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Dear Real Organic friends,

More and more people are starting to ask questions about how their food is produced.

Many eaters are starting to make highly informed connections between production practices and the nutritional, environmental, and social implications of their choices.


But, how can we make informed decisions without transparency?

This CBS news coverage features Paul Muller of Full Belly Farm in Guinda, California. Paul is an Executive Board member of the Real Organic Project. Paul is eloquent, as always, talking about the soil and Real Organic.

The story of the allowance of hydroponic in USDA organic is a story of the connection between money and power. And, as so often is the case, with that money and power comes a loss of integrity and transparency. The hydros and CAFOs are damaging people’s trust in the organic label.

CBS Reporter Allen Martin, “Much of the hydroponic produce is grown in Mexico?”

CBS Reporter Kenny Choi: “Yeah, so Allen, all you have to do is go to the grocery store, you’ll see a lot of the produce that you buy is grown in Mexico, including these organically grown tomatoes. You’re not sure if it’s hydroponically grown or not. In Mexico, if the farmers are growing them hydroponically, they are not allowed to sell them as organic in that country or in countries like Canada, but they are allowed to ship them to the United States and sell them as organic.

Allen Martin: “Interesting. Different rules, different countries.”

One label.

Paul Muller and another man examine roots and soil in a green field.

Building fertility through cover cropping and cycling organic matter in the soil at Real Organic certified Full Belly Farm

Concentrated Animal Feed Operations & Integrity

As with CAFOs being allowed in USDA organic, the regular requirements to steward healthy soil and cycle organic matter simply don’t apply for certified hydroponic farms. And only in the USA do they get to label it organic! Loss of integrity.

Like CAFOs who use fake images of animals on pasture, the hydro industry claiming to be organic consistently denies they are hydroponic. Loss of transparency.

Farmers have come forward in the Real Organic movement to let eaters know that there are real differences between hydroponic and soil-grown food. Real differences between animals on pasture and animals fed grain in feedlots. Nutritional differences, environmental differences, and social differences. There is a lot to learn. And many people are starting to ask the right questions.

Word is spreading. Thank you CBS San Francisco for covering a small snippet of the conversation.

Join us in learning more, questioning who is giving you answers, and spreading the knowledge you gain. The real power of this project lies with you!

  • The farmers of the Real Organic Project

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