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Horticulturae 2016, 2(2), 5; doi:10.3390/horticulturae2020005

Organic and Conventional Produce in the U.S.: Examining Safety and Quality, Economic Values, and Consumer Attitudes

1
Food Safety and Quality Research Laboratory, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32603, USA
2
Horticultural Sciences Department at SWFREC, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Immokalee, FL 34142, USA
3
Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
4
Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Douglas D. Archbold
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 17 March 2016 / Accepted: 23 March 2016 / Published: 5 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [181 KB, uploaded 5 May 2016]

Abstract

Organic agriculture is an industry sector that has been experiencing steady global growth in recent years. The United States is ranked first in organic food consumption, followed by Germany and France. In 2014, the estimated market value of organic foods in the U.S. was $42 billion; 43% of this total was attributed to produce (fruits and vegetables). Organic production systems in the U.S. must adhere to National Organic Program (NOP) standards that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices. These standards promote the recycling of resources and ecological balance while conserving biodiversity. While the U.S. organic produce sector is steadily expanding, many questions related to price, safety, nutritional quality, and consumer preference remain. This paper will provide comparisons and insights in the following areas: (1) the economic contribution and impact of the organic produce market; (2) the U.S. National Organic Standards and requirements, as well as the certification process; (3) the nutritional quality and safety of organic produce; (4) consumer attitudes and preferences regarding organic produce; and (5) future research directions and developments for the organic produce industry. View Full-Text
Keywords: food safety; organic produce; nutritional quality; microbial safety food safety; organic produce; nutritional quality; microbial safety
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Simonne, A.; Ozores-Hampton, M.; Treadwell, D.; House, L. Organic and Conventional Produce in the U.S.: Examining Safety and Quality, Economic Values, and Consumer Attitudes. Horticulturae 2016, 2, 5.

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