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1118 Should foods grown in water be allowed the organic label?
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 Post subject: 1118 Organic Hydroponics?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:59 am 
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Along the Food Chain with Michael Olson…

1118: Organic Hydroponics?

Dave Chapman, Long Wind Farm
Karen Archipley, Archi’s Acres

Should foods grown in water be allowed the organic label?

Organic is not easy…

Farming high value specialty crops organically is difficult and messy.

Consider strawberries, for one example. First, you must build a biologically-rich soil that contains a sufficient amount of nutrients to feed the strawberry plants.

Then you must tend the strawberry plants as they grow and protect them from weeds and other pernicious pests.

And finally, if you are fortunate, you must bend over and pick the ripening strawberries.

Though difficult and messy, you go the extra mile to grow organic strawberries because consumers want to eat them instead of the berries grown with pesticides.

But what if…

What if you could grow organic strawberries in water instead of soil?

If that were possible, you could grow strawberries in a factory, under lights and without bugs or weeds. You could grow the plants vertically, in revolving trays, so the fruit could be harvested while standing tall. And you could grow them year round and sell fresh, organic strawberries in the dead of winter and make a lot of money.

But the trouble is…

consumers believe organic food should come from biologically-rich soil.

This belief is evident in the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) formal 2010 recommendation to the National Organic Program (NOP) on the issue of organic hydroponics:

“The organic farming method derives its name from the practice of maintaining or improving the organic matter (carbon containing) content of farm soil through various methods and practices. The reason this is the central theme and foundation of organic farming is not inherent to the organic matter itself, but is based on the importance of the organic matter to the living organisms that inhabit the soils.”

In other words, organic farming is all about promoting life in the soil to promote life in the growing crops. But there is no promoting of life in the waters of hydroponics, and that leads us to ask…

Should foods grown in water be allowed the organic label?

(Food Chain Radio & Forums #1118: Dave Chapman of Long Wind Farm, Karen Archipley of Archi’s Acres, organic labeling, organic food, organic hydroponics)

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