organic food market 2015 imageMillions of people all over the world are becoming more and more conscious about the kinds of food they allow in their bodies. Conventionally grown foods are becoming less and less in demand. People want food free of pesticides, herbicides or any other unwelcome or unnatural toxins used during the growth and harvesting process.

The growth in the organic food market has been very significant in recent years. The trends continue to project high growth for 2015. In 2010, seven years ago, the organic food market was worth $57.2 billion. The projected value for 2015 is $104.5 billion.

The reason behind this tremendous growth is simple: People are thinking. They are thinking about what goes into their foods, who is really growing it, and the cost to our environment. People want organic food from more local sources, not conventionally grown food that was shipped from faraway countries, expending astronomical amounts of fossil fuels to get it to the big box grocery stores.

Organic produce tends to have a smaller carbon footprint due to the fact that organic produce is not treated the same way conventionally grown foods are in order to preserve them for the long journey to the supermarket. Since they don’t use any synthetic chemicals for preservation on organic foods, they are not able to travel long distances, making their consumption of fossil fuels for transport much smaller than that of conventionally grown foods.

Organically raised meat is also becoming increasing popular. People are becoming more and more concerned that the antibiotics and growth hormones given to conventionally raised meat will have an ill effect on the people who eat it. There is also a concern about the feeding of animal byproducts to conventionally raised cattle, making the risk of mad cow disease and tainted beef higher.

Animals raised for organic meat are not given unnecessary antibiotics, growth hormones or other animal byproducts. They are also generally raised in better conditions than conventionally raised meat.

People are also very concerned about genetically modified foods and their effect on human health. 100% organic food does not contain any GMOs. The USDA Certified Organic stamp means that there may be a small percentage of GMOs included in ingredients, but the amount would be negligible.

Most organic food is GMO free, making it a prime choice for consumers who are concerned about the effects of GMO on their long term health. This is one of the reasons the organic food market has exploded in the past five years.

Many people are also under the impression that organic food is healthier for you. While it’s true that organic food doesn’t expose you to toxic pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs or growth hormones, and that most organic food is fresher than conventional foods, there is no concrete proof that organic food actually contains more nutrients than conventional food.

This doesn’t seem to matter to the millions of consumers who are willing to pay more for organic food. They realize that avoiding pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs etc. and having fresher food is worth paying more for. For these reasons, the organic food market should continue its growth to meet or exceed expectations.

Photo credit: North Charleston / Foter / CC BY-SA