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Organic FuturesStruggling for Sustainability on the Small Farm$
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Connor J Fitzmaurice and Brian J. Gareau

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300199451

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300199451.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

Making Sense of Organics: A Brief History

Making Sense of Organics: A Brief History

Chapter:
(p.27) One Making Sense of Organics: A Brief History
Source:
Organic Futures
Author(s):

Connor J. Fitzmaurice

Brian J. Gareau

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300199451.003.0002

The increasing popularity of organic agriculture has revolutionized American consumers’ access to organic products. However, the industrial scale of the modern organic sector has little in common with the goals of sustainability farmers and activists envisioned over the course of the organic movement’s history. This chapter charts that history. The story of the organic farming movement, and even the very definition of organic farming that today’s consumers have inherited, is a story of people—people pushing back against the perceived encroachment of industrialization into their lives and onto their dinner plates. It begins with the emergence of organic farming, from the 1920s to the 1940s, as a conservative response to the rationalization and industrialization of farming. It then charts organic’s incorporation into the rising tide of the counterculture during the 1960s and 70s, as society became aware of the environmental degradation being wrought by industrial agriculture. Finally, the chapter examines the ways consumer concerns about the health and safety of industrial foods began to move organic foods into the national spotlight as a safer consumer alternative.

Keywords:   Organic, Conservative, Counterculture, Environmentalism, Health, Food Safety

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