45% of Americans Try to Include Organic Foods in their Diet…and 15% Try to Avoid Them

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
(AP Photo)

Nearly half of all Americans have embraced organic foods, according to a new national poll that shows that also found a small minority who actively reject this more natural option of eating.


As part of its annual Consumption Habits survey, Gallup for the first time asked respondents about their feelings on organic foods. The polling firm found 45% of respondents say they try to include organic foods in their diets. Thirty-eight percent expressed indifference towards organic, while 15% said they avoid the foods.


A breakdown of the results revealed organic foods are most popular out West, in big cities, and among younger Americans. Regionally, organic foods rated the highest in the West (54%), followed by 47% in the Midwest, 43% in the South and 39% in the East. Half of urbanities say they try to eat organic foods, while 46% of those in the suburbs said the same thing. Only 37% of rural and small-town residents try to include organic foods in their diets.


The organic industry does well among Americans 18-29 in age, with 53% actively trying to eat this way. Older respondents weren’t as enthusiastic about organic foods. Only 33% of those 65 years old or older try to include organic food in their diets.


Organic foods, because of the way they’re produced, often cost more than traditional products, so it makes sense that they’re more popular among wealthier respondents. Of those with household incomes $75,000 and greater, 49% sought out organic foods, while 45% of those with incomes from $30,000 to $74,999 did and only 42% of those with lower incomes trying to eat organic foods.


Organic food sales continue to climb, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). After dipping during the Great Recession, organic food sales rebounded, increasing 11% in 2012 over 2011’s figures, and the USDA expects similar growth to continue.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Forty-Five Percent of Americans Seek Out Organic Foods (by Rebecca Riffkin, Gallup)

Growth Patterns in the U.S. Organic Industry (by Catherine Greene, U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Organic Market Overview (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Study Shows Organic Foods have more Antioxidants (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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