Americans like 'em fresh. The organic food industry, according to Times Magazine, has risen to a whopping $35 billion dollars last year. It is an 11 percent increase in sales. Granola, cereals, and various other organic food brands are getting more space in the grocery bags than Coke and Doritos. Last month, Walmart confirmed that there will be larger spaces in their stores for farm-fresh food, effectively competing with their processed counterparts.
And the number isn't very surprising at all. In a survey by the Organic Trade Association, eight out of ten people buy and consume organically. There is a growing number of people that are starting to prefer farm fresh on their dinner tables. Even with processed items becoming cheaper and more accessible, people seem to be making the extra effort to purchase organically farmed goods.
But is this a good thing?
The ever-rising obesity problem in America is alarming. Michelle Obama tirelessly makes appearances on TV and in public to steer people away from unhealthy meals. However, there is terrifyingly little evidence that it is working. One-third of the US population is obese. The annual medical costs of treating obesity in America is $147 billion - more than twice the net worth of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Organic food might just be the solution we are looking for. Some pro-organic food organizations claim that there is less calorie content in their products. Consumption of organically farmed goods might contribute less to weight gain compared with your standard grocery items. Plus, it's reportedly more environmentally friendly. Organic food uses less pesticide than processed food.
However, there is reason to believe that these types of food might just be as big a culprit as the non-organic ones when health is concerned. In a report by Harvard Women Health Watch in 2012, it was revealed that organic food might just be as "bad" for the body as conventional food.
According to editor Stephanie Watson, they are no more nutritious than what you have been eating your whole life. Organic items only have insignificantly higher omega-3 content. Food poisoning risk is the same between the two types of food. All in all, the "healthier" name that marketers like to peddle around is not at all significant.
Additionally, organic food is much, more expensive than the non-organic types. A $3 gallon of non-organic 1 percent milk is much cheaper than the "healthier" $4.50 organic milk. This price comparisons is almost the same with the whole range of similar food types.
Ultimately, the decision will be yours. Consumers must research more on the comparisons and see what suits their family's needs more. To some, organic foods are the way to go. But that may not work for another family.
[Image from Wikimedia]