The fraud in 'certified organic' and reclaiming its true meaning (interview with Dave Chapman of The Real Organic Project)

Green Dreamer - Podcast on Environmental Sustainability and Regeneration
What’s unfortunate is that we have to become very aware of the fact that there is fraud in the organic label now.

This is a conversation on Green Dreamer with Kaméa Chayne, a podcast exploring environmental regeneration and intersectional sustainability from ideas to life. Subscribe to Green Dreamer on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app to stay informed and up to date on our latest episodes.


Dave Chapman runs Long Wind Farm in Vermont and is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Real Organic Project.

After unveiling how our current organic standards may be misleading consumers and falling short of what "organic" should mean, he now actively fights for integrity and transparency in the National Organic Program.

On this podcast episode, Dave shares the shocking reality of how products from CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) and hydroponics can be certified organic by the USDA; why hydroponics should not be considered organic; how he's dealing with the challenges of going against big money and corporate influence; and more.

To start, get a glimpse below into the conversation between Dave and Green Dreamer Podcast's host, Kaméa Chayne.

On what ‘organic’ is really about:

"The idea of organic farming was that if we embraced the economy under our feet (i.e., our soils), participate in it, and did our best to enhance it, it'll provide us with the food that is most nutritious, and produce the healthiest plants, animals, and humans.

That whole system is part of a water conservation and carbon management system… [and] works to create a much more stable, cooler climate than industrial agriculture does."

On being cautious about what organic labels really mean:

"All of us want to buy better food, and it's wonderful that organic is so popular, so we can't be despairing about that—that's a good thing!

What's unfortunate is that we have to become very aware of the fact that there is fraud in the organic label now.

But there is a lot of real organic in the organic label, too, so I still go into the store and I buy certified organic, always. But I also know that I have to take some responsibility for it; I can't just trust the label."

Dave’s closing words of wisdom:

"Keep it up! Keep bringing in these really articulate people and giving them a platform so we can all learn."


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