Are hydroponic crops organic? That's the question....

Organic farmers in Vermont believe that crops grown in hydroponic greenhouses should not be labelled 'organic'. Organic farmers protested by dumping a pile of compost in a parking lot last month where a federal advisory board dedicated to the organic community was meeting. Tractors circled the lot and about 50 protesters carried signs that oppose federal rules that allow some produce grown without soil to be labelled as organic.

Others have argued that the label 'organic' should not have anything to do with where the crop is grown.

Proponents of the practice say the label “organic” is something that should refer to the nutrients that are used to grow the crops, not where they are grown. To grow something hydroponically, sand, gravel or water is used, instead of soil. Nutrients are added in.

Crops can be grown more efficiently and cheaper in hydroponic greenhouses, therefore helping organic food become available to more people.

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