“A stadium crowd cheering between organic and not organic.” Responses to Italian organic farming controversy.

Above: last night’s BYOB wine was the 2017 Brooks Crannell Vineyard Pinot Blanc from Oregon’s Eola-Amity Hills. Many of Brooks wines are biodynamic certified but the fruit for this bottling is not. No certification is listed for Crannell Vineyard but according to info available online, it is “dry farmed without any irrigation.” 100% delicious, with vibrant fruit and racy acidity, a perfect pairing for Cantonese.

There were a lot of responses to this week’s post on opposition to proposed legislation in Italy that would create new protections and incentives for organic farmers.

The bill was approved by Italy’s lower chamber and is now being considered by the Italian senate. It would create a tax on conventional farming and require public schools and institutions to serve organic food products.

Opponents of the bill, which is likely to be approved, counter that global-scale organic farming is unsustainable and a threat to nutritional security and the nation’s health. Authors of the bill claim that organic farming is vital to the nation’s identity, health, and nutritional future.

Click here to read “Organic farming, a “beautiful but impossible fairy tale.” Italian scientists oppose proposed organic regulation.”

Professor Michele Fino, director of the master’s programs at the University of Gastronomic Sciences (Slow Food) in Piedmont (where I also teach), wrote on Facebook:

“Very inaccurate interview fully supported only by the reputation of the Senator [Elena Cattaneo, an opponent of the bill], who is no agrarian or plant scientist. No information, no revelation. Sorry. This is politics with the feathers of science.”

In a comment thread, he wrote me that an official response from his office in support of the bill had already been prepared and is currently being vetted by the university’s lawyers and technical advisors.

Jason Lett, organic grape grower and owner of Eyrie Vineyards in Oregon, tweeted: “We profit from the deliciousness of what we make, not the yield per land. If we assign value to flavor and expression of place into the food calculation, organic wins easily.”

Alice Feiring, author and natural wine advocate, tweeted: “What about if organic farming was perfected? What about if more research was going in how to farm responsibly and also get high yields? What if the ag biz put their research $ there?”

Jamie Goode, wine writer and organic/biodynamic advocate, tweeted: “Organic farming for wine is fine. But if all agriculture went organic, then it would be a disaster. People would starve. I wish it were not so as a big fan of organics.”

Maurizio Gily, a leading Italian agronomist, tweeted: “Something true, something wrong. Not everything in organic is always sustainable in the long period, not everything in conventional is polluting and unsustainable. But the big mistake is to create a stadium crowd cheering between organic and not organic. Things are more complex.”

I’ll post updates on this story as it develops. Thanks for being here.

One thought on ““A stadium crowd cheering between organic and not organic.” Responses to Italian organic farming controversy.

  1. Alice asks what if organic becomes perfected??? Huh??? How does that happen unless you use scientific methods to determine or find some magic bullett. How does that happen if you wait for the moon and tides to be in phase? Please. I beleive that using manure and cover crops is better than bagged ferts from a factory. But millions of cases of wine are consumed by millions of people who want to enjoy wine and live to be 80, not 100. And need to pay rent, not live in a tent. Let those who want to grow organically do so and do not impose Parson Malthus’s discredited limits of progress onto the rest of the worlds free people.

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