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Organic Foods Continue to Grow

Sales of organic foods increased from $16.9 billion in 2005 to $13.8 billion in 2006, a jump of more than 22 percent.

Retailers across the country are experiencing double-digit growth rates in sales of such products.

One such retailer is the Dominick's chain and their parent Safeway Inc. Last year, they introduced an organic line of products called O Organics in response to consumer demand. They are selling approximately 200 O Organics products in about 1,800 stores.

Sales of O Organics products totaled $162 million in 2006. While this is an impressive launch for a product line, it still represents only 0.4 percent of Safeway's total 2006 sales.

Chicago Tribune May 5, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

One of the unanticipated side effects of promoting natural healthy lifestyles is that it would not escape the attention of conventional retailers who have rapidly learned to exploit this movement and substitute inferior-quality brands while charging premium prices.

The meaning of the "organic" label has declined sharply over the past few years, so much so that it's hard to trust grocery stores these days. The take-home message here: Seek out more affordable and healthier foods and vegetables grown by local farmers near you.

The entrance of major grocery chain stores like Safeway into the organic market means that choosing the best organic foods for your health may be getting tougher and more expensive.

Although organic food sales account for only 3 percent of the total amount of food sold in America, the increase in demand has been so rapid that  farmers have been unable to keep up, forcing grocers to look internationally for them. This often results in a decline in quality and standards.

Multi-national corporations are interested in the profits from organic food, not the health value. For example, Wal-Mart's "organic" milk comes from large factory farms (not to mention the fact that it's pasteurized).

Meanwhile, the O organics label has been judged so successful that the line is expanding into food offerings for babies and toddlers, not a good move at all for the health of your young child.

I am working with some expert consultants from NASA and Walt Disney World that will hopefully allow me to introduce an easy system that will allow you to grow organic vegetables easily and conveniently in your home. I hope to have that available in the next year; then you won't need to rely on non-local sources for a good portion of your food.

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