Is Organic Food Always Sustainable?

As the demand for organic foods increases, suppliers are importing crops from overseas, calling into question some of the environmental benefits.

Stonyfield Farm is working on a deal to import organic milk powder from New Zealand; Clif Bar imports organic almonds from Spain. Barbara Robinson, head of the Agriculture Department's National Organic Program says the United States is importing far more organic food than it exports. The U.S. also imports more conventional food than it exports. According to Robinson, "That is how you stimulate growth, [by] imports generally. Your own industry says we're tired of importing this; why should I pay for imports when I could start producing myself?"

What is good for business may be bad for sustainability. "If organic is something created in the image of sustainable agriculture, we certainly haven't accomplished that yet," said Urvashi Rangan, a scientist for Consumers Union. However, Stonyfield and Organic Valley are working to increase the number of organic farms in the U.S., paying farmers to help them switch or boost production.

Full Story: Big appetite: Demand for organic food outstrips supply in U.S.


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95

Get the "Green Bible" of educational planning books

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."