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Why organic food matters

Dr. Samantha Mosier, political science

Have you ever wondered what organic really means and why you are asked to pay so much for it? Dr. Samantha Mosier, assistant professor of political science at Missouri State University, studies how governmental policies are made – stretching from administrative rulemaking to the workings of legislature, general assembly and congress. Her particular area of interest has been on researching sustainable agriculture and environmental politics and policy. 

When the idea of standardizing the meaning of organic came about, it wasn’t well received. Many believed that only hippies would want this type of assurance and so there was no viable marketplace. That changed in the early 1980s, Mosier said.

The National Organic Standards Board came about in 1992, and the proposed rule for what requirements had to be met to be certified organic came out in 1997.

Her research shows the effort that went into making organic what we know today and why there is a cost associated with this food. This lesson in policymaking has made her wonder whether other associated terms – like natural – will venture down this path as well.