There is no doubt that the term organic has become very popular in today’s culture, especially in Eugene. The focus of this enterprise story would be the rising popularity as well as a social stigma within the idea of buying organic foods. The popularity comes from the guilt-free purchases by consumers who think that the sticker claiming a food is organic means that it is well worth the price. The social stigma attached to organic foods is that if you purchase them then you are a hippy or you are wasting your money on a product that does not make that much of a difference.
This issue is important for the Eugene community in particular because the residents of Eugene love their organic products. There are numerous organic-only venders around Eugene and the popularity of the Saturday street market is a perfect example of the desire for Eugenians to get their organic fix. When it comes to the organic label on foods in chain grocery or department stores, the issue is that some farmers find loopholes to get the organic label on their products. This label means, in many areas, more popularity; however, in every store, this label means a rise in the price of that product. People are paying the price for the benefit of a product that may not have the benefits promised, from their health as well as their wallets. The information needed to be researched is what the USDA guidelines for organic foods is and find the number of times a farmer is able to get away with wrongfully labeling their product “organic”.
Possible sources to include would be the consumers of multiple grocery stores and find out their preferences when it comes to buying food as well as whether or not they jump to a purchase if it has the organic label. Other questions to ask consumers would be why they think organic foods are so popular right now and why that popularity is rising. I would also venture to interview the owners of a couple “organic-only” shops and restaurants to find out the motivation behind starting a business like that. Lastly, I have a potential source whose father is an organic farmer and other information could come from an interview with that source.
To possibly humanize the story, I could follow around two or three consumers in a grocery store and observe how they make their food decisions within that story and around the organic labeling. Making it more of a story of the decision making of a couple of sources might make this broad topic more specific and help people identify with the choices made by the subjects. Another option is to talk to a doctor and find out how organic foods positively and negatively affect health and then finding a source who relies on organic foods to stay healthy under tough circumstances.