The Cornucopia Institute’s report, Troubling Waters: How the USDA and Hydroponic Agribusiness Diluted Organics by Sanctioning Soil-less Growing provides consumers and wholesale buyers with the information they need to identify hydroponic brands in the marketplace and instead purchase truly organic produce from farmers who grow crops in fertile soil in the ground.
The mantra of true organic farmers has historically been, “Feed the soil not the plants.” This results in nutrient-dense and flavorful food. Growing in inert medium and fed by liquid fertilizers is anathema to the foundational philosophies of organic farming.
The economic survival of authentic organic farmers depends on the enforcement of organic law which requires careful stewardship of soil fertility. And good soil health has far-reaching benefits, including carbon sequestration and preventing pollution run-off into watersheds.
In contrast, many “organic” hydroponic producers erect massive intensive greenhouses to grow crops in water or inert planting media like conventional coco coir or peat moss mined from bogs. The plants are fed a liquid fertilizer solution that may be derived from hydrolyzed conventionally grown soybeans, unsustainable wild-caught fish, or even composted waste from grocery stores.