December 19, 2008 - 9:58 PM
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Market research firm NPD Group said the number of people who reported buying organic products fell 4 percent in August, compared with a year earlier. While more than one in five surveyed in the latest figures available from NPD purchased organic products, the August data represented the first customer losses for the sector since February 2006 - a decline that is expected to accelerate in the months ahead.
Many devotees of organic foods are not willing to cut back...loyalty to the organic foods movement helps explain why Hain Celestial Group Inc. of Melville, N.Y., which owns the Arrowhead Mills, Health Valley and dozens of other organic food and product labels, reported a $7 million profit in the quarter that ended Sept. 30 as sales grew 22 percent.
While I can understand why people want to save money on their grocery bill, my husband and I like to think of our spending on organic food as our "entertainment dollar." We are committed to continuing to buy organic for both personal and planetary health, as well as supporting local growers. We don't go out to eat as much as most families I know, and we put that "take out" budget toward our grocery bill. I also steer clear of packaged dinners and "prepared foods," where you can spend a lot of money very quickly. If you buy what's in season, shop the bulk bins, and cook from scratch, there is no reason to abandon organic foods in tight times.