Restaurant sales are down, organic milk sales are down — something is definitely up.

It’s the economy. According to a new survey by Harris Interactive, two out of three adults in the U.S. have changed their cooking and eating habits because of the economy.

The annual Food Shopping Trends Tracker found that 51 percent of American are eating dinner at home more often. That is bad news for the dairy industry, since foodservice vendors accounted for roughly 39 percent of total cheese disappearance in 2007. That is four out of every 10 pounds.

The survey also found that while people want to save money in a tough economy, 76 percent are not willing to compromise on food quality, regardless of price. In other words, most of the people who have bought organic and natural foods in the past continue to do so.

Yet, organic milk producers continue to take it on the chin. What once were double-digit sales growth figures in that industry have disappeared.  Click here to read “Organic dairies in trouble, too.”

Harris Interactive did the survey for Whole Foods, a grocery company that caters to the natural and organic market.

Source: Austin Business Journal and Dairy Herd Management staff reports