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Debating Whether Hydroponic Can Be Organic

A rally in Thetford two years ago criticized the USDA's move to allow vegetables raised hydroponically to be labeled as "organic."
Rebecca Sananes
/
VPR File
At a rally in Thetford in November, lawmakers and advocates protest the potential inclusion of hydroponically-grown food among foods that can be labeled "organic."

If a vegetable is grown using hydroponics, should that count as organic? Should it be able to carry  an organic label in the supermarket? It's a question that's driving a lot of debate nationally - and the resistance to hydroponics getting organic certification is being led by some local Vermont farmers.

To talk about the issue, we're joined by Davey Miskell, an organic farmer from Charlotte. He’s been one of the leaders in the movement to limit organic certification to produce grown in soil.

We're also joined by Lauren Mordasky, operations director of Vermont Hydroponics in Florence, where she grows tomatoes using hydroponics.

Also on the program: a 25-year study shows a decline in Vermont forest birds. We'll hear from lead author Steve Faccio of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies.

Broadcast live on Monday, April 17, 2017 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
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