Organic Food Statistics – 16 Interesting Facts

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By Rebekah Pierce

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

Organic Food Statistics

Organic foods have seen a significant boost in popularity over the last few years. 

With growing concerns about health and the environment, people are becoming more health-conscious and eco-friendly. 

Have you ever wondered why people go for organic foods over conventional? This blog post will help you understand the benefits of going organic. 

We’ll look at some interesting statistics about organic foods and their impact on health and the environment. Let’s get started!

How Much of the World’s Food is Organic?

Organic food is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, or irradiation. Organically-grown crops are also free of preservatives, artificial flavors, and colors. 

Despite the growing popularity of organic farming, it still only makes up a small percentage of the world’s food production. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), less than 1% of the world’s agricultural land is used for organic cultivation. This means that the overwhelming majority of farming globally still relies on conventional, non-organic methods.

In terms of organic food sales, the global market is continuously growing. Organic food sales are expected to reach $849.7 billion by 2028. North America and Europe currently hold the largest share of the organic food market, with the United States being the largest consumer of organic food worldwide.

Organic Foods

Organic Food Statistics – Highlights

  • 92% of all corn in the United States is genetically engineered.
  • Organic food sales make up just 5.8% of all US food sales, with fruits and vegetables accounting for 15% of the retail produce market.
  • 76% of adults buy organic food for health reasons, followed by environmental concerns and convenience.
  • People aged 18 to 29 are the most likely to buy organic food (to the tune of 36%).
  • Produce accounted for 40% of US organic food sales in 2021, followed by dairy and eggs, beverages, and packaged/prepared foods.

Globally, organic food sales are expected to reach $849.7 billion by 2028.

Source: Globe News Wire

This statistic is a clear indication of the growth of the organic food industry. It shows that people are becoming more aware of the benefits of organic food and are willing to spend more money on it. 

This is great news for organic farmers and the environment, as organic farming practices are often more sustainable and better for the soil and ecosystems. It also means that there are more organic options available in stores and restaurants, making it easier for consumers to make healthier choices.

Organic food sales make up just 5.8% of all US food sales, with fruits and vegetables accounting for 15% of the retail produce market.

Source: Statista and Vegetable Growers News

While the growth of the organic food industry is promising, this statistic shows that there is still a long way to go. Organic food is often more expensive than conventional food, which can make it inaccessible to many people. 

This is particularly concerning when it comes to fruits and vegetables, which are essential for a healthy diet. The fact that organic fruits and vegetables only account for 15% of the retail produce market means that many people are missing out on the benefits of organic produce.

Fruits And Vegetables

92% of all corn in the United States is genetically engineered.

Source: Center for Food Safety 

This number is concerning because genetically engineered crops are often treated with pesticides that can be harmful to the environment and human health. Plus, there are concerns about the long-term effects of consuming genetically engineered foods. 

Some studies have suggested that they may have negative impacts on human health. By choosing organic corn products, consumers can avoid these potential risks and support sustainable farming practices.

75% of processed foods contain genetically engineered ingredients.

Source: Center for Food Safety

This is particularly worrying because processed foods are often high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats. By choosing organic options, consumers can reduce their exposure to these unhealthy ingredients and make healthier choices. 

It’s also worth noting that many processed foods are made with corn, soy, and other crops that are often genetically engineered. By opting for organic processed foods, consumers can avoid these genetically engineered ingredients and support healthier and more sustainable farming practices.

Organic fruits and vegetables have up to 40% more antioxidants than conventionally grown ones.

Source: National Public Radio 

Antioxidants are molecules that help neutralize harmful molecules in our body called free radicals. These free radicals can damage our cells and contribute to chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. 

Antioxidants are found in many foods, but organic fruits and vegetables have been found to have significantly higher levels of them than conventionally-grown ones, according to NPR. This could be due to the fact that organic farmers use fewer pesticides, which are known to reduce antioxidant levels. 

So, if you want to boost your antioxidant intake, consider going organic for your fruits and veggies.

Organic milk and meat can have up to 50% more omega-3 fatty acids.

Source: Science Daily 

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that our bodies need but cannot produce on their own. They are important for brain function, heart health, and reducing inflammation. 

While we can get them from eating fish, nuts, and seeds, organic milk and meat have been found to have higher levels of omega-3s than conventionally-raised ones, as reported by Science Daily. 

This could be due to the fact that organic livestock feed is more likely to contain flaxseed, which is high in omega-3s. So, if you want to boost your omega-3 intake but don’t eat fish or nuts regularly, consider switching to organic milk and meat.

