Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 45


The Foundation of Organic Agriculture

Organic agriculture must be based on the fertility of a healthy
soil ecosystem. Don't let organic be destroyed with
hydroponics (coming under the organic label and thereby
watering down the soil basis for true organic agriculture!) or
with interventions under color of law. 

First Edition Published: 12/13/2016 -

December 7, 2017 -

"Building soil fertility, a foundational principle of organic farming,

would benefit from having numerous small pasture-based dairies
spread across the land providing fresh unprocessed milk.
Agricultural universities and the Cooperative Extension System
could seize a real leadership opportunity by promoting and
participating in this reinvention of dairy farming, and restoring the
ecology of this traditional food and farming system.”[22]

March 7, 2018 - The Real Organic Project -

These American organic farmers have a spirit that can be likened

unto the "Spirit of ’76"!

We are hard at work on the simple standards that will define our
organic add-on label. In three weeks our fifteen-person Standards
Board will come together in Vermont from around the country to
create the provisional standards. We will send out an update after
that meeting to describe progress on the upcoming pilot project.

This Saturday (Dave Chapman) will be giving the keynote

address at the NOFA CT Winter Conference in Danbury. (He) will
talk about why the Real Organic Project was formed, and what we
hope to accomplish in the coming years.

We will be showing the short film of The Rallies to Protect

Organic[25] at the beginning of the talk.

Campaign: “Just Ask” -

One of the programs we are most excited about is the “Just Ask”
campaign, urging eaters all over the country to ask the staff where
they shop whether the certified organic tomatoes and berries
offered are hydroponic or are they real organic grown in the soil.
And eaters will ask if the eggs and meat and milk came from
CAFOs or from farms where the animals got real access to
pasture every day.

The “Just Ask” campaign has the same goal as the current effort
from Cornucopia Institute to Demand Real Organic Food From
Real Organic Farmers.[26] Cornucopia wants all organic eaters to
send them a card asking major retailers to offer genuine organic
choices. If we speak up, the stores will respond. Please visit them
and support this campaign.

There has been a flurry of articles about the Real Organic Project:

Modern Farmer:
The Real Organic Project: Disgusted With the USDA, Farmers
Make Their Own Organic Label

IEG Policy:
Organic farmers launch effort for add-on label after disappointing
NOSB actions

Organic purists hatching an auxiliary label

Organic Farmers Association:

Organic Farmers Write Letter to Secretary Perdue

Finally, we have had a few more people join the Real Organic
Advisory Board since my 2/16 letter. We are very proud of many
voices that have come together to support us.

Anne Bickle & David Montgomery are Dig2Grow, a husband &

wife and a pair of writers who live in Seattle. Dave is a broad-
minded geologist and Anne is a free-range biologist with a bad
case of plant lust. They chose Dig2Grow because “that’s what
happens when you write, talk, and act on things that matter to the
well-being of people and our one-and-only planet.”

They both speak widely on the complex world of soil, plants, and
animals. They have become champions for the revolution of
regenerative agriculture taking place worldwide.

David is a professor of geomorphology at the University of

Washington. He is also a MacArthur Fellow. Anne is a biologist
with wide-ranging interests that have led her into watershed
restoration, environmental planning, and public health.

David has written Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to

Life and Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations. Anne and David co-
wrote the book The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of
Life and Health.

Maddie Kempner is the Policy Director of NOFA VT. Maddie

worked with the VT Right to Know GMOs Coalition to help pass
Vermont’s GMO labeling law. Maddie is passionate about
advocating for positive food and farm policy change. She has a
Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law
School. Active in the movement to Keep The Soil In Organic,
Maddie has spoken at Rallies in both Vermont and Jacksonville,
Florida. She has testified numerous times to the NOSB to protect
organic integrity.

Zoë Ida Bradbury. Born onto a sheep ranch along the southern
Oregon coast, Zoë grew up birthing lambs in the spring, watching
salmon spawn in the fall, and taming plums and tomatoes into
canning jars all summer. Her love for food, farming and rural
livelihood ultimately lured her back to her native southern Oregon
where she has run a diversified fresh market farm — Valley Flora
— since 2008, on land shared with her mother and sister.

With her two young daughters in tow, she cultivates a couple

hundred varieties of vegetable, berry, fruit, herb and flower crops
for local restaurants, foodbanks, farmstand, u-pick, and 100+ CSA
shares (all with the help of one old electric tractor, one young
diesel tractor, three draft horses, and a couple of wonderful

She graduated from Stanford University and has a masters

degree in Community Change and Food Systems. She is a Food
& Society Policy Fellow, has written for a number of publications
over the years, and co-edited Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from
the New Farmers’ Movement.

Steve Ela is a farmer from Colorado. He is co-owner of Ela Family

Farms, which has been certified organic since 1996. He is a
current member of the National Organic Standards Board. He was
an Organic Farming Research Foundation board member from
2001–2011 and previous OFRF board Chairman.

Steve has been an organizer for several National Organic Tree

Fruit Research Symposiums and has participated in and written
grants for numerous research projects. Steve has a Master’s in
Soil Science, and has served on a wide variety of Boards and
Advisory Committees addressing food and agriculture issues
nationally, regionally, and locally.

Mary Ellen Chadd started Green Spark Farm in 2009 and now
farms full-time year-round with her husband and two little

daughters. Mary Ellen attended Evergreen State College majoring

in Ecological Agriculture and Community Food Systems.

Before starting her farm in her home-town area in Maine, she

worked with the New American Sustainable Agriculture Project
there, writing curriculum and training refugees and new
Americans in farming systems, marketing for farmers, and farm
business planning.

She contributes to the new farmer community by speaking at

MOFGA classes and events. Her farm has employed and
mentored six young farmers who have gone on to start their own
farm businesses.

Will Allen grew up on a small farm in Southern California. He

served in the Marine Corps. Will earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology
in 1968, studying tropical forest farmers in Peru. Will taught at the
University of Illinois and later at the University of California.

He began farming organically in the Santa Barbara area in 1968.

He founded Ganesha Growers in 1977 and was one of the first
organic farmers in the San Joaquin Valley. He served on the
board of California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and helped
write the first organic handbook for CCOF. He served on the
board and conference committee of the Ecological Farming
Association for a dozen years. Will founded the Sustainable
Cotton Project (SCP) in 1990 to help farmers learn how to grow
organic cotton, convince garment makers to use organic fibers,
and reduce farmworker pesticide injuries. SCP convinced
Patagonia, Esprit, Levis, Marks and Spencer, Nike, and other
garment makers to use organic fibers.

In 2000, he took over the management of Cedar Circle Farm, in

East Thetford, Vermont along with his wife Kate Duesterberg.
Their activist efforts resulted in the creation of a coalition for
labeling GMO products in Vermont. They were successful, and

Vermont became the first state in the US to pass a GMO labeling

law in 2014. In 2016, Will transitioned his focus to co-found a new
non-profit organization called Regeneration Vermont. The goal of
Regeneration Vermont is to redirect Vermont agriculture toward
regenerative methods that protect and enhance the natural
environment, produce healthy food products, provide economic
justice to farmers and farm workers, promote animal welfare, and
implement climate change remediation through an understanding
of, and commitment to, healthy, living soils. Will serves as the
Research Director for the organization.

Will’s first book, The War on Bugs, was published by Chelsea

Green in 2008.

