The Differences of Organic and Non-Organic Food in a National Grocery Store Versus a Whole Foods Store

Student Author(s)

Samantha Rushton

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Teresa Heinz Housel

Document Type


Event Date



Organic food has suddenly become a recent trend in grocery stores across the country. Many people eat organic simply because they enjoy the taste or want to enjoy the benefits that come with eating natural, organic food. This qualitative research project will discuss the ideologies that shape people’s everyday foodways, specifically the foodways of organic eaters. The project’s research question examines how are organic versus non-organic products marketed and are they really healthier? Through two textual analyses (one of a “whole food” store and one of a national grocery store) my project will analyze what types of foods are sold at each store and how both organic and non-organic foods are marketed to consumers. Textual analyses of features of the packaging of food products (such as color, food descriptions, and graphics) will also reveal how specific organic and nonorganic products are marketed and which products are healthier. I predict that this research will find that organic food is healthier than non-organic food, but it does not matter whether the organic food is from a brand-name or generic label – both will have the same health value.

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