Organic food, fresh or processed food produced by organic farming methods. Organic food is grown without the use of synthetic chemicals, such as human-made pesticides and fertilizers, and does not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Organic foods include fresh produce, meats, and dairy products as well as processed foods such as crackers, drinks, and frozen meals. The market for organic food has grown significantly since the late 20th century, becoming a multibillion dollar industry with distinct production, processing, distribution, and retail systems.
Although organic food production began as an alternative farming method outside the mainstream, it eventually became divided between two distinct paths: (1) small-scale farms that may not be formally certified organic and thus depend on informed consumers who seek out local, fresh, organically grown foods; and (2) large-scale certified organic food (fresh and processed) that is typically transported large distances and is distributed through typical grocery store chains.