Food Studies’s Updates

Lost in Transition: The Path to Organic

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons | Article Link | by MariaRodale and Kimbal Musk

At this moment in time, American consumer demand for organic foods far exceeds the supply. Though the organic sector is a 39.1 billion dollar market with an annual growth rate of 10 percent (the fastest-growing sector of the food industry),[1] American food companies and supermarkets attempting to meet the demand for organic are increasingly looking overseas to find organic food suppliers.

Why are American farmers resistant to becoming organic farmers — even just as a sound business choice, leaving philosophy aside? A growing body of research demonstrates that organic agriculture works, both in terms of annual output and long-term productivity as well as a viable, scalable business model.[2] Organic farmers currently earn more — a “premium” — when they sell certified organic crops; though labor costs increase as chemical inputs decrease, the two systems — organic and conventional — would remain equally profitable even if the price advantage becomes much lower than what it is today.