Organic foods, long associated with the crunchy West Coast and the yuppie East, have made dramatic inroads into more conservative places — so dramatic, in fact, that Idaho, home to many rabid anti-enviros, has become one of the top five states in the nation for total organic acreage. Part of the new popularity of organics may be a growing awareness of the health virtues of eating chemical-free food, but from the farmers’ perspectives, much of it also has to do with the bottom line. In 2000, organic food was a $7.8 billion market, and in Idaho, organic farming has grown 10-fold since 1990. Across the country, mainstream grocery stores like Safeway and Albertson’s are beginning to stock their shelves with organic items.
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