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D. How Consumers Benefit from Competition in the Organic Foods Market

Narrator: This is Science Today. Take a trip to your local supermarket and chances are high that you'll find sections dedicated to organic products. Julie Guthman, a professor of Community Studies at the University of California , Santa Cruz , has conducted a comprehensive study of organic agriculture in California the fastest growing segment of farming today.

Guthman: Some consumers say, I just want a safer food, made with fewer pesticides and some consumers are really into this seasonal, direct marketing business. Consumer conceptions are all over the place.

Narrator: As the organic market continues to grow, consumers are benefiting because prices are going down due to increased competition. Part of this competition is coming from conventional growers and businesses that have entered the organic market.

Guthman: But it's not like General Mills was coming along looking for these sorts of things. It was more that these smaller businesses were, as they succeeded it was sort of a venture capital thing they started looking for people to buy them out and then the big manufacturers came into the market. But they didn't initiate it and that's quite different.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.