Labeling food as “organic” is big business.
So-called “organic” food has become popular, though people are often surprised by just how political “organic” agriculture is and how illusory any benefits often turn out to be.
The keepers of the “organic” label can function as a guild, using the label as a a barrier to competition.
Jack Griffin, president of Metropolis farms, raises an interesting case at CFACT .org reporting that,
“[A] handful of organic growers on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) – a group that advises USDA on organic standards – have proposed that produce from hydroponic agriculture and indoor farming cannot be considered organic. They will be trying to formalize that proposal later this month at the NOSB meeting in Florida.”
However, hydroponic produce has all the characteristics that “organic” food fanciers want.
Mr. Griffin explains,
“[I]ndoor hydroponic agriculture can grow food with zero pesticides and herbicides, while traditional dirt farm organic production still uses some variants of those inputs. Hydroponic farming doesn’t harm the earth’s soil at all because we are not using any soil. Hydroponics are not contributing to chemical runoff like organic field farming. Finally, hydroponics is very efficient in its water use, it uses 98 percent less water and helps conserve natural resources by circulating what few resources we do use throughout our systems.”
“Organics” occupy an ever-growing niche, however, remember that efficient American agriculture uses techniques derived from science and engineering to create enormous economies of scale. The food our modern farmers produce is safe, nutritious, tasty, abundant and affordable. That’s important.
Competition, like fresh vegetables, is healthy.
Let’s keep it that way.