Why Real Organic Matters…

Click above to watch this short video about our farmer-led movement!

Javier Zamora giving a tour of JSM Organics.

Javier Zamora giving a tour of JSM Organics.

“If you look the other way, things change. So you have to be very vigilant and see what’s going on out there.

“Perhaps if we don’t start talking about it and get together and save the core values of what organic is and was at the beginning, we’ll probably lose it.

“It’s slipping out of our hands.”

– Javier Zamora, JSM Organics, Real Organic Project farm


Dear Real Organic friends,

Three years ago I took a big risk. I left a steady job, to work longer hours, for a risky, newly formed, farmer-led non-profit called the Real Organic Project. It even had a controversial name that I knew would make enemies of powerful people and wealthy corporations.

Why was such a big risk such an easy choice?

Because of the people involved.

The organic farmers who helped create the organic movement in the first place had come together to rekindle it. To reclaim their word.

They were heroes to my generation and they were looking to us, the next generation of farmers, to stand with them. To be as brave as they were when they took on big money and big power in chemical farming 50 years ago. They were saying:

“We built an organic market for you, and now we need you to help us defend our life’s work. Now the chemical farmers we fought 50 years ago are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Instead of changing the way they farm, they changed what could be called organic.”

Hundreds of farmers across the country have heeded their call.

Please watch the short video above to understand why supporting the Real Organic Project is such an obvious choice. This gives highlights from the symposium. It is a quick ride showing WHY the Real Organic Project exists.


Eliot Coleman with his crops at at Four Season Farm

“What we got was more certified organic product on the shelves,
but we didn’t get more organic farming.”

– Eliot Coleman, Four Season Farm, life-long organic farmer

“The organic farmers who helped create and shape the organic movement as we know it do not want to give up on the name ‘organic.’ It means something. And it’s not hydroponic, it’s not CAFOs. It might have the USDA certified logo on it, but we know that it’s not real organic.”

– Anais Beddard, Real Organic farmer, Lady Moon Farm

“When organic can actually mean these huge mega corporations that are draining aquifers, exploiting workers, and torturing animals, then that word doesn’t have meaning anymore. So to reclaim language and infuse it with our deep sense of truth and our ethical compass is crucial.”

– Leah Penniman, Real Organic Symposium speaker

“The same thing is happening in the organic market that’s happened in the conventional market where all the family scale farms are being forced out of business by all of these large corporate entities.”

– Caitlin Frame and Andy Smith, Real Organic farmers, The Milkhouse

“We’re closing our California Cloverleaf Farm’s dairy, because we have not been paid a price that keeps us in a sustainable mode. Right now we’re very broken-hearted about having to close the doors to our dairy.”

-Rosie Burroughs, Real Organic farmer, Burroughs Family Farm

“If the organic CAFOs went out of business because the rules were enforced, it definitely would make a more lucrative market for small family farmers that are doing it right.”

– Francis Thicke, Real Organic farmer, Radiance Dairy

“CAFOs are the epitome of everything that’s wrong with industrial agriculture. You can see it there.

“And the big corporations that are in control of them.

“That’s concentration of market power, concentration of corporate power as well.”

– John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics,
University of Missouri

Ben Dobson. Real Organic Farmer

“We have a National Organic Program, a National Organic Standards Board, I even think our OMRI (Organic Materials Research Institute) boards are all compromised with industry representatives who are dead set on the expansion of corporate organic.”

– Ben Dobson, Real Organic farmer, Stone House Farm

“Instead of looking at the quality of the product, the profit motive came in.”

– Jesse Buie, Real Organic farmer, Ole Brook Organics

“Hydroponics, a soil-less growing system, being certified as organic! I mean the hydroponic thing alone is enough, I think, for most people to be like, wake up what does organic even mean at this point!”

– Zach Wolf, Real Organic farmer, Caney Fork Farms

dave chapman executive director of real organic project

“If we can have integrity in the marketplace and sell food and label it accordingly, I think we will win.”

– Dave Chapman, Real Organic farmer, Long Wind Farm

“It’s really brutal. To the animals and the people around them.”

– Joan Dye Gussow, in reference to organic CAFOs at the Real Organic symposium.

“It’s the first opportunity I’ve seen where farmers are getting together and trying to explain to the public what’s going on and offering an alternative.”

– Hugh Kent, Real Organic farmer, King Grove Farm

“It’s time to bring the purpose and the work and all the beliefs of what organic was back to the forefront, and create a farmer-led movement, a consumer collaboration, where they’re supporters of Real Organic Project and looking for the Real Organic label as a way to blunt the direction that this whole organic industry is going and bring back some of the fundamental principles we have to fight for. “

– Paul Muller, Real Organic farmer, Full Belly Farm

Watch the full video below:

Our community of real organic farmers and eaters continues to build. Please join 1000 Real Fans and help to grow the movement. Together.