Organic Movement Is Unstoppable! — Organic Food Demand Growing Faster Than Domestic Supply
The past five years have seen the most growth pertaining to the demand of organic food. This is thanks to a high number of independent studies showing the negatives of conventional foods made with science (such as GMOs). Because of this, organic food has become a viable business as well as a viable diet. The former is exampled best by the fact Costco, the second-largest wholesale retailer in the United States, has invested in organic food to the point it is now the biggest seller of organics. The latter is exampled through Urban Homestead in which the Dervaes Family found a way to grow over 6,000 pounds of organic food on a tenth of an acre.
The sudden boom in popularity for organic food would mean the supply should go up. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The organic community reports organic food demand is so high, it has now surpassed our current domestic supply.
According to Minds, the sale of organic foods have grown dramatically over the last decade. Back in 1997, the industry was worth $3 billion as detailed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Six years later, the revenue went up by more than 200 percent to $10 billion, with an annual increase in sales by 20 percent. With the following numbers, experts predicted organic food would grow from 2 percent to 3.5 percent in their share in the U.S. food market by 2010.
Unfortunately, the supply for organic food isn’t keeping up with demand. First and foremost, many U.S. farms that grow organic are small and depend on collecting the seed from past crops to grow the next. However, hundreds if not thousands of them have closed down due to lawsuits against them filed by Monsanto. The following video is Monsanto’s justification for said lawsuits in the first place, an attempt to paint themselves as ethical and moral.
The pro-GMO corporation’s reasoning for these lawsuits are farmers violate existing patents on seeds, as reported by The Guardian. Apparently, farmers collecting seeds from plants to use for their next batch of crops is a patent violation, something “Save Our Seeds” campaign expert Debbie Barker does not agree with.
“Corporations did not create seeds and many are challenging the existing patent system that allows private companies to assert ownership over a resource that is vital to survival and that historically has been in the public domain.”
Nevertheless, the damage has been done and to keep up with organic food demand, the U.S. — a country that was once the biggest exporter of organic food — spends more than $1 billion per year to import it, mostly from the European Union (EU). It should be noted the imports have decreased because some conventional farmers have switched over to organic farming. The debilitating factor is that the transition takes time to complete, and it is often met with an average of three years of losing money before a profit can be made.
Despite the gloomy outlook presented above, all is not lost. If the organic community’s movement stays on track complimented by all the organic farming innovations being created to sustain populations, the supply will soon be on par (and eventually be a surplus) to the demand. That will surely be a great day for the organic community because the prices for organic food across the board will surely go down.
[Image via Spencer Platt/Getty]