Among some of the facts you might already know about it, here are some you might not.
Organic farming in 1990 was a $1 billion per year business. In 2011, organic production hit $29.22 billion annually. It’s growing roughly by 10% each year.
Let’s start with the basics of farming organically. Farmers must meet very specific criteria for foods to be stamped organic. Organic foods are supposed to contain no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides; irradiation to preserve food; genetically engineered organisms; large, cramped, unsanitary holding pens for livestock; and no fertilization of fields using raw manure. This means that organic foods are free of toxic chemicals and hormones. Also, the good news is that almost all foods can be produced organically.
While organic livestock still are free if antibiotics and hormones, they still often suffer from tightly packed pens and mutilations, such as debeaking, dehorning and castration.
Organic foods are more expensive because the demand is limited, projection costs are larger and food is shipped in smaller quantities.
Research released in 2012 shows it’s unclear if organic foods have health benefits over those conventional farming methods. However, studies show that fetuses and babies could be harmed even by small amounts or exposure to pesticides.
When most of us think about organic food production, we most likely think about small farms in the Midwest or 30 miles down the road that are owned and run by Farmer Joe and his family. So wrong. Coca-Cola, Campbell Soup Co. and Kellogg are just a few of the large corporations that own organic farms and food companies.