Saturday, June 06, 2009

Organic, Inc.

Organic, Inc., Organic Foods and How They Grow, is written by Samuel Fromartz. It's an easy read, which looks at both the small organic producers and the big ones, with products from soy milk to packaged salad greens. He explores the tensions between "organic" as a business and "organic" as a movement. He seems to me to have an open mind, accepting that organic products have their advantages, particularly in their freedom from pesticide residue, while being attracted to the romance of the movement.

In a related item, ERS has a report (summary pdf here) on the challenges facing the organic people. One item I found interesting in the context of the above book, was this sentence: "According to an ERS survey of organic handlers, 24 percent of organic sales in 2004 were made locally (within an
hour’s drive of the handlers’ facilities) and another 30 percent were made regionally." That means 46 percent of organic sales were transported long distances.

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