In election season I try to tune out the constant drone of polls and voter surveys.
But I came across a survey last week that I just couldn’t ignore. And, it has nothing to do with politics.
The Gallup Organization just released a survey on the public’s attitudes toward organic food. It’s encouraging that nearly half of the people surveyed (45%) actively try to include organic food in their diets. While the demand for organic food was highest in households with incomes above $75,000, the pollsters found that 42% of the households with incomes below $30,000 actively seek out organic food. In their news release, Gallup predicted that demand for organic food among those households would be higher if organic food was more affordable and accessible
“Lower-income Americans could be actively avoiding organic foods because they are trying to save money on food purchases, rather than avoiding them because of health reasons or dietary preferences,” Gallup noted in their news release.
Recent marketing initiatives from companies like Wild Oats will help make organic food more affordable for shoppers of all stripes by increasing the efficiency of getting organic food from the farm field to the grocery store shelf. With farmers only receiving 15% of the typical dollar spent on organic food, it seems like a huge opportunity to wring out savings elsewhere in the system.
That’s good news.
But there’s another element that needs to be addressed. There simply isn’t enough organic food being grown in the United States today. As I’ve mentioned before, organic farms account for less than one percent of the crop acreage in America.
Increasing efficiencies in processing transportation and processing is one thing. Increasing the output of American-grown organic food will require additional resources.