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Organic, Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grewby Samuel Fromartz
Synopses & Reviews
UPDATED WITH A NEW AFTERWORD BY THE AUTHOR
"A book that will alter the way we think about what we eat and the business forces that shape what we eat."—Ken Auletta
Everybodys going organic! But where did this craze for organic food come from and how did it manage to win a seat at the nation's table? What is organic food? Is it really better for you? And why are so many of us buying it?
In Organic, Inc., business writer Samuel Fromartz looks at organic foods anti-industrial origins, its unlikely innovators, and its classic conundrum of free-market triumph—in which a booming industry ultimately risks betraying its founding ideals. A primer on the business and culture of food, Organic, Inc., tells the fascinating tale of the newest trend in American consumption.
"Fromartz does an excellent job of investigating consumer behavior and the trends that have permanently changed the food landscape."—San Francisco Chronicle
"A fair and needed history of the booming and feuding industry."—Des Moines Register
Samuel Fromartz is a business journalist who has written for Fortune, Business Week, and Inc. This is his first book. He lives in Washington, DC.
Business writer Fromartz traces organic food back to its anti-industrial origins more than a century ago. Then he follows it forward again, casting a spotlight on the innovators who created an alternative way of producing food that took root and grew beyond their wildest expectations.
Who would have thought that a natural food supermarket could have been a financial refuge from the dot-com bust? But it had. Sales of organic food had shot up about 20 percent per year since 1990, reaching $11 billion by 2003 . Whole Foods managed to sidestep that fray by focusing on, well, people like me.
Organic food has become a juggernaut in an otherwise sluggish food industry, growing at 20 percent a year as products like organic ketchup and corn chips vie for shelf space with conventional comestibles. But what is organic food? Is it really better for you? Where did it come from, and why are so many of us buying it?
Business writer Samuel Fromartz set out to get the story behind this surprising success after he noticed that his own food choices were changing with the times. In Organic, Inc., Fromartz traces organic food back to its anti-industrial origins more than a century ago. Then he follows it forward again, casting a spotlight on the innovators who created an alternative way of producing food that took root and grew beyond their wildest expectations. In the process he captures how the industry came to risk betraying the very ideals that drove its success in a classically complex case of free-market triumph.
About the Author
SAMUEL FROMARTZ is a business journalist whose work has appeared in Inc., Fortune Small Business, Business Week, the New York Times, and other publications. A recreational cook, he lives in Washington, D.C.
Table of Contents
1. Humus Worshippers
The Origins of Organic Food 1
2. The Organic Method
Strawberries in Two Versions 32
3. A Local Initiative
From Farm to Market 69
4. A Spring Mix
Growing Organic Salad 108
5. Mythic Manufacturing
Health, Spirituality, and Breakfast 145
The Meaning of Organic
7. Consuming Organic
Why We Buy 237
What Our Readers Are Saying
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