organic food

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organic food,

food raised without chemicals and processed without additives. Under standards adopted by the U.S. Agriculture Dept. (USDA) in 2000 and fully effective in 2002, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and antibiotics may not be used in raising organic foods, and the use of irradiation, biotechnology, and sewer-sludge fertilizer is also banned. Food whose ingredients are at least 95% organic by weight may carry the "USDA ORGANIC" label; products containing only organic ingredients are labeled 100% organic.

Proponents of organic food have claimed that it is more nutritious, safer to eat, and usually tastes better because it contains no synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, medicated feed, or antibiotics or chemicals used in food processing (see also organic farmingorganic farming,
the practice of growing plants—especially for fruits and vegetables, but for ornamentals as well—without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, or of raising animals without the use of growth regulators, synthetic pesticides,
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); these claims are disputed by conventional-food growers and processors. The farming methods used to produce organic foods are also regarded by many as having less of an environmental impact than standard commercial farming methods. Organic foods have become steadily more popular as the public has become more concerned about health risks associated with chemicals in food products. Organic produce is now available in many food outlets, including major supermarket chains. Organic food is generally more expensive because organic farming requires more manual labor and attention.


See D. Steinman, Diet for a Poisoned Planet (1990).

References in periodicals archive ?
Foundations of Production and Consumption of Organic foods in Norway: Common Attitudes Among Farmers and Consumers.
People in Eugene and Lane County who prefer organic foods tend to think they live on an island of abundance, and they do - organic produce, along with an increasing number of organic processed foods, long has been readily available on store shelves.
This article provides that perspective for the specific topic of organic foods with the purpose of discovering what frames are used in this coverage.
Although organic fruit and vegetables have been the top-selling organic products since 1997, consumers have started purchasing a wider range of other organic foods. By 2008, nonproduce items, such as dairy, beverages, packaged and prepared foods, snack foods, and bread and grains, accounted for 63 percent of consumer spending for organic food products, up from 54 percent in 1997.
If the original model for organic foods was of small producers selling locally, the industry has certainly changed over the past decade.
sales of organic foods and beverages, as well as nonfood categories such as organic fibers, personal care products and pet foods, during 2008.
During the 20th century, the organic foods movement and vegetarianism moved from the fringe toward the mainstream of popular culture, as part of a growing concern with the environment and personal health.
An interesting side-product of the research was that it identified both the size and significance of the natural and organic foods business in two highly favorable trading areas, and how this business is shared between specialty and conventional food retailers.
Newcastle University's Prof Carlo Leifert, the co-ordinator of the pounds 12m four-year project, said: "We have shown there are more of certain nutritionally desirable compounds and less of the baddies in organic foods, or improved amounts of the fatty acids you want and less of those you don't want."
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retail and grocery chain, Meijer, which has three Fort Wayne, Texas, locations, will roll out its full line of store-brand organic foods starting Sunday, reports the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
In case you still think of organic foods as "fringe," consider this: The global organic food sector continues to grow by 15 percent to 22 percent a year, according to, while the rest of the food industry is growing by only 2 percent to 6 percent a year.