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Tanya Steel is a well-known food writer and Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning food Web site, Before joining Epicurious, Steel was the New York Editor of Bon Appetit magazine, where[…]

Wal-Mart going organic is an encouraging sign, says Steel.

Tanya Steel: Well the organic movement has really grown.  It went from a $3 billion market in 1995 to $13 billion 10 years later.  And while some of us are concerned about the use of the word “organic” and its applications being a little bit muddied and actually marketed . . . taken and marketed by huge food companies, that said, it is a crucial movement for us.  And people like Wal-Mart . . .  The company like Wal-Mart embracing organic is kind of a tremendous sea change, and one that I’m really applauding.  Of course there isn’t enough organic food to actually sustain Wal-Mart’s needs, which is an amazing thing in and of itself.  And one thing that’s fantastic about Wal-Mart embracing organics is that it’s gonna drive down the price of organic food.  And that is one problem with organic food is that it really . . .  Up until not it’s really been the problems of the wealthy.  Because I love Whole Foods, for instance.  Most of the food is organic, or tries to get food from within the area that is organic.  So kind of it tries to espouse that local _________ philosophy.  However everything is extremely expensive, and it’s very difficult for most people to kind of live an organic life with those prices.  So something like Wal-Mart creating an organic section is gonna help this country really embrace that movement even more.

Recorded on 1/17/08

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