(NBC News) – Americans are buying a lot more organic foods than we used to according to a new survey from the Department of Agriculture. And it’s not just in the produce aisle.
Nick Maravell is a certified organic farmer in Maryland. His customers drive an hour or more to spend $6 on a dozen eggs. These eggs come from chickens that eat grain he grows himself. They’re never fed antibiotics.
“You know where it came from, and you know how it was produced,” said Marvell.
Nick’s part of a growing trend organic farming. Farms, now, are producing more than ever. A new USDA survey reports sales up 72 percent since 2008.
Consumers spent $5.5 billion last year on organic food.
“Organic uses less pesticides, antibiotics, it does not have additives like transfats,” said Thomas Gremillion of the Consumer Federation of America.
California leads the country in terms of organic food sales with four times as much sold as Washington State and it’s not just produce. Milk is the most popular organic item followed by eggs, broiler chickens, lettuce and apples. Consumer Reports found what a lot of shoppers already know: organic food costs 47 percent more.
“I think it’s worth it. It’s a marginal increase – for feeling much better,” shopper Arielle Swett said.
In fact, Consumer Reports found that eight in ten households currently buy some certified organic products.