Organic Food and Farming
A Reference Handbook
by Shauna M. McIntyre
March 2021, 338pp, 6x9
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7003-3
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7004-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Sales of organic food in the U.S. reached a record of over $50 billion in 2018.

Organic Food and Farming: A Reference Handbook is a valuable resource for students and general readers curious about the history, evolution, and growth of the organic food movement.

Organic Food and Farming: A Reference Handbook begins with a deep dive into the origins of organic farming, offering a clear discussion of what constitutes organic production and how that has changed over time. Next, the volume provides a comprehensive overview of growth of organics as both an industry and a social movement and the inherent challenges that occur from trying to be both. The book additionally covers controversial issues and challenges, along with good news about what is working and what is possible.

Included are essays by scholars, farmers, and experts working with NGOs as well as profiles of key people and organizations in the organic sector. Additional chapters include data and documents, a comprehensive resource list, and a detailed chronology of the key events in the history of the organic sector. Distinguishing it from others that laud or dismiss organic food and farming practices is this book’s objective nature, which allows it to be used as a definitive resource on the topic.


  • Chronology of the years 1840–2019, including more than 100 entries describing key moments in the history of organic farming and food
  • Essays by organic farmers and scholars, including one by Grace Gershuny, author, educator, and one of the original USDA National Organic Program staff members who helped write the original regulations
  • A comprehensive overview of growth of organics as both an industry and a social movement and the inherent challenges that occur from trying to be both
  • Survey of the history of organic food and farming that helps readers identify key issues in an easy-to-understand fashion
Shauna M. McIntyre, PhD, is a freelance writer and editor. She was a contributing author to the Encyclopedia of Organic, Sustainable, and Local Food and America Goes Green: An Encyclopedia of Eco-Friendly Culture in the United States. She was formerly executive director of the Ecological Farmers of Ontario and served on the board of directors for the Organic Council of Ontario. She received her PhD from the University of Guelph, where her research focused on local food systems. Her master’s research on state support for organic agriculture was published in the Journal of Sustainable Agriculture.


"Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates. General readers."—Choice, December 1, 2021

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


Subject coverage spans six main categories:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that support statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.