Organic, Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew

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HMH, Mar 5, 2007 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
A “lively, comprehensive, and . . . definitive account of organic food’s rise” from a “first-rate business journalist” (Michael Pollan).

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 twenty 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Carlie - LibraryThing

Just think about that title. What really gets me is the phrase, "natural foods." What a strange concept, "natural foods." Who would have thought 100 years ago that there would come a day when we ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rwallen - LibraryThing

While this book did hold some information on the health issues of organic foods, the main story was the growth of the industry. With the introduction of organic products being produced at a large ... Read full review


1 Humus Worshippers
2 The Organic Method
3 A Local Initiative
4 A Spring Mix
5 Mythic Manufacturing
6 Backlash
7 Consuming Organic
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About the author (2007)

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.

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