Brattleboro, VT—More American families than ever before are adding organic products to their weekly shopping lists, says the Organic Trade Association (OTA). In the 2011 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study by the OTA, 1,300 families were polled about their feelings and buying habits when it comes to organic products. Four in 10 families said they are buying more organic foods than they were in the year prior. Of these families who have made the switch, three in 10 are brand new to the market.

Some 78% of American families are straying away from buying non-organics. “It’s clear that with more than three-quarters of U.S. families choosing organic, this has moved way beyond a niche market,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s executive director and CEO. The most common response in the study was one of wanting to buy what is best and healthiest for the family, followed by a deep concern of exposing their families to hormones and chemicals in non-organic foods, found most often in products like meat and dairy.

With an increase in the number of buyers of organic food, the industry has grown by almost 8% since 2010, and added jobs while most other industries have had to scale back. According to a 2011 report from the Organic Farming Research Foundation, there are 14,500 “certified organic farmers” practicing in the United States. Within the next four years, the amount of farmers must triple to 42,000 to keep up with demand, claims the foundation. “In a time when the severity of the economy means making tough choices, it is extremely encouraging to see consumers vote with their values by including quality organic products in their shopping carts,” said Bushway.

Families are in luck; with continued job growth and prosperity brings more and even better products intended on keeping families happy and healthy.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, December 2011