Sales of organic and “natural” food products have increased by 20% in each of the last seven years, according to Maria Rodale, editor of Organic Style magazine. And if you would like to know why, you need look no further than Rodale herself. In a CBS Early Show
interview yesterday, she explained it all to host Jane Clayson: “I think people are really concerned about their health and the environment. There are scares like mad cow, E.coli, you know, [and] diabetes.” It’s worth noting that Organic Style is the latest addition to the multi-million-dollar Rodale publishing empire, which includes a wealth of books and magazines whose survival depends entirely upon the “black marketing” of organics at the expense of conventionally-produced foods. Maria Rodale is the granddaughter of J.I. Rodale, who coined the term “organic” as a marketing tool in the 1940s.

Bashing non-organic foods to make a buck isn’t limited to the publishing industry, of course. “Natural foods” manufacturers and marketers get into the act themselves. One recent example is Virginia-based Acirca Foods, which owns the Walnut Acres brand of organic food products. A new report put out by Walnut Acres
claims that 79 percent of U.S. consumers “fear their food.”

Of course, Walnut Acres paid for this “study” (consisting of a single telephone poll), and is spinning the results to improve its bottom line. A recent press release promoting these new figures
is titled: “Americans are confused about organic food, but are confident that it is better.”