Starting this summer, there will be a lot more organic food on supermarket shelves, and it should cost a lot less.
Most of the nation's major food producers are hard at work developing organic versions of their best-selling products, like Kellogg's Rice Krispies and Kraft's macaroni and cheese. Why the sudden activity? In large part because Wal-Mart wants to sell more organic food — and because of its size and power, Wal-Mart usually gets what it wants.
As the nation's largest grocery retailer, Wal-Mart has decided that offering more organic food will help modernize its image and broaden its appeal to urban and other upscale consumers. It has asked its large suppliers to help. Wal-Mart's interest is expected to change organic food production in substantial ways. Some organic food advocates applaud the development, saying Wal-Mart's efforts will help expand the amount of land that is farmed organically and the quantities of organic food available to the public. But others say the initiative will ultimately hurt organic farmers, will lower standards for the production of organic food and will undercut the environmental benefits of organic farming.
This is obviously quite an interesting development for pro-organic folks like me. However, the article inexplicably seems to leave out the war Wal-Mart and likeminded retailers and distributors have been fighting to get the restrictions on organic food labels lowered to the point of being almost meaningless.