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We’ve seen the rise of consumer awareness around GMOs, pesticides, allergies, processed foods, food dyes, etc. and we’re encouraged by it.  More and more people, it seems, are paying attention to what goes into their mouths, and thus, their bodies.  And it’s not all about losing weight, as food trends have been in the past; now it seems honestly to be about being healthier ourselves and more conscious of the precarious health of our planet as a whole.  That’s a big switch, and it’s something to be excited about!  So, we thought we’d make a list of some encouraging trends that we’re thankful for this year.  Enjoy!

1.  The organic market is growing!  In 2009, the organic food industry posted 5.1% year on year growth; according to “US Organic Food Market Analysis,” released by RNCOS institute, this same industry will orchestrate 12.2% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) during 2010-2014.  Check that out!  That must be why we found organic cranberries and canned organic pumpkin when we were shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner this year—and they weren’t at a specialty store, just our local supermarket.  Yes!

2. Even though fruits and vegetables are the largest part of the organic food industry, people are thinking twice about their meats as well.  That doesn’t just mean keeping more pesticides, antibiotics and hormones out of our bodies, it means better, more humane treatment of livestock—and that’s a win!  Sustainably raised livestock produce less air, water and soil pollution than their commercially raised brethren, not to mention the improved quality of life for the animals involved.  While helping yourselves eat better, you’re impacting a larger picture in a positive way—all during your lunch hour.

3.  People are supporting their local farmers and local economies more than ever (and reducing their carbon footprints to boot!).  The more aware people become of just where their food is coming from, the more they seem to be seeking out local sources; this is a win for their communities as a whole—and the earth.  When people frequent their local farmer’s markets, they put money back into the pockets of farmers in their area and encourage them to keep producing local, organic products.  That means less transportation is used to bring those goods to consumers, less fossil fuels are burned and the impact on the earth at large is reduced.  That’s a win for everyone!

4.  We know they’re not necessarily local, but we’re still thankful that worldwide super foods are hitting the mainstream.  Think acai berries, goji berries and chia seeds.  And how about seaweed?!  Turmeric, olives, cilantro—the list goes on and on.  The more people travel, the more exotic cuisines reach our shores, and the more super foods we discover.  We are thankful for super foods, in general, but discovering so many delicious super foods from around the globe is reason enough to celebrate!

We hope this year when you’re sitting around your Thanksgiving table, you’ll see the progress we’ve just talked about in the dishes in front of you.  It’s not nearly as difficult as it used to be to shop organic, to find sustainably-raised meats, and to find the ingredients you’re looking for being grown just up the road a ways.  Happy Thanksgiving, Brown Baggers!