As a consumer, how do I know I can trust that a farm that claims to be Certified Naturally Grown actually grows using ecologically sensitive methods, free of chemicals and GMOs?
Every aspect of the Certified Naturally Grown certification process is transparently open for the public to see and investigate – you will find every farmer’s complete certification application on-line. Public access to scanned copies of Inspection Reports goes even further to ensure consumer confidence in this grassroots movement. Even the USDA program doesn’t allow for this kind of public scrutiny. The truth is, though, that farming is a solitary profession and no one can ever really know what may or may not be happening on an isolated farm at 5AM on a Sunday morning. No amount of USDA paperwork can catch the farmer who WANTS to cheat. Unlike the USDA Organic program which does NOT include tissue sampling for pesticide residues, CNG farmers agree to submit to random tissue sampling and laboratory testing for pesticide residues in their produce. The cost for such testing is paid for by CNG, not the farmer. Although not every farmer is tested every year, the possibility of testing is a