CERTIFICATION WARS

As if people aren't confused enough with labels, a group of farmers are launching a Real Organic add-on label because the USDA Certified Organic label is in disrepute.

The U.S. is the only country certifying hydroponic (growing produce in solutions without soil) production practices as organic.  In the animal sector, producers routinely defy the pasture access requirements without consequences.  So the whole government program is dubious.

Now, to counteract an untrustworthy system, these folks, many of whom are my friends, have decided to add yet another label to ensure authenticity.  Just imagine what this is going to look like:  a package of green beans with a USDA Certified Organic label  and then next to it, a Real Organic label.  In the next bin over, a package of green beans has only USDA Certified Organic; one label.  What is a person supposed to think, faced with these packages?

In order to get the Real Organic label, a farm must first play the government game and be USDA Certified Organic.  Not only is that a lot of paperwork and expense, but it gets squirrely out the other side.  On our farm, we turn compost with pigs:  we call them pigaerators.  If we took the government certification, we couldn't do that because all the compost has to reach  It's like salvation by denominationalism.

Do you trust labels?at least 140 degree F.  That's too hot; it cooks out half the microbes and goodies.  So being government certified would make our soils less fertile. 

That's just one of many problems with organic certification.  Be watching.  You're going to see a plethora of new labels hitting the market.  Rodale has one.  Allan Savory has one.  More are on the way.  It's like salvation by denominationalism.

Do you trust labels?