By: Nathaniel Brown
Timeline of Events
of the Organic Food Movement
The organic food movement started in the early 20th Century as an alternative and retrogressive option to the upswing in chemical farming. Throughout the decades, it has been increasingly more and more popular as certain health consequences related to chemical farming have been discovered. Now, in 2013, organic food is more prominent than ever.
• 1924 – Rudolf Steiner gives his 8-series lecture on how to return to natural, organic farming without resorting to the use of new machines and chemical agriculture.
• 1940 – English agriculturalist Lord Northbourne first coins the phrase “organic farming” when the use of chemicals and pesticides in agriculture begin to gain in popularity.
• 1953 – The Natural Food Associates of Atlanta, Texas is created to aid struggling organic farms in the United States.
• 1962 – Rachel Carlson’s Silent Spring is published and seen as a call to action, as well as an eye-opener to many readers who were surprised and concerned by the truth about chemical agriculture and the effect it has on environmental health.
• 1972 – The International Federation of Organic Movements is founded to encourage organic farming practices all over the world. This organization is made up of anyone who has an interest or a stake in organic farming.
• 1973 – The United States bans the use of the DDT pesticide, leading many Americans to consider this as the moment that the organic movement began to gain traction.
• 1990 – The organic farm industry produces massive numbers which total to about $1 billion in sales. The United States Congress passes the Organic Food Production Act which begins to shape the regulations of the practice.
• 2001 – The National Organic Standards, effectively making USDA standards into law, are officially established after ten years of debate within Congress.
• 2008 – The Farm Act passes, allowing organic farmers to express their concerns and opinions about organic agriculture, as well as allot more land for organic cultivation.
• 2013 – About 200 Eugene protesters take part in the global “March Against Monsanto,” a worldwide protest and call to boycott food that has Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in it. Monsanto Company has created a “bio-seed program” that hurts the environment in many ways.