Organic, Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew

by Samuel Fromartz (Author)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
In recent decades, organic food—the idealistic, natural alternative to
industrial agribusiness and processed packaged foods—has grown into a
multibillion-dollar business. Fromartz's portrait of the adolescent industry
reveals that that success has prompted an epic identity crisis. Big corporations
like Kraft and General Mills own the bulk of the market, and half of all organic
sales come from the largest 2% of farms, alienating those most committed to
producing chemical-free fruits and vegetables on small family farms, and selling
them locally. Business journalist Fromartz uncovers the trailblazers' tactics:
how Whole Foods Market developed a religion of "moral hedonism," how Earthbound
Farm launched a revolution with bagged salad mix and how Silk soy milk became
"the number one brand in the dairy case, among all milk and soy milk brands."
But if big business is now the muscle of the organic industry, Fromartz
demonstrates that small growers remain at its heart. Fromartz's profiles—of
pioneers who sell their produce at farmers' markets and foster
cooperatively-owned, local distribution networks—deftly navigate the
complexities of pesticide issues, organic production methods and the legal
controversies surrounding organic certification. This is a pragmatic, wise
assessment of the compromises the organic movement has struck to gain access to the mainstream.

From Booklist
Although initially attracted to organic food from his encounters with it as a
cook, business journalist Fromartz scrutinizes this ever--growing industry from
an economic perspective. He focuses on the raising of strawberries, a fruit
perpetually in high demand nationwide. Citing the example of a California grower
who grew berries both conventionally and organically under virtually identical
conditions, Fromartz declares organic farming to be indeed economically viable.
Fromartz also examines the use of chemical pesticides, initially lauded as
agriculture's great savior until the appearance of Rachel Carson made public
their baneful long-term effects. Fromartz finds a different but similarly
successful road to economic success in the story of Earthbound Farms, whose
leafy mesclun mixes now appear in markets all over the country. Lest today's
organic food producers become complacent, Fromartz recounts the tale of Kellogg,
a company whose founders cherished lofty aims of spreading health and nutrition
but who ironically ended up promoting mass-market, sugar-laden cereals quite
contrary to what they had originally envisioned.

Product Details

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Harvest Books (March 5, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0156032422



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 Natural Lifestyles and Freedom of Choice in Holistic Healthcare