The Conversation: Organic food has room to grow

Organic food once was viewed as a niche category, but today it’s a routine choice for millions of Americans, with over half of organic sales in conventional grocery store chains, club stores and supercenters.

Surveys show that 82% of Americans buy some organic food, and availability has improved. Still, overall organic sales add up to a mere 6% of all food sold in the U.S. In addition, there are some 2 million farms in the U.S.; of them, only 16,585 are organic – less than 1%.

A recent report by the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems recommends dedicating 6% of USDA spending to supporting the organic sector, a figure that reflects its market share. Kathleen Merrigan explains why and how in a new piece for The Conversation.

Michelle Schwartz