by Peter Whoriskey
Consumers associate the word “organic” with healthy and safe, and that sounds simple enough.
But exactly what kind of food should get the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “organic” label has been the subject of repeated controversies, and some of the fiercest divisions have opened recently over the eerily beautiful, scar-free produce that is grown in controlled water-based environments – that is, with the roots of the plants resting in covered water tanks rather than soil.
These methods, valued for their efficiency and reliability, have produced sometimes flawless lettuce and tomatoes that are sold in supermarkets.
But critics say that because these so-called aquaponic and hydroponic systems depend entirely on what humans put into the water, the produce they generate offers less nutritional value than the produce generated by plants grown in rich soil. Read Full Article »