business news in context, analysis with attitude carries a Cooking Light piece that addresses the growth of the organic food movement and how cash strapped consumers ought to be making relevant buying decisions in the category.

The piece notes that on the one hand, organic sales continue to generate double-digit growth – the category generated close to $28 billion in sales last year, up from $1 billion in 1990. And while there is a growing supply for organics, there also is a growing demand and increased regulation that has fueled adjunct categories: “Some farmers are shifting to what is called ‘beyond organic’ to practice sustainable farming, build a local clientele for foods raised in season, and provide a living wage to workers. Also, some farmers may follow organic principles yet forgo USDA certification. That's one reason why you sometimes find uncertified organic goods at your local grocery or farmers' market.”

And, the story notes, there remains considerable debate about whether organic products are necessarily more healthy than traditionally created equivalent items.

The piece makes three basic recommendations for how shoppers should make organic shopping decisions:

• “Prioritize your purchases. Some types of produce contain more pesticides than others. Invest your organic dollars in traditionally pesticide-heavy produce instead of low-pesticide foods.”

• “Think local and seasonal. Locally grown, seasonal produce may have a lower environmental cost than organic items that use fossil fuels and energy to travel long distances in shipping. If possible, consider local and organic produce.”

• “Keep good nutrition in mind. When buying meats, dairy, or processed foods, factor the item's whole nutritional package first, then consider the method by which it was produced. Minimizing sodium and saturated fat has proven health benefits, such as helping to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.”
KC's View:
In other words, use common sense.