On the Commercialization of the Amish

Chris Scinta, writing for NPR's The Salt blog:

The Amish, with their emphasis on family, hard work and simplicity, have drawn hordes of tourists but also an influx of residents, malls, roads and housing developments. The upshot? Swaths of farmland have been lost, and many Amish are now choosing to give up farming or are leaving the state to pursue quieter surrounding and cheaper land. The irony, spelled out in research from Pennsylvania's Kutztown University, couldn't be more blunt: "The commercialization of the Amish lifestyle has grown tremendously in recent decades, so much so that it actually threatens the viability of the very tourism industry it created. ... Stores catering to the tourists now sit on land that was once an Amish farm." The Amish lifestyle has long fascinated me; sad to see their lives disrupted by tourism.