* WHAT IS ORGANIC AGRICULTURE?
Organic farming is a system of farming that nurtures the soil and the plants, and works with nature's existing self-balancing mechanisms to keep prevent potential pest outbreaks. Should pest outbreaks occur, organic farmers use earth-friendly pest control methods, such as beneficial insects, micro-organisms and natural materials, to bring pests under control without damaging the ecosystem. By committing to working with non-toxic natural materials, rather than poisonous synthetic pesticides, organic farmers reduce the toxics in our food and our shared earth, air, and water, and help create a healthier world and environment for us all.
* TOP 10 REASONS PEOPLE BUY ORGANIC FOOD (SOURCE: OTA)
1. Protect the health of future generations
2. Protect water quality
3. Build and protect top soil
4. Must meet stringent standards
5. Reduce potential health risks
6. Preserve biodiversity
7. Keep rural communities healthy
8. Protect the health of farm workers
9. Represent a 'true' economy [cheapest total costs]
10. Makes food taste great
* CONSUMERS VALUE ORGANICS
Sales of organic foods and products were $3.5 billion for 1996. (The Natural Foods Merchandiser)
For the seventh consecutive year, the organic industry has grown 20% or more, with 24% growth reported for 1996. (Organic Trade Association (OTA))
28% of Americans buy at least some organic produce, and 40% would like to buy organic processed foods. (Recent survey of U.S. consumers by Prevention magazine)
30% of shoppers said organic produce is "extremely important" to them. (What Consumers Want From Organic, 1995, Health Focus)
97% of those who buy organic produce are satisfied with the quality; 24% are "extremely satisfied" (Fresh Trends, 1996, published by the Packer, Vance Publications).
"Organic products are now available in every food category, from
fresh produce to processed products. Over five percent of all new
food and beverage introductions in 1996 have been products made with
organic ingredients." (Katherine DiMatteo, Executive Director of
* CHEFS VALUE ORGANICS
In Food & Wine magazine's 1997 Chef's Survey, administered by Louis Harris and Associates, 76% of chefs surveyed responded "yes" when asked, "Do you actively seek out organically grown ingredients?"
The winner in the "Award of Excellence" in the "Chef of the Year"
category at the annual International Association for Culinary
Professionals' 1997 Awards Ceremony was chef Nora Pouillon, of
Restaurant Nora in Washington, D.C. Her cookbook, "Cooking With
Nora," also received a nomination for "Cookbook of the Year."
Pouillon estimates that approximately 95% of the ingredients used at
Restaurant Nora are organic. In a StarChefs interview, she said, "The
most important part of my style is driven by the use of organics.
Serving wholesome, good food means serving organic, seasonal
* CONSUMERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT FOOD SAFETY
Three out of four shoppers consider pesticide residue in food a serious hazard. (Consumer Attitudes and the Supermarket, Food Marketing Institute, 1993)
73-86% of American consumers are concerned about safe drinking water, food contamination, unsanitary food processing, and toxic pesticide residues. (Recent food industry poll by CMF&Z, a leading public relations firm)
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