The Age of Organic

September 18, 2008
Brookford Farm

via flickr from iLoveButter

I recently heard an MPR news story about the growth of organic farming in Minnesota.

While I see the expansion of organic fruits and veggies at the farmer’s market and note the additional organic selections at most grocery stores, I was shocked to hear that Minnesota organic farm profits DOUBLED in 2007. 

According to the study by the University of Minnesota, which reviewed the finances of 45 organic farms, the average profit in 2007 was around $59,000 – double the 2006 profits.

This information coupled with a VERY unscientific Idea Peepshow poll (around half of the respondents said that they seek out organic products) makes me wonder about the directions of our food sources. 

It seems that there are two divergent paths for food production — one that is growing more niche and specialized (organic) and another that is growing more commercial and mechanized (traditional). 

Similarly, I attended a trend seminar two years ago where they discussed the future of products in a global economy. To summarize the six-hour discussion, you either develop your specialty and find your unique home or you must produce in massive amounts and attract the vast majority. 

Take one more giant leap with me. Using the above observations, it appears that we’re all on this path in the age of organic. You either must differentiate yourself or join the masses. Be distinctly different or be prepared to follow the status quo.

Harsh reality? Extreme extrapolation from one news report? You tell me.