Where to Live if You Want the Best Organic Produce
78% of all the organic food sales come from just 10 U.S. states, so if you want to significantly reduce the amount of time and distance it takes for your food to go from the farm to your fork, consider moving to one of these states.
California takes the cake and has 41% of the total organic sales nationwide, coming in at $2.2 billion in sales last year. Washington State came in the second position with just $515 million in sales. Then comes Pennsylvania, Oregon, Wisconsin, Texas, New York, Colorado, Michigan, and Iowa.
These 10 states alone represent a whopping 78 percent of U.S. organic sales in 2014, according to the NASS.
Organic food aside, California’s farmers feed a large part of the country. According to the latest statistics compiled by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the state produces almost half of all the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the country, as well as a whopping share of the livestock and dairy,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
But, the nationwide organic sales were certainly not limited to just these 10 states. The organic food sales across the United States have increased since the last survey in 2008, by a surprising 78%, according to latest Organic Survey done by the USDA. As more people continue to eat organic and search for local organic options, the distance it takes for this food to get to your fork will continue to decrease. In 2008, 74% of food traveled less than 500 miles to get to your plate, but that number has gone up to over 80% now.
Organic products are also getting easier to find as more local markets include an organic section. 63% of the organic farms in the United States say that they sell their produce to wholesale markets which accounts for nearly 78% of the total organic sales.
“Producers reported in the 2014 Organic Survey that they expect to expand U.S. organic production in the coming years, making the data even more important for policy and programs,” said NASS administrator Joseph T. Reilly.
The report “shows that organic producers are providing a wide variety of products to customers and are getting those items from farm to table more efficiently,” Reilly added.
Even if organic products tends to be more expensive, these latest statistics show that America’s taste buds are slowly shifting away from heavily processed or factory farmed foods and people are increasingly more aware of the environmental impacts of industrial agriculture.
Perhaps the growing backlash against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is driving the growth in organic food sales. Surveys show that the vast majority of Americans—as much as 93 percent, according to a New York Times—want their food labeled.