abroad.
Internationally, Denmark is advancing an "ambitious" plan to double organic farming, while domestic states such as Kentucky are making efforts to boost both organic production and consumption. At the same time, the rest of the world is wondering if the food — which retails at prices significantly higher than conventional food — is worth the price, or is even as nutritious as it claims to be.
Supporters argue that as more people eat organic, prices will eventually fall to less stratospheric levels.
"As the demand for organics foods rises, the supply has become more plentiful and prices are becoming increasingly competitive," Joe Dickson, quality standards coordinator for Whole Foods Market, told CNBC in a recent interview.
The upscale grocer has been a pioneer in the organic food industry, but its costly items have led some consumers to coin the nickname "Whole Paycheck."
Whole Foods, which recently came under fire in New York City for inflating its prices, told CNBC that consumers who opt for their generic brands, or shop in season, can save money on their groceries.