Is a tomato a tom-ah-toe? Growing concerns by organic soil farmers and consumers have shed more light on the agriculture industry’s methods of growing organic produce as the market has seen a proliferation of hydroponically grown organics over the years. The question of the authenticity that hydro-organic farming brings to the table has led a soil grown movement, which has conceived the idea to add a specific label to let consumers know whether the food was grown in organically in soil or not.
Soil vs Hydroponic Grown
What’s the difference? Hydroponic produce tends to produce big, watery fruit, that lacks the nutrients found in soil grown, and some hydro farms take advantage of artificial light to bypass the need for the sunny side of the hill. Critics site that nothing can take the place of rich, black, worm wriggling organic soil that produces high brix plants, favored by animals and health savvy consumers alike.
High Brix Produce Tastes Better
There are many advantages to high brix produce. It’s resistant to disease, insects, and rot, which means longer shelf life and more beautiful looking produce. Also, high brix means more flavor. A sweeter, riper produce will have a higher mineral density, so more flavor means more preference to be eaten over foods grown with higher water content and less flavor.
Not pac man and ms. pac man, but what’s been called a ‘rebellious’ group of farmers from around the US who gathered in Vermont recently to help create a new standard for additional organic certification. Under the current USDA program, organic simply means your produce has been grown without synthetic substances. and without synthetically engineered methods. The new certification process would require an inspector to certify the soil grown organic farm to be compliant.
This new system will roll out to an estimated 50 farms across the country in the summer of 2018, with a good possibility of more farms jumping on ship quickly. The concept, to separate their crops from what some consider a cheaper method of farming that could put the soil grown organic produce in a pickle, considering the higher sales prices that can’t always compete with the hydro grown efficiency.
The hydro farming industry has argued on the other side that this label might provide an unfair advantage and that it might be misleading to consumers. In either case, the new labels project will move ahead, and the organic food markets will have the option to purchase whatever version of organic produce makes the most sense.