Organic Foods

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Organic Foods “You are what you eat”, or so they say. In today’s supermarkets, organic foods are everywhere. Not only are there organic fruits and vegetables, but there are also organic dairy products, organic meats, organic convenience foods, organic wine, beer, coffee, tea and even clothes made with organic cotton. All of these choices have made organic foods the “fastest-growing segment of the grocery industry.” The Organic Trade Association (OTA), in its “Business Facts” fact sheet available at www.ota.com, cites Natural Foods Merchandiser, a trade magazine, as measuring organic industry growth at 20 percent or greater for the past nine years. Approximately two percent of the U.S. food supply is grown using organic methods. In 2001, retail sales of organic food were projected to be $9.3 billion (Organic Trade Association [OTA], 2001). That is nearly triple the $3.5 billion in sales in 1998 (Biocycle; Nov. 2004, Vol. 45 Issue 11, p27). Organic foods can be found at natural food stores such as Whole Foods Inc., Wild Oats Inc., major supermarkets, farmers markets as well as through “grower direct marketing” such as CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) or Co-Ops. Many restaurant chefs and culinary related professionals across the country are starting to use organic produce because they desire its superior quality and taste. Organic food, also gaining international acceptance, has become widespread in nations like Japan and Germany where the development of organic food markets has seen substantial growth (OTA, 2004) People choose to “go organic” for different reasons but, the single most important reason to choose certified organic foods is because organic agriculture in its very essence preserves, protects and restores our environment in significant ways (United States Department of Agriculture. [USDA], 2002). Also, organic farming embraces the principle that agriculture must meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations, not to mention that organic foods are often the safest, freshest, most flavorful and most nutritious foods in the marketplace (European Journal of Nutrition 40: 289-292 (2001)). The USDA has tried to emphasize that organic food is no healthier, and adds no real benefits to a healthy lifestyle than regular foods. However, with the contamination present in plants treated with pesticides, pre ... ... middle of paper ... ...pect. It matters to our communities. But most of all, it matters to our appreciation of life. References Journals Cuddleford, V. (2003). When Organics Go Mainstream. Alternatives Journal, 29(4), 15-20. Baxter, G., Graham, A., Lawrence, J., Wiles, D., Paterson, J., et al. (2001). Salicylic acid In soups prepared from organically and non-organically grown vegetables. European Journal of Nutrition, 40, 289-292. Retrieved on 3-3-05 from Ebscohost. Composting at the World’s Largest Natural Foods Supermarket Chain. (2004). Biocycle. 45(11). p27. Retrieved on 3-3-05 from Ebscohost. Federal or Government Sources Organic Foods 101: Basic Information about organic foods, national labeling standards and online organic foodsellers. (2002). Retrieved on 3-3-05 from http://www.nrdc.org. The National Organic Program .(USDA). (2002). Retrieved on 3-3-05 from http://ams.usda.gov. Trade Publications Organic Food Facts. (2003). Organic Trade Association. Retrieved on 3-3-05 from http://www.ota.com/organic/mt/food.html Industry Statistics and Projected Growth. (2003). Organic Trade Association. Retrieved on 3-3-05 from http://www.ota.com/organic/mt/business.html

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