Editor’s note: This story was written by a high school student in Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation’s Summer Youth Leadership Program. This story is part of a special back-to-school issue.
By Stacie Chan
The number of Americans who choose organic products for daily use is climbing. A survey conducted in 2004 shows that nearly one in every 10 Americans use organic products regularly. People have turned to organic products because they believe their use is healthier, supports local farmers, and is better for the environment.
If you walked through a grocery store 25 years ago, you would find organic products only in the produce aisle. Today, you are able to find organic products in almost every aisle. The success of grocery stores that specialize in organic products, like Trader Joes and Whole Foods, has been surprising. Whole Foods was founded in 1980 and has grown to have 279 locations worldwide.
Across America, businesses that use organic ingredients are booming, and larger stores have been starting to sell more organic products. Just last month, we listened to Molly Moon speak about the all natural, locally grown, and organic produce she uses to make her ice cream. Currently, she operates two ice cream parlors in the Seattle area and is looking to expand.
In early 2006, Safeway launched its own line of organic products, O Organics, which includes everything from frozen treats to fresh pastry.
Even large warehouses like Costco have not been immune to this trend. During a couple of trips to Costco, I spotted organic products around the store.
Because a majority of our market consists of health conscious Americans, companies that cater to them have been doing well. Red mango, a nonfat frozen yogurt shop, has found success in recent years. With fat-free, gluten-free, and all natural ingredients, Red Mango provides a guilt-free treat for all of us.
The market for healthy products is expected to grow in the near future. It is evident that people in our community are becoming aware of all the negative effects of fast food. Healthy eating habits are important because studies show that eating habits affect the development of serious health conditions.
Several states, Washington included, have already implemented laws to protect the well-being of citizens, including one that requires restaurants to disclose the calorie count of all food products on their menu. Some fast food joints even offer healthy options, like freshly tossed salad and fresh fruit.
Maybe one day, fast food restaurants will use organic produce in their food. ♦