Kate Duesterberg received a Master’s Degree from Southern

Illinois University in Community Development & Ag Economics.
Since graduate school, Kate has worked to promote local, organic
farming – from the perspective of policy advocate, community
organizer, institutional change advocate, and farm manager. She
started her activist career as Sustainable Agriculture program
coordinator at Illinois Stewardship Alliance and then at Rural
Vermont, two NGOs working to promote sustainable farming. Kate
worked at the University of Vermont (UVM), where she helped
establish the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture. A major
focus was to organize programs to help farmers and agricultural
professionals (Extension, NRCS, Department of Agriculture) learn
about sustainable and organic farming techniques, calling upon
experienced farmers as teachers. Kate also worked with the
Women’s Agricultural Network at UVM and the Sustainable
Cotton Project in California as managing director.

Since 2000, Kate has co-managed Cedar Circle Farm in East

Thetford, Vermont. In 2016, Kate, Will, and their partner Michael
Colby founded a new non-profit organization called Regeneration
Vermont. The goal of Regeneration Vermont is to redirect
Vermont agriculture toward regenerative methods that protect and

enhance the natural environment, produce healthy food products,

provide economic justice to farmers and farm workers, promote
animal welfare, and implement climate change remediation
through an understanding of — and commitment to — healthy,
living soils.

If you enjoy this newsletter, perhaps you'd like to share it with

your friends by sending them to www.realorganicproject.org and
inviting them to give us their email address.

May 11, 2018 - Something/s Rising! -

Got a reply from Robert Slovak [in reply to my second (duplicate)

inquiry regarding the status of the Purist water purification system
that we have and that a friend wanted further information on] and
this activated a new conversation regarding Robert's latest more
advanced water system. Later he referred me to Dr. August
Dunning's presentation on our health crisis (at YouTube). Also
Robert referred (in part) to the following Senate Report: Senate
Document #264

Document #264 -
Presented by Rex Beach, June 1936 -
United States GPO -
Washington, D.C., 1936 -

[This document is reproduced here in its entirety from a copy

obtained from the United States Government Printing Office in
Washington, D.C. Some editorial comments have been added
and some text bolded for emphasis. All editorial comments are
placed within brackets and italicized for identification. Senate
Document 264 was written in 1936, and submitted as part of a
Congressional investigation into U.S. farming practices. The
leading authorities of the day had been sounding the alarm that

depleted soils were causing a significant decline in the nation's

health, evidenced by a steady increase in degenerative diseases.
But when Congress saw the price tag on repairing the nation's
farm and range soils, they swept their own investigation under the
carpet. Please take the time to read this entire document if you
want to know the real reason for disease. The understanding of
the problem is the beginning of the solution.]

"Concerning Dr. Charles Northen: "This quiet, unballyhooed
pioneer and genius in the field of nutrition demonstrates that
countless human ills stem from the fact that impoverished soil of
America no longer provides plant foods with the mineral elements
essential to human nourishment and health! To overcome this
alarming condition, he doctors sick soils and, by seeming
miracles, raises truly healthy and health-giving fruits and
vegetables." - Rex Beach

Do you know that most of us today are suffering from certain

dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until the
depleted soils from which our foods come are brought into proper
mineral balance? The alarming fact is that foods, fruits and
vegetables and grains, now being raised on millions of acres of
land that no longer contain enough of certain needed minerals,
are starving us - no matter how much of them we eat! This talk
about minerals is novel and quite startling. In fact, a realization of
the importance of minerals in food is so new that the textbooks on
nutritional dietetics contain very little about it. Nevertheless, it is
something that concerns all of us, and the further we delve into it
the more startling it becomes.

You would think, wouldn't you, that a carrot is a carrot - that one is
about as good as another as far as nourishment is concerned?
But it isn't; one carrot may look and taste like another and yet be
lacking in the particular mineral element which our system
requires and which carrots are supposed to contain. Laboratory

tests prove that the fruits, the vegetables, the grains, the eggs,
and even the milk and the meats of today are not what they were
a few generations ago (which doubtless explains why our
forefathers thrived on a selection of foods that would starve us!).
No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply
his system with the minerals he requires for perfect health,
because his stomach isn't big enough to hold them! And we are
running to big stomachs.

No longer does a balanced and fully nourishing diet consist

merely of so many calories or certain vitamins or a fixed
proportion of starches, proteins, or carbohydrates. We now know
that it must contain, in addition, something like a score of mineral
salts. [We now know that the number is closer to four score.]

It is bad news to learn from our leading authorities that 99 percent

of the American people are deficient in these minerals, and that a
marked deficiency in any one or more of the important minerals
actually results in disease. Any upset of the balance, any
considerable lack of one or another element, however
microscopic the body requirement may be, and we sicken, suffer,
shorten our lives.

This discovery is one of the latest and most important

contributions of science to the problem of human health. So far as
the records go, the first man in the field of research, the first to
demonstrate that most human foods of our day are poor in
minerals and that their proportions are not balanced, was Dr.
Charles Northen, an Alabama physician now living in Orlando,
Florida. His discoveries and achievements are of enormous
importance to mankind.

Following a wide experience in general practice, Dr. Northen

specialized in stomach diseases and nutritional disorders. Later
he moved to New York and made extensive studies along this
line, in conjunction with a famous French scientist from the

Sorbonne. In the course of that work, he convinced himself that

there was little authentic, definite information on the chemistry of
foods and that no dependence could be placed on existing data.

He asked himself how foods could be used intelligently in the

treatment of disease, when they differed so widely in content. The
answer seemed to be that they could not be used intelligently. In
establishing the fact that serious deficiencies existed and in
searching out the reasons therefore, he made an extensive study
of the soil. It was he who first voiced the surprising assertion that
we must make soil building the basis of food building in order to
accomplish human building.

Bear in mind,says Dr. Northen, that minerals are vital to human

metabolism and health - and that no plant or animal can
appropriate to itself any mineral which is not present in the soil
upon which it feeds.

When I first made this statement I was ridiculed, for up to that

time, people had paid little attention to food deficiencies and even
less to soil deficiencies. Men eminent in medicine denied there
was any such thing as vegetables and fruits that did not contain
sufficient minerals for human needs. Eminent agricultural
authorities insisted that all soil contained all the necessary
minerals. They reasoned that plants take what they need, and
that is the function of the human body to appropriate what it
requires. Failure to do so, they said, was a symptom of disorder.

Some of our respected authorities even claimed that the so-called

secondary minerals played no part whatever in human health. It is
only recently that such men as Dr. McCollum of Johns Hopkins,
Dr. Mendel of Yale, Dr. Sherman of Columbia, Dr. Lipman of
Rutgers, and Drs. H.G. Knight and Oswald Schreiner of the
United States Department of Agriculture have agreed that these
minerals are essential to plant, animal, and human feeding.

We know that vitamins are complex chemical substances which

are indispensable to nutrition, and that each of them is of
importance for the normal function of some special structure of
the body. Disorder and disease result from any vitamin deficiency.
It is not commonly realized, however, that vitamins control the
body's appropriation of minerals, and in the absence of minerals
they have no function to perform. Lacking vitamins, the system
can make some use of minerals, but lacking minerals, vitamins
are useless.

Neither does the layman realize that there may be a pronounced

difference in both foods and soils - to him one vegetable, one
glass of milk, or one egg is about the same as another. Dirt is dirt,
too, and he assumes that by adding a little fertilizer to it, a
satisfactory vegetable or fruit can be grown.

