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Green Goes Mainstream: Growing Demand for Organics

For related articles and information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page, Safeguard Organic Standards page and our Health Issues page.

Have you picked an organic food option for you or your family at least once in a while?  Chances are, you have.  You're part of the growing consumer demand for organics, as a wellness-focused lifestyle you may or may not consider "green" is going more mainstream.  Leaders in the organic movement have been discussing this with, and we're bringing the latest information to you as part of our special series Green Goes Mainstream!   

If you pick only one or two varieties of organic produce, chances are it's apples, since US government data shows they're consistently coming out of conventional orchards with some of the heaviest pesticide residues.  The Environmental Working Group interprets this data each year to share with the public via its well-known Dirty Dozen list.  How are farmers growing apples without toxic pesticides? One solution is kaolin clay, which research farmers at the Rodale Institute use to coat their apple trees and repel pests. Rodale also outsmarts apple-loving moths with cleverly timed pheremones that disrupt their mating cycle and keep codling moth larvae out of the orchard.

Rodale Institute is a leader with decades of research in best organic practices, sharing research data and educational opportunities for farmers and the food industry.  This non-profit has supplied a wealth of information for the $35-billion organics industry.  "It's good business to go green, it's good business to take organic mainstream," said the Institute's Executive Director "Coach" Mark Smallwood when we visited its Pennsylvania farms.  "What we call it at the Rodale Institute is creating a massive awakening. We're going to do that first of all by focusing on soil and soil health and then focusing on good, healthy organic food. The idea  that healthy soil creates healthy food; and healthy food, as part of our mantra, creates healthy people."