Can Hydroponic Be Organic ?

by Rajmahendra Hegde
Hydroponic system

Is Hydroponic  Organic?  Is Hydroponic chemical-free? ….

Almost all who attend a session on Hydroponic will indeed have in mind to ask. Let’s see what it is really?.

Hydroponic is a modern technique of growing plants in Water. It is a Hitech way of growing plants. Before jumping into conclusion, whether it is synthetic or organic, let’s see what is this all about.

Hydroponic is an alternate way of growing plants in water. Yes, only in the water! You do not need large land. You can grow plants in vertical or even have multiple racks to grow plants. You need pure filtered water which does not have any nutrients, based on the plant you grow, you add necessary nutrients into the water and circulate or dump water and feed the plants.

As long as one egg looks pretty much like another, all the chickens like chicken and beef, the substitution of quantity for quality will go unnoticed by most consumers, but it is becoming increasingly apparent to anyone with an electron microscope or a mass spectrometer that, truly, this is not the same food

Michael Pollan

Due to the absence of soil in the whole system, Hydroponic enjoys less soil-borne pest or diseases. Growers have to only focus on air-borne pests and fungicides. Growers claim they use Organic pesticide to reduce chemical. Depends on who is following their walk-the-talk whether they are not adding any synthetic chemicals depends on them. But yes you can use Organic Pesticides like foliage spray, for any fungicides or other attack you may need to depend on chemicals only.

In any form of cultivation, plants need 17 essential elements for growth, bloom and fruit.

Apart from  Moisture, water, Oxygen, carbon dioxide and light. The plant needs something called NPK as core ingredient; they are  Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium. The rest of the elements are  Sulfur, Calcium, Magnesium, Boron, Chlorine, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, and Zinc.

Compost TeaNow the question arises how you feed these elements to the plants? Hydroponic claims we feed in a closed system and based on the species the nutrient will be fed, and it is fed as per the plant need so 100% feeding ratio we achieve, water is saved 99% which is very true. If you are in a closed environment, you can directly feed what it needs like a baby in an incubator. So the plants grow in this system are very active, very fresh, fully grown plants. Taste is delicious, and so on.

There are two types of cleanliness: organic cleanliness and chemical cleanliness. Often chemical cleanliness is toxic and harmful. Natural or organic cleanliness focus on maintaining harmony with nature.

Amit Ray, Beautify your Breath – Beautify your Life

If I get fresh, tasty, fresh food from Hydroponic, Do I really like to consider Organic?

Eating Organic food is an awareness drive after seeing so many Synthetic, junk, unhealthy food in our diet. Can we live with the current way of eating all unhealthy food? Yes. we can and we are doing for years. Does it harm right away,  No, even after having all these chemical we are healthy and happy, but all these junk, synthetic, processed food do create an effect on the body gradually which is not known in the early stage.

Who knows, after we reach 60-70 age, whenever we go to the doctor and ask why I am getting XYZ diseases, a doctor will say, “Its old age Sir, This is common for everyone.” but he may not tell you, “Due to chemical accumulation in the body medicine is not responding  This is because of so much accumulation of toxic and unhealthy chemicals which do not digest or remains in the body which causes the aftereffect of your food in old age.

Our primary health care should begin on the farm and in our hearts, and not in some laboratory of the biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

Gary Hopkins

The truth behind the Organic lifestyle is,  pick and eat the right food which is naturally available. . It is not only the food we cook or eat, but the items we use on daily basis is also full of chemical which can be replaced by less or non-toxic and chemical-free. e.x. Tooth-paste, bath soaps, shaving cream, aftershave and also so-called ayurvedic items also contain artificial chemicals.

We have to move out of this, it may sound tough but if you search and learn in-depth in this topic that is not that hard. e.x. Instead of tooth-past try using tooth-powder. Check the ingredient used in both paste and powder, you will know the difference why I am recommending powder. Instead of spending money on aftershave try to use our traditional Alum Stone which is cheaper and last longer.

You can check some of my daily non-toxic and chemical-free items in the footer.

Is Hydroponic Organic solution?

No. The elements used to make nutrient water is all synthetic, like NPK and others. Some of the elements like Epsom Salt is organic, but most of the things mixed in the water are not Organic.

Can Hydroponic be Organic?

Till date, there is no working model of an Organic Nutrient used in Hydroponic system yet. Some people have tried and some model but they are yet to be recognized.

What is the alternate solution for Hydroponic to go Organic?

Aquaponic may be a good alternate.

What is Aquaponic?

If you grew Fish or had Aquarium, you will definitely know what Nitrogen Cycle is. Aquatic environment provides a free way to get Nitrogen. Plants need Nitrogen. Aquaponic is a smart way to grow leafy-greens with the aquarium as a source of NPK and feed the plants. Even in Aquaponic, the water in the aquarium won’t have all the necessary nutrients for the plant. Here the grower adds organic nutrients into the aquarium which get available to the plan.

If you really like the idea of knowing more about this, feel free to leave your comment to add more articles on this topic.

Hydroponic is FSSAI certified.

FSSAI is an autonomous body under the Indian Government to regulate and promote safety in food items for public health.

My indoor garden hall

My indoor garden hall

Their primary goal is to make sure the licensee provide a hygienic, good and safe for the public to consume. This body won’t authorise is this food an Organic or not. for this, we have a different body.

“Hydroponic is beyond Organic”

This is a basic quote used by all the grower of  Hydroponic in India. I always ask them what you mean by “Beyond”. I never got an answer till now. Organic itself is beyond all human-based/Synthetic/industry created things. You cant beyond Organic. If something there you say So-called God created it… many elements available even living organism create them can that be Beyond Organic? 🤔

The word is well defined in English:

1.relating to or derived from living matter.  2. (of food or farming methods) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals.

Oxford Language

I have a garden at home. I can grow Organic food do I need to consider Hydroponic?

Hydroponic is a new way to cultivate the plant, trendy way of growing plants in today. Do not fall in this modern trap. Do not invest in large systems. Try small and leave it till you have a better organic solution in the market. Do not try to make it a lifestyle.  In my personal suggestion, if you already growing food at home Organic, never change your mindset. Please continue the same.

Try to bring new things to reduce water like drip-irrigation. Try to do a lot of experiments on how you be more organic and get a good yield.  Start doing Composting and reduce buying fertilizer. Try to know what veggie gives what nutrient tries to make your compost nutrient-rich. Corp rotation, companion planting, seasonal planting are good things to try.

An organic farmer is the best peacemaker today because there is more violence, more death, more destruction, more wars, through a violent industrial, agricultural system. And to shift away from that into the agriculture of peace is what organic farming is doing.

Vandana Shiva

I have tried both Hydroponic and Aquaponic. I have around 5 types, so systems all are home-based to try. As a sustainable lifestyle seeker, I also tried Hydroponic not to go on organic, but before commenting on good or bad, we have to try it, so I like to try all type of system. My current quest in this is how can I use water-based cultivation and go Organic. Not sure I can, but it’s good to try and see than just to read the book and believe it’s true or not possible.

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