By Paul Schmitt
Organic food sales are setting records in grocery stores nationwide. Even though organic foods can cost up to 50 percent more than non-organic products, Americans are filling up their shopping cart with foods produced without pesticides. According to the Organic Trade Association, sales of organic food surpassed $43 billion last year. The record year reflects an 8.4% increase over the previous year. Jon Calhoun, store manager at Econofoods in Sturgeon Bay, says he believes the popularity of organic foods is growing because people are concerned about what they are putting into their bodies.
Fruits and vegetables account for nearly 40% of all organic food purchases. Although organic food represents only 5.3% of total retail sales in the country, the growth can be attributed to both a health-conscious consumer and a strong economy, according to Calhoun.