The truth is that our foods vary enormously in value, and some of
them aren't worth eating as food. For example, vegetation grown
in one part of the country may assay 1,100 parts per billion of
iodine, as against 20 in that grown elsewhere. Processed milk has
run anywhere from 362 parts per million of iodine and 127 of iron,
down to nothing.

Some of our lands, even in a virgin state, never were well

balanced in mineral content, and unhappily for us, we have been
systematically robbing the poor soils and the good soils alike of
the very substances necessary to health, growth, long life, and
resistance to disease. Up to the time I began experimenting,
almost nothing had been done to make good the theft. The more I
studied nutritional problems and the effects of mineral deficiencies
upon disease, the more plainly I saw that here lay the most direct
approach to better health, and the more important it became in
my mind to find a method of restoring those missing minerals to
our foods.

The subject interested me so profoundly that I retired from active

medical practice and for a good many years now I have devoted
myself to it. It's a fascinating subject, for it goes to the heart of
human betterment.”

The results obtained by Dr. Northen are outstanding. By putting

back into the foods the stuff that foods are made of, he has
proved himself to be a real miracle man of medicine, for he has
opened up the shortest and most rational route to better health.

He showed first that it should be done, and then that it could be

done. He doubled and redoubled the natural mineral content of
fruits and vegetables. He improved the quality of milk by
increasing the iron and the iodine in it. He caused hens to lay
eggs richer in the vital elements. By scientific soil feeding, he
raised better seed potatoes in Maine, better grapes in California,
better oranges in Florida and better field crops in other states. (By
"better" is meant not only improvement in food value but also an
increase in quality and quantity.)

Before going further into the results he has obtained, let's see just
what is involved in this matter of "mineral deficiencies," what it
may mean to our health, and how it may affect the growth and
development, both mental and physical, of our children. We know
that rats, guinea pigs and other animals can be fed into a
diseased condition and out again by controlling only the minerals
in their food.

A 10-year test with rats proved that by withholding calcium they

can be bred down to a third the size of those fed with an adequate
amount of that mineral. Their intelligence, too, can be controlled
by mineral feeding as readily as can their size, their bony
structure, and their general health.

Place a number of these little animals inside a maze after starving

some of them in a certain mineral element. The starved ones will

be unable to find their way out, whereas the others will have little
or no difficulty in getting out. Their dispositions can be altered by
mineral feeding. They can be made quarrelsome and belligerent;
they can even be turned into cannibals and be made to devour
each other.

A cage full of normal rats will live in amity. Restrict their calcium
and they will become irritable and draw apart from one another.
Then they will begin to fight. Restore their calcium balance and
they will grow more friendly; in time they will begin to sleep in a
pile as before. Many backward children are "stupid" merely
because they are deficient in magnesia. [Magnesium] We punish
them for our failure to feed them properly.

Certainly our physical well-being is more directly dependent upon

the minerals we take into our systems then upon calories or
vitamins or upon the precise proportions of starch, protein, or
carbohydrates we consume.

It is now agreed that at least 16 mineral elements are

indispensable for normal nutrition, and several more are always
found in small amounts in the body, although their precise
physiological role has not been determined. Of the 16
indispensable salts, calcium, phosphorus and iron are perhaps
the most important. (Now given the findings of Dr. Carolyn Dean
we have to add magnesium to this list. cj)

[Today, many nutritionists, scientists and health care professionals

insist that as many as 76 minerals are essential to achieving and
maintaining optimal health, longevity and resistance to disease.
Some of the most convincing evidence of the essentiality of
minerals has come from research conducted by the Department
of Agriculture.]

Calcium is the most dominant nerve controller; it powerfully

affects the cell formation of all living things and regulates nerve

action. It governs contractility of the muscles and the rhythmic

beat of the heart. It also coordinates the other mineral elements
and corrects disturbances made by them. (The same can be said
for Magnesium. In fact Calcium requires a right ration to
Magnesium - cj) It works only in sunlight. Vitamin D is its buddy.
Dr. Sherman of Columbia asserts that 50 percent of the American
people are starving for calcium. (Now more than that is starving
for Magnesium. cj) A recent article in the Journal of the American
Medical Association stated that out of 4,000 cases in New York
Hospital, only 2 were not suffering from a lack of calcium.

What does such a deficiency mean? How would it affect your

health or mine? So many morbid conditions and actual diseases
may result that it is almost hopeless to catalog them. Included in
the list are rickets, bony deformities, bad teeth, nervous disorders,
reduced resistance to other diseases, fatigability, and behavior
disturbances such as incorrigibility, assaultiveness and
nonadaptability. [Cancer, heart disease, and more.]

Here's one specific example: The soil around a certain Midwest

city is poor in calcium. Three hundred children in this community
were examined and nearly 90 percent had bad teeth, swollen
glands, enlarged or diseased tonsils. More than one-third had
defective vision, round shoulders, bowlegs and anemia.

Calcium and phosphorus appear to pull in double harness. A child

requires as much per day as two grown men, but studies indicate
a common deficiency of one or the other as the cause of serious
losses to the farmers, and when the soil is poor in phosphorous
their animals become bone-chewers. Dr. McCollum says that
when there are enough phosphates in the blood there can be no
dental decay.

Iron is an essential constituent of the oxygen-carrying pigment of

the blood: iron starvation results in anemia, and yet iron cannot be
assimilated unless some copper is contained in the diet. In

Florida, many cattle die from an obscure disease called "salt

sickness." It has been found to arise from a lack of iron and
copper in the soil and hence the grass. A man may starve for want
of these elements just as a beef "critter" starves.

If iodine is not present in our foods the function of the thyroid

gland is disturbed and goiter afflicts us. The human body requires
only fourteen-thousandths of a milligram daily, yet we have a
distinct "goiter belt " in the Great Lakes section, and in parts of the
Northwest the soil is so poor in iodine that the disease is

So it goes, down through the list, each mineral element playing a

definite role in nutrition. A characteristic set of symptoms, just as
specific as any vitamin-deficiency disease, follows a deficiency in
any one of them. It is alarming, therefore, to face the fact that we
are starving for these precious, health-giving substances.

Very well, you say, if our foods are poor in the mineral salts they
are supposed to contain, why not resort to dosing?
That is precisely what is being done, or being attempted.
However, those who should know assert that the human system
cannot appropriate those elements to the best advantage in any
but the food form. At best, only a part of them in the form of drugs
can be utilized by the body, and certain dietitians go so far as to
say it is a waste of effort to fool with them. Calcium, for instance,
cannot be supplied in any form of medication with lasting effect.

But there is a more potent reason why the curing of diet

deficiencies by drugging hasn't worked out so well. Consider
those 16 indispensable elements and those others which
presumably perform some obscure function as yet understood.
Aside from calcium and phosphorous, they are needed only in
infinitesimal quantities, and the activity of one may be dependent
upon the presence of another. To determine the precise

requirements of each individual case and to attempt to weigh it

out on a druggist's scale would appear hopeless.

It is a problem and a serious one. But here is the hopeful side of

the picture: Nature can and will solve it if she is encouraged to do
so. The minerals in fruit and vegetables are colloidal; i.e. they are
in a state of such extremely fine suspension that they can be
assimilated by the human system: It is merely a question of giving
back to nature the materials with which she works.

We must rebuild our soils: Put back the minerals we have taken
out. That sounds difficult but it isn't. Neither is it expensive.
Therein lies the short cut to better health and longer life.

