Organic food is the food derived from animals and plants that have been grown and raised in accordance with the strict guidelines associated with government’s definition of the term, “organic.” In order to be certified as an organic food, food must be grown without the use of products such as manufactured fertilizers, synthetic or man-made pesticides, additives that control or modify growth, antibodies, and/or and livestock feed containing additives.
Organic Foods Once Just a Niche Market
It wasn’t that long ago that “eating organic” was something only a relatively small number of people did. Back in the 1960’s, life was changing. Women were beginning to work outside the home and the trend then was convenience. Processed foods meant a good meal could be delivered to the table in a fraction of the time. The market for frozen and processed foods literally took off.
Organic food was definitely not something that most people gave much attention to especially since there no longer was enough time to visit the butcher, the produce vendor and the dairy farm. A quick trip to the supermarket could now provide a family with enough food for several days. And that’s how life continued, fueled by the need for speed and convenience.
Organic Foods Go Mainstream
Lately, people’s feelings towards the foods they eat are changing once again. This time, the change is being fueled by the feeling that people no longer know what they’re putting into their bodies. The news today is filled with stories of E. coli outbreaks, genetic food engineering, the potential dangers of eating foods that are shot up with growth hormones to make them bigger and better, and other frightening information. Tired of feeling out of control, eating organic has become chic and has definitely become the latest trend in eating among people from all levels of society.
True organic food is more expensive than non-organic food, but the trade-offs are well worth the additional cost. Not only is organic food better for those who consume it, the people who eat organic foods claim these foods actually taste better than those grown and raised without this strict definition. In fact, eating organic is the best way and really is the only way to feel 100% confident about the foods that are consumed.
Meeting the New Demand
Today, organic food is big business and an ever-growing segment of the food industry. Farmers are changing the way they grow their foods to take advantage of this increased demand. Unfortunately for produce growers, it can take up to 2 full years for the land to cleanse itself of the synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that have been applied during all the years prior to growing organic. But the wait is a worthwhile trade-off as well.
Organic foods are so popular that it’s no longer necessary to shop for them at specialty stores. In fact, large grocery store chains are constantly devoting more shelf space to meet the ever-growing needs of organic food devotees.