“For the foreseeable future, organic food production can make vegetables so expensive that many of the poorer people in society will not be able to afford them so that their diet and health will suffer.”
Which society are we talking about here, because poor people in Europe are very different from the poor people in Africa? The health of Africans is already suffering today and not through lack of chemicals, but lack of management.
In many African states, oil money could be put into irrigation projects instead of buying weapons. In Europe, the obscenity is in the contradiction of saying that we need high productivity to feed the poor but also huge choice to feed the whims of the wealthy, through high energy consumer imports in general, not employment-creating local farming.
Lowering productivity and improving quality, means producing fewer varieties of low meat high-fat content sausages and a limited choice of high quality lean nutritious, slow-growing fruits and vegetables. Bio food appears to be more expensive. But privilege quality and not quantity and you may find that for the same cost, you need less food since there is indeed more nutrition in it. Some real work is required in order to determine whether bio food is better or not. I have no doubts about that, but what is the battle here?
To convince science that it is wrong? No! That is not the aim because everyone has the freedom to choose. But if it were true, we could exit from this consumerism, overproduction, hell for leather life. (I believe that there is a parallel with our fear of death: we produce and cure because we do not accept that as there is life, there is also death. We wish to play God. In any case, God for me is a human construct as part of a megalomaniac alter-ego.
Look just at the way that God and religion have been used far more for domination than for peace!) But the generalisation of bio methods can reduce the costs through effective communication, but when in competition with the modern food distribution system, with the prices of individual wrapping and presentation rather than the food, bio food may not be competitive.
The question is not just economics, but what is better? The contradiction between economies of scale and producing just what we need is not negligible. Bio methods and economies of scale are probably contradictions in terms.