As organic goes mainstream, corporations take over (again)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 14:29
Comments Off on As organic goes mainstream, corporations take over (again)

A new USDA report examines the ways in which the organic marketplace has been transformed in recent years.  Just ten years ago, for example, most organic food was sold in health food and "healthy food" stores. Today, more than half of organic food is sold in conventional grocery stores, and big box/club stores like Sam's and Costco.

The face of the organic farmer has changed as well.  Small, independent organic growers have been squeezed out or acquired by large conventional manufacturers, who have added organic brands in response to customer demand. True, there are more organic producers now but the average size of those producers is also much larger.

I see the general move to organics as a positive trend. Ideally, however, we won't make the same mistakes we've made in the past and allow the entire food supply to be dominated by a few corporate giants. Buying your organic food at Costco may save you money.  Buying it at the farmer's market can be a great deal as well–plus you'll be supporting small, local,  independent farms. Local food is also fresher–and fresher means more nutritious (organic or not!).

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