By Julie Guthman

ISBN-10: 0520240944

ISBN-13: 9780520240940

ISBN-10: 1417520493

ISBN-13: 9781417520497

In an period of escalating nutrition politics, many think natural farming to be the agrarian solution. during this first finished research of natural farming in California, Julie Guthman casts doubt at the present knowledge approximately natural nutrients and agriculture, at the least because it has developed within the Golden country. Refuting renowned portrayals of natural agriculture as a small-scale family members farm pastime against "industrial" agriculture, Guthman explains how natural farming has replicated what it got down to oppose.

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Extra info for Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California (California Studies in Critical Human Geography, 11)

Sample text

What was truly crucial to this growth was the rise of a group of new intermediaries who both generated and expressed demand. Among them were major organic producers who sold others’ products, a handful of organic wholesalers and distributors, and the natural food supermarkets. Together they evolved into an organic industry, although many of these key players sprang up from the organic movement. Some were growers who became industry leaders by the historical accident of growing flagship commodities such as salad mix (Coke Farms, Star Route Farms).

Pulled by demand In the broadest sense, post-1980 growth in the organic sector was demand led. This is not a claim of unfettered consumer sovereignty but instead is based on two observations. The first is that there was a high degree of consumer involvement in constructing organic markets. Marketing surveys (Hartman Group 1997; Moe and Scharf 1997; The Packer 1996) and limited academic research (Byrne et al. 1991; Goldman and Clancy 1991; Jolly 1991) have documented a die-hard group of consumers who actively sought organic products.

Yet, these die-hard consumers of organics did not alone make up the expanding market for organic foods. After all, many in this group were shopping at health-food stores and cooperatives in the 1970s. A much larger group of consumers began to buy organic foods in the late 1980s, triggered, in part, by the Aldicarb and Alar scares but also influenced by broader trends. Young urban professionals—the so-called yuppies— learned of organic food at high-end restaurants and brought home many of the tastes they acquired.

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