Organic Steak

76% of adults buy organic food for health reasons, followed by environmental concerns and convenience.

Source: Pew Research Center

It’s clear that many people see organic food as a way to improve their health and reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals. Moreover, buying organic is often seen as a way to support sustainable agriculture and reduce environmental pollution. 

Finally, many people find that buying organic is more convenient as it eliminates the need to read labels and worry about harmful additives. Whatever your motivation, it’s clear that organic food is here to stay and is becoming more accessible and affordable than ever before.

Food that’s labeled as organic does not have to be 100% organic – only 95%.

Source: How Stuff Works

It’s important to understand that organic food labeling doesn’t require a product to be 100% organic. In fact, only 95% of the ingredients in a food product need to be organic for it to receive the organic label. 

This means that there is still some room for non-organic ingredients to be included. Knowing this, it’s up to the consumer to decide what level of purity they want to prioritize when choosing organic products.

81% of American shoppers will buy at least one organic food item when shopping.

Source: The Balance

This indicates that there is a significant demand for organic products, and many people are willing to pay more for them. 

However, it’s important to note that organic items can be more expensive than their non-organic counterparts, so it’s worth considering your budget before making the switch.

Organic Food Shopping

Organic foods contain up to 48% less cadmium.

Source: NCBI

One of the main benefits of organic food is that it contains significantly lower levels of harmful chemicals like cadmium. 

Studies have found that organic produce can contain up to 48% less cadmium than conventionally grown crops. This is important because cadmium is a toxic substance that can accumulate in the body over time and lead to health problems like kidney damage and osteoporosis.

People aged 18 to 29 are the most likely to buy organic food (to the tune of 36%).

Source: Statista

While older age groups are still purchasing organic food, this statistic highlights a preference for organic among younger consumers. Perhaps this is due to an increased awareness of health and environmental sustainability issues.

Produce accounted for 40% of US organic food sales in 2021, followed by dairy and eggs, beverages, and packaged/prepared foods.

Source: USDA

This suggests that consumers are prioritizing fresh and healthy meals, rather than opting for pre-packaged products.

Organic food is 10-20% more expensive than conventionally-grown food.

Source: The Grocery Store Guy

While many consumers recognize the potential health benefits of organic food, the price can be a deterrent. According to The Grocery Store Guy, organic food is 10-20% more expensive than conventionally-grown food. This can be a significant barrier for many families on a tight budget. 

However, some argue that the long-term health and environmental benefits of organic food outweigh the additional cost.

25% of Americans have never purchased organic foods – once.

Source: Statista 

This is surprising considering the increasing popularity of organic foods as people become more conscious of the importance of healthy eating. With more consumers choosing organic foods, the demand for these products is also increasing, making them more accessible and affordable. 

So, why not give organic foods a try and see for yourself the benefits they offer?

The United States imports organic food from more than 111 countries.

Source: OTA

This is an interesting statistic as it shows the global reach of organic foods. Many countries have embraced organic farming as a sustainable way of producing food, and the US benefits from the variety of organic products that come from different parts of the world. This is good news for consumers who want to enjoy a diverse range of organic foods all year round.

Organic milk production increased by 1% from 2019 to 2021.

Source: USDA

This indicates that more dairy farmers are transitioning to organic farming methods, which is great news for consumers who prefer organic dairy products. Organic milk is free from antibiotics and hormones, making it a healthier and safer choice for you and your family.

Organic Milk

In Conclusion: Organic Food Statistics

Going organic has numerous benefits for your health and the environment. Studies show that organic foods are more nutritious and have a higher antioxidant content than conventional ones. 

Not only that, but organic farming is better for the environment as it uses natural methods to control pests and fertilize the soil, conserves water, and protects biodiversity. 

Although organic foods are more expensive, their prices are going down as more farmers switch to organic farming methods. The demand for organic foods is growing rapidly, and it’s becoming easier to find them in most supermarkets. 

So, why not go organic and reap the benefits? Hopefully, these organic food statistics have helped convince you of all the reasons why you should do so!

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Rebekah Pierce

Rebekah Pierce is a professional writer specializing in a variety of niches, including health and fitness. Her unique blend of experience managing and owning a regenerative farm, along with a background working in both secondary and higher education, gives her the versatility needed to write about a variety of topics. She has a B.A. in English and a M.S.Ed. in Special Education. She's an avid runner, having completed multiple marathons and half marathons, and believes in the profound power of overall health, wellness, and good nutrition when it comes to changing lives!