Organic farming was among the fastest growing segments of U.S. agriculture during the 1990s. The value of retail sales of organic food was estimated to be $7.8 billion in 2000. According to the Food Marketing Institute, more than half of Americans now buy organic food at least once a month. Why is organic food becoming so popular?

In this edition of HowStuffWorks, we will explore the history and purpose behind organic food, what it means if a food is organic, how to tell if a food is organic, and the pros and cons of choosing organic food.