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Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Organic Scoop: Dig In

If you’ve been in a grocery store lately, you’ve probably noticed an increasing amount of space given over to organic foods. What’s the deal? Huge new consumer demand and the Federal Organic Standards and Labeling Program have caused the mainstream agricultural industry to scramble for a piece of the organic pie. Some long-term organic customers feel this is not a blessing: some of the values associated with the organic movement can be watered down in giant food corporations’ quest for profit. Still, the new visibility of natural foods is attracting fresh new buyers interested in their own health and the health of the planet—but they want the facts before plunking down premium prices.


Here are three recent books that can give you the low-down. Each of these books is long on practical shopping advice while still advocating the values of the organic movement. Each has a hefty list of reliable resources for further information. And each is a pretty good read in its own way.


For inspiration, start with The Real Food Revival: Aisle by Aisle, Morsel by Morsel, by Sherri Brooks Vinton.


Before you shop, check out A Field Guide to Buying Organic, by Luddene Perry and Dan Schultz.


If you want to get the skinny from a skinnier book, choose The Organic Food Guide: How to Shop Smarter and Eat Healthier, by Steve Meyerowitz. You can read it in an hour or so. (I’ve got our only copy checked out right now, but I promise to return it pronto, and we’ll be getting more copies soon.)

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