Are Hydroponically-Grown Vegetables Organic Produce?
Organic produce normally refers to products or food produced by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming. The standards of organic farming vary worldwide, but organic farming in general features practices that strive to cycle resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. An important criteria of organic farming is the plants must be grown in soil to be considered organic.
There is a hot debate over the years whether hydroponics is considered as organic or not, especially during the period when plant factories are gradually becoming the next potential alternative to produce food for feeding the ever-increasing world population.
Understanding Organic Produce
Organic produce has grown into a profitable industry and its popularity is largely driven by two beliefs: that organic food is healthier and that it is grown without pesticides. The former is not necessarily true. As a globally recognized body, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification refers to growing methods, not nutritional value. However, the growing methods remain the source of some confusion.
One survey found that 95% of consumers believe organic produce is grown completely without pesticides. That is definitely not true: large-scale organic farms make liberal use of pesticides provided that the pesticides themselves have to be organic.