Cornucopia is at it again, and we need you to be our eyes and ears in the aisles in a grocery store near you!
The certified organic blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries at your local store may be grown on hydroponic and other soilless “farms.” By law, organic crop producers must steward the soil. Yet hydroponic enterprises that neither use nor build soil are given a pass in the organic marketplace, unjustly competing with authentic organic farmers who thoughtfully tend the subterranean life in their fields.
Read Cornucopia’s report, Troubling Waters, to learn how soilless production came to be certified organic.]
This allowance of soilless production in the organic program threatens consumer trust in the label. What can you do? The next time you go to your co-op, grocery store, or other retail outlet where organic food is sold, scan the options for certified organic blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, and take some notes (and photos!). Then fill out this form.
Later this year we’ll incorporate your intel into our Guide to Avoiding Soilless Organic Produce, giving consumers and wholesale buyers an up-to-date inventory of soilless brands to avoid. Your fact-finding mission is a critical part of our ongoing market research—collectively, as consumer advocates, we can leverage a countervailing force against the industrial takeover of the organic m[arketplace.
Read Cornucopia’s recent article, “Court Defers to USDA: Soil Is Optional in Organic,” for the latest update on soilless, “organic” production.
If you’re a retailer, we want to hear from you too. Share your experiences sourcing certified organic berries by emailing [email protected].