Quick! What are the standards for organic foods? Can a food be some combination of natural, organic and local? According to research done by Sullivan Higdon and Sink and produced in “A Fresh Look at Organic and Local,” Sullivan Higdon & Sink FoodThink, 2012, if you aren’t sure about the answer to those questions, you’re in good company. Only about 44 percent of consumers say they understand the requirements for a food to be considered organic.
We know organic matters, but people are finally starting to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to the food they buy.
Americans are eating more organic food now than ever before, and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) says it’s because consumers are growing more willing to pay for value-added products.
The OTA is a membership-based association for organic agriculture and products that’s been around since the mid 80s. According to a recent in-house study, the organization forecasted that in 2012 and 2013, organic food and non-food sales will continue to rise to nine percent annually or higher.
They also reported strong growth for organic food in 2011, with the U.S. organic food and beverage sector growing by 9.4 percent, translating to $29.22 billion in sales.
Of the sector as a whole, the fastest growing portion was the meat, fish and poultry category, which saw a 13 percent growth over their sales in 2010. However, the OTA speculates that these spikes are likely related to the increased food safety concerns related to our meat supply. Pink slime, mad cow and meat glue, anyone? (more…)