Organic Living in 2008

Food trends are very interesting to watch and this trend is dear to my heart (and stomach). So what’s changed in organic since I started my journey?

Here’s the short list:

  1. Organic foods can be found in more places. When I started, I was very limited to specialty stores and a few restaurants. Now I find selections popping up in mainstream stores and restaurants every where.
  2. The general public is becoming far more organically aware. There are still big gaps in understanding. Myths and misconceptions still abound, but we’ve made real strides.
  3. As the green movement takes center stage, people are starting to recognize that choosing organic foods is central to a green lifestyle — not only in reducing the use of fossil fuels and the proliferation of toxins in our air and water, but also in enhancing the brimming biodiversity of our soil and the life that depends on it.
  4. Research is starting to show that conventional industrial agriculture reduces the nutrient value and taste of our foods, while organic agriculture increases them. And these trends build over time, as we improve or deplete the soil.
  5. People are starting to value both organics (how food is grown) and local (where food is grown). Both can be important pieces of a diet that is sustainable for us and for our planet.
  6. Organics: not just produce. Families who drink milk are recognizing that organic milk is a priority choice. Ditto for eggs, butter, meat, and cheese.
  7. It isn’t considered “fringe” any more. The wonderful New York Times article on Dr. Greene’s Organic Rx (ranked #4 health story for all of 2007 based on volume of comments) is a great example.
  8. I can find most food ingredients I want certified organic (or wild) during some season of the year. When I started this journey there were some ingredients that I just couldn’t find. New things are becoming available all the time and now I can cook almost anything I desire . if I plan ahead. My 12-year-old son just cooked a 5 course French meal for the family. It was an assignment for his French class, but he insisted that it be 100% organic. Not easy to do, but what a great meal!!
  9. Travel is becoming easier. Sterling Airlines announced an all organic option on flights. It’s only in Europe now, but that’s a big step forward. And in the US, more airports have something available.
  10. For better or worse, there are a lot more processed foods available with USDA organic certification. I’m excited about some of these (whole grain bread, tomato ketchup and peanut butter are real steps forward). I don’t think we need it for junk food, but this trend shows that organic is becoming something conventional wants to imitate.

Bon Appétit, In Style!

Published on: January 14, 2008
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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