Did We Make America Organic Again?
Did we make America organic again? It’s a question I ponder on as I look back on a blog I wrote called “Make America Organic Again” four years ago before the 2016 election. Considering the slogan “Make America Great Again” became huuuuugeee during the campaign, I decided to add “organic” to it and wrote a blog. Because the 2016 election marked an important turning point for America, I felt hopeful that food reform would’ve served as another main focus for any of the candidates that were running. But, it wasn’t. As I look back on writing the other blog, I thought I’d write a follow up one to see if we did make America organic again.
Organic food and accessibility to it significantly changed since 2016. But it did not change because of our current president or political leaders. Organic food changed because “we the people” purchased more organic products. As a result, the demand escalated, and more companies produced organic products.
Since 2016, awareness of organic food grew, and more people wanted to eat organic. Health transformed into a dire necessity. Many people desired to change their eating habits. Therefore, more people educated themselves on organic food and purchased more organic items.
The awareness came from advertisements, social media posts from organic food companies, Whole Foods Market, other natural markets, and influencers in the community. Sadly, our government leaders still rarely talk about food issues and food inequalities in this country. Truthfully, I was hoping that would change within the past 4 years or in the new election coming up, but it hasn’t.
Even though more people are educating themselves on organic food, the majority are oblivious to the issues within our current food industry. Or, they simply do not care enough. Food issues are hardly ever spoken about in the mainstream media. Unfortunately, the education isn’t there or the facts get denied by non believers.
When it comes to organic food, unless someone follows this niche industry, they wouldn’t truly know about it. The majority still views organic food as an expensive sham and food for the prestigious.
Then, in August of 2017, Amazon purchased Whole Foods Market. With the acquisition, it caused a lot of mixed opinions. But nevertheless, Amazon expanded Whole Foods Market and lowered the prices on many items. This allowed more access to new consumers. Also, Amazon introduced Whole Foods on Amazon Prime Now, where you can receive grocery deliveries within two hours. If you are a Prime member, when you shop at Whole Foods, they give you an extra discount on top of already discounted items. Many positive changes occurred with the purchase of Whole Foods.
In the past four years, the organic industry skyrocketed. Many new products arose, and more natural stores popped up around the country. In Florida, Lucky’s Market, Earth Fare, and Sprouts opened in different parts of the state. That was a great addition because now it was easier and more affordable to purchase organic products. Even mainstream grocery stores like Publix, Kroger, and Safeway, saw an increase in organic products on the shelves.
Unfortunately, at the beginning of 2020, both Lucky’s Market and Earth Fare suddenly closed. Even though the demand for organic food heightened, some stores still couldn’t survive against the competition of bigger markets.
So, to answer the question, did we make America organic again? Not fully. Until all of our food is organically produced, and all of the American people are eating organic, we won’t achieve making America organic again. Many people want to eat organic, but they lack the knowledge and financial means to have a full organic diet. It is sad and unfair. We must do better!
Despite it all, in these past four years, the organic industry grew tremendously. It got closer to making America organic again. But, we still have a long way to go. And to reiterate, it had nothing to do with our president and politics. In fact, I am still unaware of our current president or the new candidates stance on food in this country because it is rarely expressed. However, the industry grew because of the consumers and the ambitious producers who wanted to change our food system. This goes to show you that we vote with our dollars. Where we spend our money matters!
We’ve witnessed many organic companies, grocery stores, and products come and go. We’ve seen the several changes within the organic food industry, including Whole Foods. But what keeps on growing is the demand for organic and healthy food. We the people, everyone included, has the right to have access to organic food!
Lucky’s Market had a quote hung up in all of their stores that said, “Good food is a right, not a luxury.” I wholeheartedly stand behind that quote! Regrettably, that hasn’t fully changed since we “Made America Great Again.” Access to organic food significantly increased and prices did decrease. But, it still isn’t at a spot where it is affordable for everyone to have a full organic diet. Until we ALL have the right and access to good, organic, and clean food, will we then have finally made America organic again!
In the meantime, stand up for what you believe in, vote with your dollar, and fight for your right to organic food at affordable prices! Change starts with you first.
In the next 4 years, I will revisit this post and look back on how far we came. I will keep on fighting and advocating for organic food! Maybe by then, or in my lifetime, I’ll finally manage to answer yes to the question on “did we make American organic again.”
*DISCLAIMER: I am not endorsing any of the candidates or current president. All views I expressed in this blog are of my own and my passion for organic food. My hope is to live in a country filled with access to organic food for everyone!