Hydroponics, Local Lettuce and the Organic Debate

Hydroponics refers to the growing of plants in water and providing a customized nutrient solution to provide the plants with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.

Currently under the Canadian Organic Standard any system of hydroponic growing, regardless of the fact that all organic practices may be followed, is not permitted to be organic certified. The reason for this is that organic certification in Canada requires soil.

The National Organic Program in the U.S., on the other hand, permits hydroponics. Many believe that soil-less agriculture is simply a variant of organic farming.


Local Hydroponic Lettuce
Local Hydroponic Lettuce

So, here’s our dilemma at goodfood2u. There is a local hydroponic producer, in L’Orignal, Ontario, less than 100km from Ottawa who grows a wide range of greens, including lettuce, according to the US organic standard, in a hydroponic system.
In the depths of winter we have a choice, to offer our customers certified organic lettuce from California, that travels long and far to get here, or to offer our customers a local, non-organic certified (in Canada) lettuce from a local grower who otherwise follows organic practices.

We are feeling like from a holistic perspective that the local non-organic certified version is a better option, but we want to know from you, do you agree?

Please let us know what you think. Jennifer@goodfood2u.ca