Demand for organic foods continues to grow, and according to recent estimates more farmers are switching to organic methods to keep up. In Missouri alone, acreage of organic crops has increased six-fold in the past 15 years.
Walk into a grocery store these days and you’re likely to find whole sections devoted to organic foods. The organic label gives insight into how the food was produced, usually without the aid of synthetic chemicals, antibiotics and food additives.
“Overall, we’re still seeing a lot of positive growth in the organics sector," says Cathy Greene, an economist with the US Department of Agriculture.
Greene says organic has gone beyond just a niche market, with fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products now leading the charge.
“I guess what we haven’t seen quite as much of is interest in the commodity crop sector: corn, soybeans, cotton," she says.
It’s not just American consumers interested in organic produce. Greene says consumers in Europe and Japan are increasingly demanding organic foods too
In Kansas, organic crop acreage has doubled in the past 15 years.