Reclaim Natural

Posted on February 20, 2014

only-organic-question_logo.jpgCertified Naturally Grown's Response to the “Only Organic” Campaign 

We applaud the overall spirit of the new video campaign by Organic Voices taking aim at the misuse of “Natural” by processed food manufacturers. The Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) community is very concerned about how this word is used to peddle processed foods packed with genetically modified ingredients (GMO’s) and synthetic additives.

However, we can’t embrace the exclusionary and false conclusion of the Organic Voices video, nor will we join them in conceding yet another valuable word to big agribusiness. 

It’s NOT Only Organic

It is simply not true, as the video claims, that the USDA Organic label is the only way people can be sure their food is grown without synthetic pesticides or GMOs. The Organic label is an important and valuable tool for consumers. But organic is not the only game in town

Certified Naturally Grown has existed for twelve years, just as long as the National Organic Program. There are approximately 750 farmers nationwide who are Certified Naturally Grown today.  Thousands more have applied for certification and many of these participated at some time in the past. Certified Naturally Grown farmers are committed to working in harmony with nature to produce food for their local communities. To become CNG certified, their production practices must comply with strict, transparent certification standards. Only_Farmer_Montage.jpg

Certified Naturally Grown means:

  • no genetically modified organisms,
  • no toxic pesticides, and
  • no growth hormones or antibiotics

And Certified Naturally Grown also means:

  • The food is produced on a local farm with direct community ties
  • It is real food, from the soil, not from a factory
  • The food does not come from a corporate conglomerate

We meaningfully and proudly use the word natural to describe the food produced on Certified Naturally Grown farms. 

Reclaim Natural

Organic Voices claims “Millions of people are fooled by the word ‘Natural’ because ‘Natural’ doesn’t mean natural.”  We are not fooled. And we have faith in people’s ability to detect false advertising and embrace the true meaning of natural. Let’s not concede yet another word to industrial agribusiness.  

The organic movement is bigger than the USDA label. To keep it vibrant we must feed it at the grassroots. CNG does exactly this. Please join us. Help us Reclaim Natural. We believe in real food, grown without toxic pesticides or GMOs. We believe in family-scale farms and the power of local networks to re-build our food system. And we believe that a food label is only as strong as the community behind it. You may join us by becoming a Friend of CNG or, if you’re a farmer, by completing an application for certification online. 

The organic packaged food brands represented by Organic Voices – Annie’s Homegrown, Earthbound Farm, Stonyfield, Organic Valley, Late July – are just one part of our diverse and growing movement. Their fight is to protect organic food brands against GMO-friendly competitors in the processed food arena. Our focus at Certified Naturally Grown is on building community-based agriculture that protects our soil and water for future generations.  Despite our different goals, we must remain undivided by terminology or territorial concerns and work together to hold our common ground. 

Please join us. Reclaim Natural!

Alice Varon, Executive Director
Bob Redmond, Urban Bee Company, Board Chair
Elizabeth Weller, The Amazing Heart Farm, Board Secretary
Tripp Eldridge, White Oak Pastures, Board Treasurer
Christina Hylton, Athens Land Trust, Board member
Certified Naturally Grown

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Affiliations (other than Certified Naturally Grown) are listed for identification purpose only.

The following 160 endorsers have signed on to this letter as of March 4, 2014.

Janet Aardema

Chris Adams

Buddi Barnett Thompson

Laura Barron McCook

Sydney Barton

Bill Becker

Jaime Bee

Agi Behan

Monique Blais

Wesley Boccardo

Troy Bogdan

Elizabeth Bohland

Sharon  Bonorden

Butch Bowling

Kathleen Bruening

Michelle Buck

Jeff Callahan

Anne Marie Caristi

Joseph  Caristi

Jonathan Carpenter

Dennis Casey

Helen Cha

Sulaman Chaudhry

Laura Chisholm

Jesse Clark

Cody Cohan

Brittany Cole

Linda L. Correia

Kaycee Craig

Diane Cramer

Bruce Cramer

Jenny Culbertson

Caroline Culver

Michael Davidson

Linda L. Davis

Valerie  DawnStar

Mallory DeGolian

Chris Delaney

Jim Dicks

Sheila Dicks

Lisa Donoho Bailey

David Doran

Jonathan Duffy

Lori Dziedzic

Eric Erway

John Ferree

Kathleen Finnerty

Pamela Fisher

Fiona Fisher

Heather Flottmann

Roseanne Gallagher

Michael Gallagher

Mac Gates

Gerorge Girod

MM Graff

Kim Griffith Brown

Marci Grover

Tim Hammond-Williams

N'ann Harp

Katie Harris

Alvin Harris

Jason Hartman

Heather Hasley

Alex Haulman

Bob Hays

Rob Hazelwood

Leslie Hodges Lawson

Chip Hope

Erin Hughes

Ginger Hutchings

Terra Incognita

Brian Ingmire

Yiska Ivri

Lesley Jackson

Todd Jameson

Kathleen Jameson

Bobbett Jascor

Nick Kahrs

Joelle Katto-Andrighetto

Garry King

Ari Kinnehan

Darla Kirby

Bill Koehnlein

Ryan Kudasik

Misty Langdon

Patrick Lenhoff Anita

Marc Lewis

Michelle Lindsey Taylor

Todd Lister

Sandra Litzenberger

Kimi Lizotte

Chris Lockhart

Patch Longby

Kristie Manhardt Lawler

Hazel McElhenny

John Peter McGrath

Darlene Merz-Smith

Kathy Mikolajczak

Bambi Miller

Diana Mitzel

Kellie Morrison-Burns   

Jacquie Morse  

Susan Motos-Drury        

Marcee Murray King     

Michael Noreen              

Rachel Norman

K. Rashid Nuri   

Nicole Olson      

Kamal Patel       

Maria Payan      

Doug Peebles   

Brian Perry         

Stacy Peyakov, Wynola Flats

Greg Ramalho  

William Ramsey               

Bob Raymond   

Lynne Richardson           

Joseph Ringis    

Welker Robert 

Maggie Robertson          

Deron Rosenberg           

Derek Sayer      

Dixie Lee Scott-Starks   

Katie Shively MacGregor             

Bard Shollenberger        

Ron Simmons   

Marlene Simmons          

Rex Smith, Harmony Hollow Apiaries

Corinna Smith Garmon 

Jack Spruill, Spruill Farm Conservation Project

Aaron Suko        

Chuck Taylor     

Amy Lynne Tucker          

Jessica Tucker Rahe       

Cleo Ulatowski 

Kimberly Usher

Missy VanWormer         

Bobbi Walker    

Joshua Wandell               

Lea Weathers   

M.J. West           

Stan Whitehurst              

Ellen Williams    

Bob Wimberg   

Chris Wimmer  

Michele Woodward Gillman       

Michael Yoken 

Karyn Zaremba


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