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Quick History of the Organic Movement

Updated on February 5, 2018
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The History of the Organic Movement

Curious about all this organic stuff? Wondering how you can you get your hands on some? Here's a quick history and guide to going organic to get started.

The organic farming movement technically started in the 1940's, but it didn't really take off until the 1970's.

The "father" of the organic movement is often credited to J.I. Rodale, the founder of Organic Farming and Gardening Magazine. Rodale also founded the Rodale Research Institute in the 1940's. Together with both his projects, Rodale became a premier authority on organic farming at the time.

But Rodale wasn't the first to explore organic farming. In fact, Rodale was very much inspired by Sir Albert Howard, a British scientist who studied India's agricultural systems and "working with nature" to better leverage soil nutrients in organic farming.

By the 1970's, American consumers were becoming more environmentally conscious, and supply and demand helped move the organic movement forward. However, the movement has been notoriously met road blocks along the way, including clashing views of how organic farming should be administered and regulated.

As demand for organic products increased in the 1970's, more everyday necessities started to go organic. Today, major organic brands include Jessica Alba's Honest Company, as well as Amy's Kitchen, Bob's Red Mill, and Lush Cosmetics.

The Balance has a great article on products that qualify for organic certification. Here's a look at a few of these products popular with consumers in 2018.

Organic Products for Children

Aside from organic food, another consumer market impacted by the organic movement are children's products. A 2014 survey conducted by the Organic Trade Association found that 1 out of 8 parents in the United States bought at least one or more organic products in a one-year span.

Everything from baby formula to back to school outfits have gone organic, proving that millennial parents are set on continuing the organic trend. A recent OTA study confirmed this trend, revealing that more than 50% of all organic shoppers are millennials.

Organic Pet Food

If you thought parents loved going organic, make way for millennial pet parents. According to a recent report, one-third of all pet owners are between the ages 18 and 34, and they're embracing the organic movement head on.

That same report found that 55% percent of all millennial pet product buyers are willing to buy organic holistic products for their pets. Almost 70% of all millennials surveyed prefer pet foods with all-natural ingredients, and a staggering 75% of pet owners consider food health and safety a top priority, while older participants came in at 66%.

This is great news for the organic pet food industry, and major pet food brands are quickly latching onto the organic movement by adopting green labeling, packaging, and branding. However, smaller pet food brands like Canidae, AvoDerm, and Orijen put organic pet food on the map years prior.

And they're just a few of the many independent brands and entrepreneurs helping to drive more awareness of organic products.

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