When Dr. Northen first asserted that many foods were lacking in
mineral content and that this deficiency was due solely to an
absence of those elements in the soil, his findings were
challenged and he was called a crank. But differences of opinion
in the medical profession are not uncommon - it was only 60
years ago that the Medical Society of Boston passed a resolution
commending the use of bathtubs - and he persisted in his
assertion that inasmuch as foods did not contain what they were
supposed to contain, no physician could with certainty prescribe a
diet to overcome physical ills.

He showed that the textbooks are not dependable because many

of the analyses in them were made many years ago, perhaps
from products raised in virgin soils, whereas our soils have been
constantly depleted. Soil analyses, he pointed out, reflect only the
content of samples. One analysis may be entirely different from
another made ten miles away.
"And so what?" came the query.

Dr. Northen undertook to demonstrate that something could be

done about it. By re-establishing a proper soil balance he actually
grew crops that contained an ample amount of desired minerals.

This was incredible. It was contrary to the books and it upset

everything connected with diet practice. The scoffers began to
pay attention to him. Recently, the Southern Medical Association,
realizing the hopelessness of trying to remedy nutritional
deficiencies without positive factors to work with, recommended a
careful study to determine the real mineral content of foodstuffs
and the variations due to soil depletion in different localities.
These progressive medical men are awake to the importance of

[Those "progressive medical men" would be shoved into obscurity

by the large-scale development of antibiotics and the belief that
we could produce a drug for every illness. Preventative medicine
was relegated to the back seat by pharmaceutical politics.]

Dr. Northen went even further and proved that crops grown in a
properly mineralized soil were bigger and better; that seeds
germinated quicker, grew more rapidly and made larger plants;
that trees were healthier and put on more fruit of better quality. By
increasing the mineral content of citrus fruit he likewise improved
its texture, its appearance and its flavor.

He experimented with a variety of growing things, and in every

case the story was the same. By mineralizing the feed at poultry
farms, he got more and better eggs; by balancing pasture soils,
he produced richer milk. Persistently he hammered home to
farmers, to doctors, and to the general public the thought that life
depends upon the minerals!

His work led him into a careful study of the effects of climate,
sunlight, ultraviolet and thermal rays upon plant, animal and
human hygiene. In consequence he moved to Florida. People
familiar with his work consider him the most valuable man in the
state. I met him by reason of the fact that I was harassed by

certain soil problems on my Florida farm which had baffled the

best chemists and fertilizer experts available.

He is an elderly, retiring man, with a warm smile and an engaging

personality. He is a trifle shy until he opens up on his pet topic;
then his difference disappears and he speaks with authority. His
mind is a storehouse crammed with precise, scientific data about
soil and food chemistry, the complicated life processes of plants,
animals, and human beings - and the effect of malnutrition upon
all three. He is perhaps as close to the secret of life as any man
"Do you call yourself a soil a or a food chemist?" I inquired.

"Neither. I am an M.D. My works lie in the field of biochemistry

and nutrition. I gave up medicine because this is a wider and a
more important work. Sick soils mean sick plants, sick animals,
and sick people. Physical, mental, and moral fitness depends
largely upon an ample supply and a proper proportion of the
minerals in our foods. Nerve function, nerve stability, nerve cell-
building likewise depend thereon. I'm really a doctor of sick soils."

Do you mean to imply that the vegetables I'm raising on my farm

are sick?" I asked.

Precisely! They're as weak and undernourished as anemic

children. They're not much good as food. Look at the pests and
the diseases that plague them. Insecticides cost farmers nearly as
much as fertilizer these days.”

A healthy plant, however, grown in soil properly balanced, can

and will resist most insect pests. That very characteristic makes it
a better food product. You have tuberculosis and pneumonia
germs in your system but you're strong enough to throw them off.
Similarly, a really healthy plant will pretty nearly take care of itself
in the battle against insects and blights - and will also give the
human system what it requires.

"Good heavens! Do you realize what that means to agriculture?”

Perfectly. Enormous savings. Better crops. Lowered living costs to

the rest of us. But I'm not so much interested in agriculture as in

It sounds beautifully theoretical and utterly impractical to me," I

told the doctor, whereupon he gave me some of his case records.

For instance, in an orange grove infested with scale, when he

restored the mineral balance to part of the soil, the trees growing
in that part became clean while the rest remained diseased. By
the same means he had grown healthy rosebushes between rows
that were riddled by insects.

He has grown tomato and cucumber plants, both healthy and

diseased, where the vines intertwined. The bugs ate up the
diseased and refused to touch the healthy plants! He showed me
interesting analyses of citrus fruits the chemistry and the food
value of which accurately reflected the soil treatment the trees
had received.

There is no space here to go fully into Dr. Northen's work but it is

of such importance as to rank with that of Burbank, the plant
wizard, and with that of our famous physiologists and nutritional

"Healthy plants mean healthy people," said he. "We can't raise a
strong race on a weak soil. Why don't you try mending the
deficiencies on your farm and growing more minerals into your

I did try and I succeeded. I was planting a large acreage of celery

and under Dr. Northen's direction I fed minerals into certain blocks
of land in varying amounts. When the plants from this soil were

mature I had them analyzed, along with celery from other parts of
the state. It was the most careful and comprehensive study of the
kind ever made, and it included over 250 separate chemical
determinations. I was amazed to learn that my celery had more
than twice the mineral content of the best grown elsewhere.
Furthermore, it kept much better, with and without refrigeration,
proving that the cell structure was sounder.

In 1927, Mr. W.W. Kincaid, a "gentleman farmer" of Niagara Falls,

heard an address by Dr. Northen and was so impressed that he
began extensive experiments in the mineral feeding of plants and
animals. The results he has accomplished are conspicuous. He
set himself the task of increasing the iodine in the milk from his
dairy herd. He has succeeded in adding both iodine and iron so
liberally that one glass of his milk contains all of these minerals
that an adult male requires for a day.

Is this significant? Listen to these incredible figures taken from a

bulletin of the South Carolina Food Research Commission: "In
many sections three out of five persons have goiter and a recent
estimate states that 30 million people in the United States suffer
from it.”

Foods rich in iodine are of the greatest importance to these

sufferers. Mr. Kincaid took a brown Swiss heifer calf which was
dropped in the stockyards, and by raising her on mineralized
pasturage and a properly balanced diet made her the third all-time
champion of her breed! In one season she gave 21,924 pounds of
milk. He raised her butterfat production to 410 pounds in 1 year to
1,037 pounds. Results like these are of incalculable importance.

Others besides Mr. Kincaid are following the trail Dr. Northen
blazed. Similar experiments with milk have been made in Illinois
and nearly every fertilizer company is beginning to urge use of the
rare mineral elements. As an example I quote from statements of
a subsidiary of one of the leading copper companies:

Many states show a marked reduction in the productive capacity

of the soil…in many districts amounting to a 25 to 50 percent
reduction in the last 50 years…Some areas show a tenfold
variation in calcium. Some show a sixty-fold variation in
phosphorous... Authorities…see soil depletion, barren livestock,
increased human death rate due to heart disease, deformities,
arthritis, increased dental caries, all due to lack of essential
minerals in plant foods.

It is neither a complicated nor an expensive undertaking to restore

our soils to balance and thereby work a real miracle in the control
of disease," says Dr. Northen. "As a matter of fact, it's a money-
making move for the farmer, and any competent soil chemist can
tell him how to proceed.”

First determine by analysis the precise chemistry of any given

soil, then correct the deficiencies by putting down enough of the
missing elements to restore its balance. The same care should be
used as in prescribing for a sick patient, for proportions are of vital

In my early experiments I found it extremely difficult to get the

variety of minerals needed in the form in which I wanted to use
them but advancement in chemistry, and especially our ever-
increasing knowledge of colloidal chemistry, has solved that
difficulty. It is now possible, by the use of minerals in colloidal
form, to prescribe a cheap and effective system of soil correction
which meets this vital need and one which fits in admirably with
nature's plans.

Soils seriously deficient in minerals cannot produce plant life

competent to maintain our needs, and with the continuous
cropping and shipping away of those concentrates, the condition
becomes worse.

A famous nutrition authority recently said, "One sure way to end

the American people's susceptibility to infection is to supply
through food a balanced ration of iron, copper, and other metals.
An organism supplied with a diet adequate to, or preferably in
excess of, all mineral requirements may so utilize these elements
as to produce immunity from infection quite beyond anything we
are able to produce artificially by our present method of
immunization. You can't make up the deficiency by using patent

He's absolutely right. Prevention of disease is easier, more

practical, and more economical than cure, but not until foods are
standardized on a basis of what they contain instead of what they
look like can the dietitian prescribe them with intelligence and with

There was a time when medical therapy had no standards

because the therapeutic elements in drugs had not been definitely
determined on a chemical basis. Pharmaceutical houses have
changed all that. Food chemistry, on the other hand, has
depended almost entirely upon governmental agencies for its
research, and in our real knowledge of values we are about where
medicine was a century ago.

Disease preys most surely and most viciously on the

undernourished and unfit plants, animals, and human beings
alike, and when the importance of these obscure mineral
elements is fully realized the chemistry of life will have to be
rewritten. No man knows his mental or bodily capacity, how well
he can feel or how long he can live, for we are all cripples and
weaklings. It is a disgrace to science. Happily, that chemistry is
being rewritten and we're on our way to better health by returning
to the soil the things we have stolen from it.

The public can help; it can hasten the change. How? By

demanding quality of food. By insisting that our doctors and our

health departments establish scientific standards of nutritional

value. The growers will quickly respond. They can put back those
minerals almost overnight and by doing so they can actually make
money through bigger and better crops. It is simpler to cure sick
soils than sick people - which shall we choose?”

[We chose chemotherapy, amputations, pacemakers, surgery,

and wheelchairs. One fourth of our Gross National Product (1.4
trillion dollars) is now spent on medical care, affectionately
referred to (by doctors and drug reps) as "health care."]
Editorial notes by Steven Kessler, RT., MCPS and Charles Martin

This document is supplied for information and educational

purposes only. It is not intended to recommend or prescribe any
treatment for any condition or illness. Contact a doctor or medical
professional who is trained in the use of natural nutritional
supplements before adding any new protocol or when starting any
health or exercise program.[28]

March 8, 2018 -

A couple hours ago I was reminded of an article[27] I had read in

1980 about the loss of our topsoil and the need to rebuild it. It
struck a permanent chord in me that I believe underscored my
preference for truly organic foods which I had been introduced to
several years earlier. Now thirty-seven years later and I feel
sadness knowing that the true organic standard for organic foods
has been disregarded by the government. Fortunately the organic
farmers in America are not resigned to doing nothing about that
and instead have launched a revival of the original soil-based
organic standards. I feel both grateful for this revival and duty-
bound to support to the best I can - hence the continuation of this

October 26, 2017 - Dear National Organic Standards Board,

We stand with the community of organic farmers and consumers

that rely upon organic food and agriculture for not only the
nutritious and clean food that it provides, but also as the solution
for a sustainable future through regenerative agricultural
practices. The organic farmers that pioneered the organic
revolution decades ago did so in the interest of our health and
that of the soil, plants, water and animals to create a system of
agriculture we could pass down to the next generations.

Organic consumers understand that when they purchase organic

food, it is an investment in our future, our planet and their
personal health—all of which are interdependent and inseparable.
“What we do to the earth, we do to ourselves.” This is why so
many people have chosen to eat organic food—for the promise of
a hopeful future for ourselves and also Earth.

The currently permitted organic certification of hydroponically

grown food in recent years has deceived consumers as it is not
grown in the soil and in accordance with traditional—nor
certifiable—organic practices. Consumers have come to expect
and rely upon healthy food grown in the soil when they buy
organic, which is based upon the regulatory framework in
partnership with organic farmers in the U.S. It is disingenuous, at
the very least, to allow the production and sale of food as Organic
that does not meet the organic standards as set forth by organic
farmers and subsequently past National Organic Standards
Boards and the National Organic Program.

Allowing hydroponics to be certified as organic erodes the public

trust in the organic label and is a great disservice to the farmers
whom we rely upon.

The Organic Food Production Act (OFPA) specifically states,

“An organic plan shall contain provisions designed to foster soil

fertility, primarily through the management of the organic content
of the soil through proper tillage, crop rotation, and manuring.”

Hydroponically grown food—plants that receive their primary

nutrients through an artificial feeding tube instead of the fertility,
health and vitality of the soil—are not qualified to be certified as
organic and therefore, should not be.

We now urge the National Organic Standards Board to vote for

the proposal to recommend that hydroponic production not be
allowed to be certified organic, and we urge the National Organic
Program to implement that recommendation in keeping with the
spirit of OFPA and the 2010 NOSB recommendation on
hydroponic growing, clarifying and strengthening the organic
standards and preserving and restoring a system of agriculture
vital to our health and a sustainable future.[21]

May 3, 2017 -

Hydroponic “Organic” is Illegal

Use of the word “organic” on products that do not comply with the
Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) and the National Organic
Program Final Rule (NOP) is illegal. The NOSB (National Organic
Standards Board) recommended against “hydroponic” products
being labeled a “organic” on numerous occasions. Neither OFPA
nor the NOP have been amended to allow for the products of
soilless production systems being labeled as organic. Federal
organic hydroponic standards have not been issued, following
notice and comment rulemaking.

Companies who make “organic” claims on products produced

using soilless systems should be ordered to remove the word
“organic” from their products, or face prosecution for violating
OFPA, since they are committing fraud. Certifying agents who
certify soilless production systems as “organic” should be ordered
to discontinue such activities or face loss of USDA accreditation.

As the legal basis for this position, one needs to look no further
than the plain language of OFPA and the NOP Final Rule.

OFPA Section 6513 “Organic Plan” states:

“(b)(1) Soil Fertility. An organic plan shall contain provisions
designed to foster soil fertility, primarily through the management
of the organic content of the soil through proper tillage, crop
rotation, and manuring.
(g) Limitation on Content of Plan. An organic plan shall not include
any production or handling practices that are inconsistent with this

Soilless production systems do not foster soil fertility or build soil

organic matter content, as required by OFPA. Organic plans for
soilless operations, by definition, include production practices that
are inconsistent with OFPA since they are based solely on input
use instead of implementing an soil fertility program that builds
soil organic matter.

The NOP Final Rule, Section 205.200 “General” states:

“The producer or handler of a production or handling operation
intending to sell, label, or represent agricultural products as “100
percent organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic (specified
ingredients or food group(s))” must comply with the applicable
provisions of this subpart. Production practices implemented in
accordance with this subpart must maintain or improve the natural
resources of the operation, including soil and water quality.”

Soilless production systems do not comply with NOP 205.200,

since they do not maintain or improve the natural resources of the
operation including soil quality.

The NOP Final Rule, Section 205.203 “Soil fertility and crop
nutrient management” states:
“(a) The producer must select and implement tillage and
cultivation practices that maintain or improve the physical,
chemical, and biological condition of soil and minimize soil
(b) The producer must manage crop nutrients and soil fertility
through rotations, cover crops, and the application of plant and
animal materials.
(c) The producer must manage plant and animal materials to
maintain or improve soil organic matter content”

Soilless production systems do not comply with NOP 205.203(a-

c) because tillage and cultivation practices do not maintain or
improve the physical, chemical or biological condition of soil.
Soilless operations do not manage fertility through the use of crop
rotations or cover crops, and they do not maintain or improve soil
organic matter content.

The NOP Final Rule, 205.205 “Crop rotation” states:

“The producer must implement a crop rotation including but not
limited to sod, cover crops, green manure crops, and catch crops
that provide the following functions that are applicable to the
(a) Maintain or improve soil organic matter content;
(b) Provide for pest management in annual and perennial crops;
(c) Manage deficient or excess plant nutrients; and
(d) Provide erosion control.”

Soilless production systems do not comply with NOP 205.205,

because they do not implement crop rotations to maintain or
improve soil organic matter content; provide pest management;

manage deficient or excess plant nutrients; or provide erosion

control. Soilless systems do not comply with the crop rotation
requirement, which is a cornerstone of organic production.

Finally, soilless production systems do not comply with the NOP

Section 205.2 definition of “organic production” because they do
not “promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity” as
required by law.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Riddle
Blue Fruit Farm
Winona, MN
Former Chair, NOSB

April 30, 2017 -


Soil Is Soul
Soil and a plant in hands

"The big question at last week’s National Organic Standards

Board (NOSB) meeting in Denver was this: Should produce
grown without soil be allowed to be certified organic?

Many defenders of organic, including OCA, say no. As Max

Goldberg, of LivingMaxwell.com reports:

Organic was founded on the basis of growing plants in the soil.


People buy organic because it tastes better, has superior nutrition

and is optimal for the environment. And this is all the result of the
rich soil in organic farms.

Despite the fact that it does have tremendous value to society,

growing plants in water or container systems are just not organic.
The language in the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of
1990, which was ratified by Congress, affirms this stance.

But hydroponic produce is being certified organic. Why? Money,

of course, says Goldberg.

Big corporate organic interests have pressured the USDA and

NOSB to allow hydroponics and other container growing systems,
and at each NOSB meeting they do nothing but try to confuse
members as a stall tactic."[12]

March 27, 2017 -

"This week is our last chance! -

Comments are due by this Thursday at midnight." Please "Do it
now." [11]
March 20th, Happy Spring 2017! - "The foundation of organic
agriculture is caring for the soil. The foundation of all human
existence is maintaining a healthy soil community. Hydroponic
production is fine, but it is the opposite of organic. One member of
the NOSB has said that this debate is the most significant battle
that has ever occurred in the National Organic Program.
Pioneering organic farmer Eliot Coleman said that we are in
danger of losing 50 years of hard fought gains in the healthy soil
movement. We are literally 'losing ground.' We need to take that
back. Please join us by adding your name to the petition."[9]

"If the wide earth has anywhere done better


Because of men, be sure they were good men"[10]

December 13, 2016 -

Just received a message "Update on the Organic Soil

Movement"[1] regarding "the movement to keep the soil in the
organic". I support this movement the best ways that I can by
posting these messages, by joining in the campaigns and by
eating soil-grown foods rather than hydroponic varieties. Why do I
do this? Because planet Earth and the Human Soul are soil-

I have previously mentioned the fact that there is much more to

food than the elements recognized by chemical science.[2]

The demand for organic foods that has steadily grown in the USA
over the course of the last half century can be largely attributed to
the development of Biodynamic Agriculture that began on the
East Coast.


"Rudolph Steiner's concept of 'the farm as organism' was adapted

in the 1940’s by the English Baron, Lord Northbourne, an
agricultural science teacher at Oxford University, who, inspired by
Steiner's writings, first coined the term 'organic farming.’

In the 1950’s, influenced by the rise of Biodynamic farming in

Europe, the American J.I Rodale popularized the term 'organic' in
his publication 'The Organic Farmer.' Like its Biodynamic
forbearer, primary importance was placed on soil health,
eschewing synthetic chemicals, and encouraging the use of
compost, cover crops, and holistic pest and weed management.
However there was a divergence from the fundamental view of
the farm as organism.”[3]

Although the real life-energy of food is not factored into the

organic standards the medium of soil was. Soil is and always has
been not only an essential component in the whole concept of
organic agriculture but the very foundation of agriculture itself.
"...the organic farming movement, ... began in the early part of the
20th century, pioneered by farmers and academics who were
responding to obvious problems with 'modern' agriculture, such as
soil erosion, depletion of soil fertility and structure, decline of
livestock health caused by feed lacking quality, etc. The pioneers
(Sir Albert Howard, Lady Eve Balfour, Rudolf Steiner, Jerome
Irving Rodale, Aldo Leopold, William Albrecht and others) fostered
the notion that the success and sustainability of farming relies on
managing soil health." [7] The notion of a soil-less agriculture
system is oxymoron.

Hydroponic systems lend themselves to a factory farming

approach with the claim of greater efficiency (by eliminating all
care for the soil) and hence more profitable than traditional
organic farming. The selling points of efficiency and profit have
already been addressed nearly one hundred years ago at the time
that Rudolf Steiner was approached by European farmers with
their concerns for the health of crops and animals suffering from
depleted nutrition consequential to the chemical farming methods
of the day. The need for healing in agriculture opened the door to
a curative agricultural system based on the Agriculture Course of
lectures that Steiner gave in the 1920s. From that time forward
the perspective on "food" was enlarged upon to include healing -
the healing of the earth (soil), plants, animals and Man. Yet this
healing impulse has been resisted by the capitalistic impulse. In
fact it's actually a market battle that has also included
government. Consequently there is much that can be considered
and a lot at stake and especially for the traditional organic farmers
who are confronted with a formidable compromise on their
organic standards. Organic farmers and the American people
have relied upon these organic standards since the onset about a

generation ago. The situation that exists now with the hydroponic
claim to the organic label is that people do not know whether the
story-bought organic tomato or organic pepper is actually soil
grown or not! The difference is not required to be disclosed.
Knowing the growing need for "truth in labeling" - I'm reasonably
certain this non-disclosure will not continue much longer. At the
very least the "consumers" will want to know.

At the same time the movement for "local" and "know your
farmer" continues to grow with traditional organic farmers
responding by way of farmers markets and CSA (community
supported agriculture) memberships. These avenues for real
organic foods will continue to flourish regardless of the
"compromise" currently affecting the organic standards.
Nevertheless their is a genuine crisis with regards to the USDA
organic label access by hydroponic interests.

"Dave Chapman is not afraid of getting a little dirty. For the past
36 years, he’s dug his hands into the soil to plant, then pick,
organic tomatoes from his fields and greenhouses in rural
Vermont. His love of organics is rooted in a simple motto: “Feed
the soil, not the plant.”

So when he heard that hydroponic growers were starting to obtain

USDA certification that declared their crops organic, Chapman
was incensed. What is organic, he wondered, without the marvel
of microbes inherent in dirt?

'They try to pretend that they’re me,' he said. 'They aren’t. It’s a

Now Chapman is digging in his heels against what he calls the

invasive growth of organic hydroponics, grown by farmers who
use extensive watering systems and chemical nutrients. He’s
pushing the USDA to, as he puts it, 'keep the soil in organic' and

prevent hydroponic farmers from gaining a designation that’s

become both on-trend and remarkably lucrative.”[4]

"Farmer Eliot Coleman is among those who oppose giving

hydroponic produce the organic label. He recently joined other
farmers at a rally in Thetford, Vt. They were holding signs saying
'soil is the soul of organic.’

'As far as we're concerned,' Coleman says, 'if it's not grown in soil
with all the wonderful features that soil puts into the plants, there's
no way you can call it organic.’

Coleman's peers call him an 'elder of the organic movement.' ...

Coleman thinks that the central principle in growing organic
produce is that the farmer feeds the soil, not the plant.

Part of the legal qualification of organic farming — and, in

Coleman's opinion, the label consumers have come to trust — is
about the healthfulness and stewardship of the land.”[5]

On Friday, November 18, 2016 the National Organic Standards

Board Meeting in St. Louis decided that "The vote on hydroponics
is sent back to subcommittee, maintaining the status quo of
hydroponic operations continuing to be certified.”[6]

My comment submitted at the National Geographic page:

Organic label politics vs. the origin of organic agriculture - what a

contrast! Is this Shakespeare or is this Dante? The "groundless"
attempted usurpation by the organic wannabes shows no respect
for where organic agriculture comes from. These "pirates" need
their own label. Let them have a black flag with skull and

May 13, 2017 - Not "Hydroponic" But A Related Threat To Organic

Posted the following comment in response to "An Organic Farm

Under Threat"[15]:

The "organic standard" could be raised higher still (i.e.

Biodynamic). In any case the "weeds" could be indicating an
imbalance in the soil and responded to at that level. Possibly
more importantly is the legal status of the farm in relation to the
State of Oregon. Is the farm incorporated or is there any nexus
with the state? If so then I personally would dissolve the nexus.
(I'd also post "no trespassing" signs.)[14]

The above mentioned "threat" can be seen from at least three

perspectives or in light of three spheres of influence: Rights
Sphere, Economic Sphere and Social/Spiritual Sphere.

Apparently the local county government has threatened to take

action upon the farm after not receiving an acceptable response
from the farm. That is one issue that needs to be cleared/
upgraded by the farm.

One of the comments (at [14]) suggested another issue: "It may
be about eliminating competition/expanding markets." I would
love to see a community-supported Law Firm (based on the
Organic Laws) launch a lawful discovery process to investigate
what all has motivated the county to threaten this farm.

May 18, 2017 - Some Good News from Azure - the "Organic Farm
Under Threat" (in the post of May 13th).

My comment:

Congratulations Azure!
Cheers for your farm and for virtually all Organic Agriculture.
I'm glad the farm has been spared from chemical spraying.
I hope all future conversations with the governmental agency will
stay on this course.

Nevertheless - I still continue to think that changing the status of

one's relationship with governmental agencies is worth
considering. Yes, we have the land to steward and we also have
our quintessential freedoms that require our vigilance for
preserving - most essentially being the Unalienable Right to be
free of government - just as was declared with the first American
Organic Law: The Declaration of Independence.[i] It's great to
"win" a negotiable conversation however that does not change the
status of the individual's relationship with governmental agencies.

[i] And affirmed in the second Organic Law: The Articles of

Confederation where you will find the status of "free inhabitant”.

May 19th, 2017 -

Just added this comment to "Plant Your Dream" by Leslie

Goldman (also at CureZone):

Dr. Carolyn Dean - (The "Goddess of Magnesium" author of "The

Magnesium Miracle"[17]) developed a superior magnesium
product (that doesn't risk diarrhea) and knows (probably better
than most doctors) the vital necessity for minerals - especially
with magnesium at the top of the list! We have lost the
magnesium in our soils and that includes virtually all the organic
farms! We need magnesium added back to the farm lands.
Carolyn say that can be accomplished by adding rock dust to the

Are any of our local (San Diego County) farmers adding rock dust
to their soils? If so I'd like to know who and support them!

June 18, 2017 - "How Biodynamic Farming Spawned Organic

Wise Traditions Journal had featured an article on the history of

organic Agriculture (some years ago) that apparently overlooked
the Biodynamic "spawning". That article inspired me to research
the history and offer a "letter to the editor" with my findings. I will
have to unpack my archives to find both the article and this
research. I can say in this moment that I had consulted with
Andrew Lorand[19]. Fortunately I had hardly started to prepare for
this unpacking of "archives" yet not anticipating this particular
mission. Now I have some enthusiasm! ; ~ )

September 1, 2017 -

The above message of the essence of organic agriculture extends

to dairy farming where we find two milks. The first milk has always
(for untold thousands of years) been produced by animals feeding
upon their natural diet and for cows that food is in the pasture.
The milk was consumed whole and in its natural state (AKA raw).
The other milk first came into existence only about two hundred
years ago and introduced a diet to the cows consisting of brewery
waste that made the animals sick and produced "swill milk”.

"Official attitudes toward raw milk hardened during the colossal

twentieth-century growth of American dairying. The product
became more flavorless and anonymous as more drastic
processing (including homogenization, which destroys the cream
layer of milk) became standard. Consumers and health authorities
alike forgot that one farm’s milk might ever have tasted better or
worse than another’s—universal knowledge when herds were

comparatively small and elite dairies boasted of using the milk of

'Golden Guernsey' or 'All-Jersey' cows. Meanwhile, the training of
milk-safety inspectors came to focus on commercial facilities,
where sanitary compliance could be measured by fairly
standardized formulas . By contrast, milk was produced under
more diverse conditions a century ago, and regulators were used
to figuring in variables that had now dropped from memory.”[20]

Pastures are soil-based. Pastured milk is the quintessential

organic milk. The feeding of organic grains to cows is absolutely
contrary to a cow's natural diet and therefore does not deserve to
be called "organic milk" as it is missing the pasture!

December 8, 2017 -

Just posted the following comment at the Weston A. Price.org

site[23] after reconnecting with their article on the history of
organic farming.

A history of Organic Agriculture is certainly needed as a guiding

reference in regards to the vital essential principles upon which
the truly organic form of agriculture is based. The Hydroponic
industry is clamoring for organic certification under the current
U.S. standards – much to the protest of traditional organic farmers
and growers. And rightly so as traditionally “organic” not only
required soil – it also required cultivating soil fertility! The
Hydroponic method has nothing to do with cultivating soil fertility
because soil is not included in the method.

Organic agriculture standards are in need of reinforcement. Can

this history of “Organic Farming” help? I honestly do not know.
However, we may need to consider that if organic standards will
not be strengthened then what are our options?

One option is to go Biodynamic. Biodynamics predates organic


“In 1924, Steiner (noted scientist, philosopher, and founder of the

Waldorf School) held a series of eight lectures for a group of
European farmers, who had approached him because they were
observing a rapid decline in seed fertility, crop vitality and animal
health on their farms.[i] …

In 1928, following Steiner’s agricultural lectures, Demeter (named

for the Greek goddess of agriculture) was formed in Europe to
promote Biodynamic farming, initiating the first publicly organized
promotion of “sustainable” agriculture. A certification system,
defined by rigorous farming and processing standards, was
implemented, making Demeter the very first ecological label for
organically produced foods.”[ii]

The organic standards have been on a decline over the past

couple decades and before hydroponics began seeking the
coveted certification. On the other hand Biodynamic practices and
certification have remained intact, firmly grounded in soil fertility
without the compromises that have affected the U.S. organic

Another option to the decline of organic standards is to know your

organic grower and their practices. That might require multiple
visits, ideally spontaneous!

