The Organic Profit
Rodale and the Making of Marketplace Environmentalism
- PUBLISHED: February 2020
- SUBJECT LISTING: Environmental Studies, History / Environmental History, Health
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 296 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 13 b&w
- SERIES: Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books
- ISBN: 9780295745015
Where did the curious idea of buying one’s way to sustainability come from? In no small part, the answer lies in the story of entrepreneurial health reformer J. I. Rodale, his son Robert Rodale, and their company, the Rodale Press. These early advocates of organic gardening cultivated a niche for natural health products in the 1950s, organized the emerging marketplace for organic foods in the 1960s, and in the process published an endless supply of advice books on diet and health.
Rodale’s marketplace environmentalism brought environmentally minded consumers together and taught Americans how to grow food, eat, and live in arguably more earth-friendly ways. Yet the market has proved more effective at addressing individual health concerns than improving public health at large, as liable to champion untested, ineffectual health supplements as to challenge the indiscriminate use of dangerous pesticides. For anyone trying to make sense of the complex tensions between business profits and the desire for environmental reform, The Organic Profit is essential reading.
Authors & Contributors
Andrew N. Case is an environmental historian, grantwriter, and interdisciplinary teacher.
Should be on the shelf of anyone looking to understand the history, potential, and limitations of green consumerism.- Environmental History
A great read for anyone interested in knowing how the Rodales and Prevention Magazine helped bring organic foods from cult to mainstream and from pesticide-free produce to environmentally conscious lifestyles.- Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat