by Sarah Phillips, CEO and founder, Ugly Produce is Beautiful
Over half of all US households now purchase organic produce, according to the Organic Trade Association's presentation at the Organic Produce Summit.
Organic banana purchases led the charge, growing by more than 30 percent last year, followed by blackberries (up 61%), organic salad greens and organic baby carrots (sales up 11% each), and organic Pink Lady Apples (up 96%), Organic "value-added" vegetables, defined as cubed squash, already peeled and chopped carrots and ready-to-use sliced mushrooms, grew by a whopping 54 percent in 2015 to almost $150 million.
Since 2011, the sales of produce in this country have increased over 25 percent, with the greatest increase in the organic segment occurring in 2015. Convenience, a greater awareness of the health benefits of produce, and an increased interest in local food sources largely contributed to the increase. And driven by the desire to improve upon already healthy food choices, organic fruit sales have soared 123 percent during that time, while organic vegetable sales have jumped by 92 percent.
"Data show that the organic shopper is an extremely health-conscious consumer who is completely dedicated to eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Organic is a top choice because of the confidence in organic as THE choice to avoid foods grown with toxic and persistent pesticides."
Go eat your fruit and vegetables - I mean, the organic ones! Look for the USDA Organic seal on your produce before you buy.
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