Why the Real Organic Project exists
The Real Organic Project is a farmer-led movement created to distinguish soil-grown and pasture-raised products under USDA organic. In response to the lack of enforcement of some vital USDA Organic standards to protect soil health and animal welfare, organic farmers rallied together to fight to protect the integrity of the organic label. Organic farming has always been based on “feed the soil, not the plant.”
Real organic farming relies on the microbial activity of the soil to slowly release nutrients to the plant. In recent years, many organic farmers have grown distraught over USDA decisions that have negated this fundamental truth, even though growing in soil is original to the USDA Organic standards. Further, rules have been overlooked regarding the proper care of grazing animals resulting in cruel and unhealthy circumstances.
Where things stand today
The lobbying efforts of Big Ag ultimately won, allowing the input-dependent confined animal operations and hydroponic industries to bend the rules for their own benefit. Family farmers meeting the letter and spirit of organic law are suffering while consumers are once again in need of transparency in the market place.