Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Organic Foods Lack Popular Sales Appeal

According to a recent study, organic foods are not growing  as fast in popularity as originally predicted.

I personally can see that downturn in a bad economy. Organic food almost always costs much more than conventional food especially with produce. For instance at Trader Joe’s an organic Fuji apple costs 69 cents each vs. a regular Fuji apple that costs 49 cents each.

Organic produce uses no cancer causing pesticides. Instead organic produce uses more labor intensive ways to repel produce eating bugs. I really don’t think the American public has been educated well enough about what makes organic different other than the cost.

The article goes on to state that “organic fresh fruit had the highest purchase incidence, at 27 percent, with organic fresh vegetables a close second, at 26 percent. Organic eggs and milk were bought by 18 percent and 17 percent of American adults, respectively.

Frozen organic products such vegetables, fruit, and ice cream had low purchase levels, however, at 5 percent to 6 percent. Organic beauty care products had similarly low mainstream acceptance. Organic skincare had a purchase level of 5 percent, and organic hair care 4 percent, and cosmetics 3 percent.”

It’s my personal opinion that there is room for organic products especially fresh produce to grow in the marketplace but during a recession when people are really counting their pennies — probably isn’t the best of times.

  1. Hi. Say, I wonder what you think about this idea.

    I grow my own organic veggies. I’m not so much into filling my body with extra chemicals I don’t need. Yet when supplementing what I grow at the store, I’ll often pass by organic options for conventionally grown. It’s not *just* cost. The organic selections often don’t seem as appealing.

    A number of years ago, I spoke with an acupuncturist about making the choice for organic or conventionally-grown foods at the store. His advice: go for the foods with the best “chi.” I think he was onto something. I’ll go for fresh and minimally processed nearly always. After that, I *try* to go by the basic appeal and energy quality (as best I can tell) of the food. Even if it’s not always organic.

    So what do you think?

  2. Elizabeth,

    I think that’s a great idea but I don’t think everyone has the time, know how, or space to grow their own.

    I recommend walking the perimeter of the store and not doing the middle where the processed foods are.

    Also at farmers markets or roadside stands or community supported agriculture is doing better sales when produce is pesticide free.

    Also the organic label has been dumbed down to accommodate the likes of Wal-Mart and Dole who wanted in on the market but wanted to shortcut the tradition route.


  3. Hi Karyn, & thanks for responding. I guess I wasn’t too clear. I realize I’m very fortunate to live in a situation where I can grow quite a bit of my own produce. I sell at a small farmer’s market and my goods are indeed pesticide-free. Definitely a fan!

    What I was really wondering is what you think of the distinction “organic” versus “high energy.” Ideally, of course, we want both. But I wonder if sometimes people subconsciously choose conventionally-grown foods because they appear to have greater energy about them.

    Some of the organic selections I’ve seen at the store have looked rather dreary, and I suspect that’s a factor. There’s not a whole lot of motivation to pay a premium price for something that looks like it’s already on its last legs … especially when the lesser-priced item may look happier!

  4. Elizabeth,
    I’m sorry but I don’t feel the energy from one piece of produce to the next.

    I do agree with you that some of the organic stuff in the store is tired and appears to be an afterthought and it not as appetizing as it could be.

    I wish I could get a buzz from a produce display in the store but I don’t.

    However when I see produce at the farmers market, I’m much more attracted to it because it looks more approachable and I know that it will always taste better and be fresher. Also I’m directly paying the farmer and not some mega corporate grocery store.

    Another plus about a farmers market is that you can actually smell the produce especially when they slice a grapefruit or radish, the aroma permeates the air. In a grocery store, herbs are under air tight plastic but at the farmers market, they are piled on tables with the heady aromas waiting to be inhaled.

    One of the saddest things about a grocery store is that there are very few aromas. Unless they are baking their own bread, you can be surrounded by food and not smell a thing.

  5. Cool! From what you said, I think you are getting it — just don’t realize it yet. That’s ok. Reading new cool book on the subject you (or your readers) might like: “Food Energetics” by Steve Gagne. FWIW. Anyway, thanks a bunch. You’ve given me food for thought!

  6. Chi and food. I learned something new. Great exchange.

    I’ve been drinking organic milk the last couple of months. I was hoping it would make a difference in menopause symptoms (hot flashes, etc) but I can’t see a difference. It tastes the same to me. I guess that this means I am not experiencing any “chi”???

    One benefit to organic milk is that it is highly pasteurized. The benefit to this is that you do not have to refrigerate it until after you open it. That makes it great for buying and storing larger quantities if you live far from a grocery store.

    Why buy in larger quantities, you ask? We are thinking of moving to a lake in Tennessee and this benefit was appealing to us in that we would not be a hop-skip-and-a-jump from a grocery store.

    That’s also why I purchased my bread machine, months ago. By the way, it is working out great.

  7. Just my $ .02 as *not* the author … “chi” (energy) is more about how you feel than about how it tastes. Presumably you’re getting less chemical and hopefully less added hormones in the organic milk, which is a big plus!

    You might find that organic-ness and the degree of pasturization don’t always go together. It sounds like you’ve found some ultra-pasturized organic milk, but not all organic milk is ultra-pasturized. There are some aspects of ultra-pasturization that work well for you, i.e. convenience. Some people would argue that there is another side to increased pasturization, which kills the beneficial live enzymes in the milk as well as the harmful bacterial. Personally, I avoid most ultra-pasturized products for this reason. Perhaps it is also a factor in the available “chi.” That’s a great question which I hadn’t specifically thought about before reading your comment!

    Lake in Tennessee sounds great. Do you have room for a couple of cows? 🙂

  8. The organic market may not be growing as fast as predicted, but it is growing. We need more education out there about the health dangers of poisonous chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Organic foods are still MUCH, MUCH cheaper than medical care and pharmaceuticals. More people need to be made aware of the health dangers of genetically engineered and modified foods. Take soybeans for example. (I recommend not comsuming any soy products unless they are fermented, like tempeh.) Over 83% of the soy grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. One of the gene portions spliced into the soy is from peanut genes. Anyone with peanut allergies should take note. Every organic consumer needs to spread the word and educate their family members and all their friends.

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