Published January 1, 2008 | January 2008 issue
For now, needy Montana families can keep eating organic at taxpayer expense. A federally funded nutrition program aiding women and children had moved to disallow organic foods to save money, but within days state officials reconsidered, putting organic produce, meat and other foods back on the list of approved items.
The move preserves Montana's endorsement, rare among states, of organic foods under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, feeds about 22,000 people monthly at a cost of about $1 million.
However, organics, which typically cost more than regular supermarket fare, may soon fall victim to economics. As of March 1, Montana will require WIC clients to buy the least expensive type or brand of any item-the rule in most states.