Happy Organically Grown in Oregon Week

Carts such as Jennifer Cox's Picnic, in downtown Portland, use organic produce whenever possible.

What better time than September, a month in which food is being celebrated all across the state, to take note of organic grub?

With that possibly in mind, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber declared Sept. 15 to 21 as Organically Grown in Oregon Week. The designation indicates that organic food is squarely hitting a mainstream chord

“Organic agriculture is right at home in Oregon,” Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba said in a release. “The same great growing conditions and wonderful diversity of products that serves all of Oregon agriculture benefit our organic producers as well.”

Oregon ranks fifth in the nation in the number of organic farms, with 353, and passed the nation’s first organic legislation in 1973. The state revised the Oregon Organic Foods Law in 1989, providing a model for current national organic standards.

Organic food growers generated $233 million in sales during 2011. While that’s still less than 5 percent of Oregon’s total cash receipts for 2011, the figure has grown dramatically over the last 10 years.

National organic food sales jumped 10.2 percent in 2012. Whereas organics account for 4.3 percent of total food sales, the market share is 10 percent for organic fruits and vegetables. Globally, organic food sales jumped by 25 percent between 2008 and 2011.

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