This is a guest post written by Elizabeth Krause

Slowly but surely the term, “organic” is becoming more mainstream. The National Organic Standards Board says that if an item is to be labeled organic, it must be produced under the authority of the Organic Food Production Act. It must follow the guidelines that no materials or practices are used that would create an imbalance of ecological and natural systems.

The term organic can be used on a variety of products from the shirt on our back to the food on our plate. Most people like organic food because it means it is free of chemicals or artificial/manufactured ingredients such as MSG, high fructose corn syrup, hormones, artificial food colorings and the like.

In regards to clothing or other manufactured products, organic often goes alongside the term Fair Trade. Fair Trade means that companies are paid a fair price for their products (meaning no price-gouging), and in exchange for this guarantee, are required to pay their employees fair wages and provide safe working conditions. This in turn helps the local communities by improving the health of the workers and their families, and also reduces crime and benefits the local economy overall.

Take a Stand – With Your Wallet
Buying organic products not only helps your own health but also helps encourage business suppliers to pursue the organic market. This can occur when we, the consumers, get involved and buy organic products. We can make our voices heard loud and clear at the cash register.

Why would companies invest millions of dollars into consumer research? Because they know ultimately the power lies with the consumer, and that’s you and me. Over the last few years, the consumer has begun to find his/her own voice. For example, if a company discovers that the consumer market is not buying a particular product – it will want to find out why. If it discovers that the sale of organic cereals is increasing while the sale of generic sugar-ridden ones is declining, it will respond to the trend and act accordingly – if it plans on staying in business.

Many large box stores have seen the wave coming and have acted on this. They have sought out suppliers that grow food according to organic guidelines and are therefore meeting the demands of their customers. This keeps both the company and the customers happy – and healthier.

You Don’t Have to be Rich to Buy Organic Food
If you are not able to buy all organic products, look for organic products that are on sale or discounted. You will find great savings. You can also just buy a few organic food items to start with – whatever your budget allows.

Don’t forget the economic principles of supply and demand. As more people express demand for a product, the more that product will be supplied (assuming there is not a limit on materials available). The greater the supply, the lower the price.

Elizabeth Krause publisher of an Italian food website featuring simple Italian recipes.