[i] http://www.demeter-usa.org/about-demeter/demeter-history.asp

Just discovered the "missing link" between Biodynamic and

Organic agriculture! The following is a nugget form the report:

"In the period from 1924 to 1938 the name ‘bio-dynamic’ was
evolved and the practices were tested and formalized. Pfeiffer’s
book Bio-Dynamic Farming and Gardening was the ‘coming of
age’ as well as the ‘coming-out’ of bio-dynamics. The book was
published in 1938 in at least five languages: English (Pfeiffer,
1938a); Dutch (Pfeiffer, 1938b); German (Pfeiffer, 1938c); French
(Pfeiffer, 1938d); and Italian (Pfeiffer, 1938e).

Steiner had presented his Agriculture Course on a single occasion

in the summer of 1924; a few months later on 28 September he
entirely withdrew from public life due to illness; and he died on 30
March 1925 (Collison, 1925; Whitehead, 2010). His injunction to
the Koberwitz group had been to put his ideas to the test, and,
when there were empirical results to share the proven practices
with the world. Pfeiffer took on that mission and it became his
life’s work.

Lord Northbourne (1896-1982) published Look to the Land in

1940 a book in which he coined the term ‘organic farming’. The
book was a manifesto of organic farming, and he wrote of the
contest of “organic versus chemical farming” (p.81).
Northbourne’s terminology of ‘organic farming’ was promptly
adopted internationally. Jerome Rodale published the first
‘organic’ journal, Organic Farming and Gardening, in the USA in
1942. The Australian Organic Farming and Gardening Society
was founded in Sydney in 1944 (Paull, 2008). Eve Balfour (1943)
quoted Northbourne’s book extensively in her best selling book
The Living Soil. Composting advocate, Albert Howard (1944),
adopted the ‘organic’ terminology as did Pfeiffer (1952).”

There is more to this history that one will need to read to be fully
convinced that "Lord Northbourne" got Biodynamics from Pfeiffer
as of "1-9 July 1939”.[24]


[1] http://us10.campaign-archive1.com/?

Also see: http://www.keepthesoilinorganic.org/about-us

[2] See the "September 15, 2016" post at: http://


And especially the "September 12" post at:


[3] http://www.demeter-usa.org/downloads/Demeter-At-A-

[4] https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/11/12/organic-

[5] http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/11/16/502330731/

[6] https://www.cornucopia.org/2016/11/follow-national-organic-

[7] MOFGA+Hydroponics+Comments+Fall+2016.pdf

[8] http://www.nationalgeographic.com/people-and-culture/food/

[9] http://www.keepthesoilinorganic.org

[10] http://www.keepthesoilinorganic.org/single-post/2015/11/17/If-

[11] http://us10.campaign-archive1.com/?

[12] https://www.organicconsumers.org/bytes/organic-bytes-548-

[13] http://www.keepthesoilinorganic.org/jim-riddle-nosb-testmony

[14] http://fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/tenant-farmers-

[15] https://hl.azurestandard.com/healthy-living/info/azure-farm-

[16] https://vimeo.com/217945829?outro=1&ref=fb-share

[17] https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001ODEPY4/ref=dp-kindle-

[18] https://www.ediblenm.com/how-biodynamic-farming-

[19] https://drlorand.wordpress.com

[20] “'In Bacteria Land': The Battle over Raw Milk" by Anne
Source: Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, Vol. 11,
No. 1 (Spring 2011), pp. 35-43
Published by: University of California Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/gfc.2011.11.1.35.

[21] https://next7.org/sign-the-petition/?

[22] "Securing fresh food from fertile soil, challenges to the

organic and raw milk movements" by Joseph R. Heckman;
Department of Plant Biology Department, Rutgers University, New
Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901, USA:

The following is an extended quote regarding soil fertility from this

paper (linked above)
"Policy impacts on soil fertility, sustainability and health

The pioneers of the organic farming movement placed great

emphasis on health in connection with soil fertility. Howard (1943),
for example, wrote of a ‘great linkage between the soil, the plant
and the animal.’ and furthermore declared that ‘Soil fertility is the
basis of the public health system of the future’ (Howard, 1972).
The authors (Baars et al., 2015) of the book on Producing Fresh
Milk, The Cow Edition would agree with the organic farming

concept that mineral-rich fertile soils are one of a large number of

factors promoting healthy dairy animals and enhanced quality
fresh unprocessed whole milk.

Albert Howard (1972) was also very much cognizant of the

function of livestock on soil fertility when he wrote that ‘Mother
nature never farms without live stock….’ Cows as part of the farm
ecosystem are effective transformers of relatively low nutrient
density forages into nutrient-rich foods with fat-soluble vitamins,
proteins and energy-dense fats (Heckman, 2015). On dairy farms,
there is a flow of soil fertility through the cow (Bear, et al., 1946).
Although cows do extract a fraction of the minerals from their feed
to make milk, the larger fraction of the minerals contained in feeds
and forages are recycled back to the land through manure

Pasture-based dairy farming systems are one of the most

effective ways to build soil organic matter content and soil fertility
in general (Heckman, 2015). This organic fraction of the soil is a
valuable storehouse for carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and
other plant nutrients. Pastures under organic management are
ideally a mixed stand of legumes and grasses. This diverse mix
enables a farm to be self-sufficient in nitrogen. This biologically
captured nitrogen as part of a well-designed crop rotation is
supportive of an entire organic farming operation. In this way,
pasture and perennial forage crops are foundational attributes of
an effective organic farm plan.

Whether organic milk from a dairy farm is provided directly to

consumers as fresh milk or as pasteurized milk makes little
difference in terms of how soil fertility functions on the farm.
However, milk policy can have a huge influence on the number,
size and distribution of dairy farms and thereby sustainable soil

Dairy farms in the business of providing fresh milk directly to

consumers are typically smaller operations with a local community
of patrons. These dairy operations employ many organic farming
practices. This is in large part due to the preferences of fresh milk
consumers for organic production systems, especially pasture
feeding. A recent study (van Asselt et al., 2015) on dairy farming
in the Netherlands concluded that ‘raw organic milk is more
sustainable than pasteurized organic milk’ and furthermore that ‘it
is also more sustainable than pasteurized conventional milk due
to a higher revenue’. Where policy supports production and trade
in fresh milk, more farmers are likely to enter the business of
producing fresh milk. Thus, more pasture-based dairy farms
would contribute to more land area under sustainable soil fertility

[23] https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/farm-ranch/a-

[24] http://orgprints.org/19511/1/Paull2011BetteshangerJOS.pdf

[25] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up2Z38rnie8

[26] https://www.cornucopia.org/2017/11/demand-real-organic-

[27] https://www.motherearthnews.com/Nature-and-Environment/

[28 http://www.betterhealththruresearch.com/document264.htm

Related: "Scientific Evidence For Biodynamic Food":



USDA, organic label, hydroponic, organic agriculture,

biodynamics, rudolf steiner, soil, soilless systems, Soil Fertility,
soil quality, organic farms, organic laws, pasture-based dairies,
traditional food, traditional farming, Biodynamic Food