Divide Over Standards Splits Organic Community

Organic food sales rose from 1.2 percent to 3.7 percent of all U.S. food sales from 2000 to 2009. Fruits and vegetables total 11.4 percent of all organic fruits and vegetables sold in the United States.

But to organic purists, the cost of this growth may be more than just the higher prices they willingly pay to get food with the organic label. For them, the suspicion of big corporations in part fuels their growing skepticism of the federal government’s organic certification standards.

Farming Purists Look ‘Beyond Organic’

For nearly a decade, the word organic has stood for all that is wholesome and pure to the health-conscious consumer.
But an emerging movement of farmers who consider themselves the real organic purists are saying their methods go “beyond organic.” Although still in its infancy, adherents to beyond organic methods are enlivening the debate about the effectiveness of the government certified organic program.