Hydroponics / aeroponics are “natural”. Period.March 15, 2007
In any discussion / debate / argument, we may sometimes reach a point where we feel there is simply no point in pursuing the subject further, because the other person is either on a totally different wavelength, or being absolutely unreasonable.
I reached that point this morning (technically speaking, yesterday morning as it’s past midnight as I write this) when I read the following letter in the ST Forum:
Labelling of vegetables
I REFER to the letter, ‘Organic labelling for vegetables misleading’ (ST, March 12). The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority does not object to the use of the words ‘natural’ and ‘grown naturally’ to describe fresh fruit and vegetables produced using aeroponics or hydroponics, as these methods of farming adopt the same basic principles as conventional farming.
The methods of farm production are also not required by the Food Regulations to be labelled on prepacked fresh fruit and vegetables. However, fresh fruit and vegetables which are labelled as ‘organic’, ‘organically produced’ or words of similar meanings should meet the standards established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission for organically produced food.
Goh Shih Yong
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority
The above was in reply to my letter published on Monday, about organic labelling of vegetables at the NTUC Fairprice Xtra hypermarket in Ang Mo Kio.
I was stunned and left speechless to read Mr Goh’s response. If our (highly paid) senior civil servants wish to assert that vegetables grown in water or grown suspended in air are “natural”, then I really don’t know what else to say.
Perhaps some of you who are less stunned and speechless than I would take the discussion to the next, higher or lower, level. Or maybe in a day or two, I might recover sufficiently to think of something non-expletive to say.
For now, let me share with you what I discovered this morning.
I went to www.dictionary.com and typed in “natural”. I was led to 22 results, of which the first had 38 meanings and definitions. The closest that comes to explaining how vegetables grown in air or water might possibly be considered natural was definition #34: