Nourishing Food Requires Soil

Help us protect real, organic food! Action Alert!
You may be buying produce that was not even grown in soil. In other words, when you think you’re purchasing a nutrient-rich meal, you may be paying for produce from a process that actually denies them those very nutrients.
Recently, an ANH-USA staff member ordered a salad at a restaurant. It was touted as “locally-sourced, no pesticides”—all the things natural health advocates look for in produce. On further questioning, however, the staff member found out that the produce was grown hydroponically.
Our staff member’s experience is not unique. Health-conscious consumers around the country are often being sold food under false pretenses.
Hydroponics is a technology for growing plants in water with dissolved fertilizers rather than actual soil. Produce grown hydroponically is often produced in massive warehouses under artificial lighting. The liquid fertilizers used to feed the plants can come from a variety of sources, including highly processed GMO soybeans.
No matter where one stands on hydroponic versus conventional agriculture, there is definitely a problem with calling hydroponic fruits and vegetables “organic”—an issue that the National Organic Standards Board is currently considering.
When the NOSB first defined “organic” in 1995, healthy soil was front and center. The definition held that organic agriculture was
an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain, and enhance ecological harmony.
The NOSB redefined organic agriculture in 2002, but the idea of agricultural practices that cycle its resources was still central.
In short, soil is key to organic production, and for good reason. As we’ve reported before, plants interact with the microorganisms in the soil in complex and fascinating ways that obviously cannot be reproduced without soil. It is these interactions that account for the high nutrient content in the organic fruits and vegetables we eat. Microbes in the soil are also hugely important in converting organic matter into a form that plants can use. Our earlier article also explains why dousing plants in fertilizers, as they are in hydroponic production, yields less nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.
The NOSB was supposed to decide whether hydroponic produce was eligible to be labeled as organic at their spring meeting earlier this month, but they kicked the can down the road and delayed making any decision.
So, until NOSB makes a determination on this issue, it’s “buyer beware.” In the meantime, send a message to the NOSB telling them what you think, and do the research to make sure the organic crops you’re buying aren’t hydroponically grown.
Action Alert! Send a message to the NOSB and tell them you strongly oppose designating hydroponically grown produce as organic, and ask them to ban this practice at their next meeting. Please send your message immediately.

Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health:
Bombshell Studies: Vaccinated Kids Sicker Than Unvaccinated

How YOU Can Take Control of Your Own Healthcare
Cancer…From Your Mattress?


  1. The reason why the plants have less nutritional value when grown hydroponically is because the soil is where all the minerals are. The microbiology actually consumes these minerals and poops them out making these minerals available to the plant. If there is no soil or no microbiology to digest the minerals in the soil the plants are devoid of them. Chemical fertilizer kills the microbiology in the soil.

    1. Minerals are probided in hydroponic nutrients in the ratio that plants require. Soil is often deficience in some of the needed nutrients.

      1. Soil is almost never devoid of minerals. According to Elaine Ingham who happens to be the foremost authority on soil biology. The amazon has the poorest soil in the world nutrient wise. The reason it grows so lush is because it has the richest microbiology in the world. I have yet to do any research on the mineral content of hydroponic plants but I take no ones word for it without researching. I believe you are a shill for big pharma or you just have no idea what you are talking about when you say that this website and article is pseudoscience. If you have some research or sites that prove otherwise I would like to see them. If not you are the one who is full of bull.

      2. What type of humic and fulvic acids are in hydroponic growth media? Without the humic substances plants aren’t fully nourished nor are we when we eat them. When people talk about depleted soils I believe they really mean soils deprived of organic matter which produce humic substances necessary to the absorption of nutrients. Steve, no hydroponic media contains everything for our best health, only enough to grow plants.

  2. “Alliance for Natural Heath” and all of its associated wdbsites are classic sources of unverified pseudosciece “woo”. This article is a typical example.

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