Certified Naturally Grown - a certification

Has anyone heard of this organization? We have a distant neighbor who has made the cut to receive certification. Their website begins the introduction with this paragraph:

"Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) offers peer-review certification to farmers and beekeepers producing food, flowers, and fiber for their local communities by working in harmony with nature, without relying on synthetic chemicals or GMOs."


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin

    @dottile46 I haven't heard of it, and that's likely because it is US initiated or very small & new.

    The problem with certification is that it doesn't always remain as intended and gets expensive for both grower & customer (why does it have to be?)...and I don't know why people start to cut corners or change their definition. Their definition of "naturally grown" sounds good on the surface.

    Beekeepers are really not able to keep their bees from GMOs in North America, but can treat their hives naturally. I know of one keeper out in BC somewhere that is isolated enough to be able to claim truly "organic." There may be more that are isolated enough as well, but the vast majority cannot truthfully claim the organic label.

    I would tend to talk directly with the producer to hear what their own definition is and what their practices actually are on their property and not just trust a label & surface definition.

    Anyway, these are just my thoughts.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    I am sad to say, certification does not really mean much.

    It depends on where it was done and what their standards were. Many so called organic certifications allow a certain amount or sprays. and ther cost for certification when it has so many grey areas is not worth it.

    To me organic means just that, no chemicals and even checking on your soil to see what was let behind from past use. Water is also a concern.

    Many people will bring in hay, straw or some other compost or mulch and not know how safe it is.

    I would want to see the fine print to see what they really allow.

    I have a friend who sell certified vegetables and I would not eat anything they produce.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    I checked out the website and I don't see how this is much different from organic certification. Not sure why another certifying body is necessary.

    Same comments as above on the quality of some other certified producers. I prefer to get to know my producers.

  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning their website says there are over 750 farmers and beekeepers in the US and Canada. Another part of their sight says it was started in 2002. It appears to be for the smaller producer that sells at farmers markets and such rather than the larger producers. I agree, it is near impossible to have anything truly organic.

    @Monek Marie I agree with you. There is a link on their site to the allowed practices for each category they certify. Recently there was a case of misrepresented grain in some midwestern states that took down " one of the biggest sellers of “certified organic” feed grain in the entire country." https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article239079858.html

    @torey if I read it correctly, they started the same year NOP started.

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't trust certification, either. Sugar is labeled natural, and many beekeepers take all of the bees' honey, then feed them sugar water or corn syrup. It may be natural, but it's not healthy or fair to the bees. I was researching organic certification for a writing project and was appalled by what is allowed.

    I agree with @torey; it's much better to get to know producers personally. Years ago, a farmers' market seller explained that he used a very light pesticide on his corn because bugs love corn, and it was the only way he could get a harvest. It was not GMO, and a worm here and there confirmed it. I appreciated his honesty. I would rather buy corn from him than someone who has a certificate, but you have no clue how it was really grown.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭

    I have never heard of it. I agree with the others though, certification doesn't mean much these days.

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    My brain is certainly littered with stories I've read about "organic" this and that discovered to be a scam. Ugh!!! Why can't the world be that beautiful safe space we grew up thinking was true and good? Yes, I agree whole heartedly - know your producers.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    Getting to know your producers is very easy if you live in a rural area. Everyone knows everyone else and how they do things.

    But even if you live in a city, you can get to know all the producers at your local farmers markets. For meats, shop at a small butcher and find out who their suppliers are. Go for a drive into farm country and shop at market stands where you can see how the produce is being farmed or better yet, go to u-picks. Find a small dairy where you can get some pretty amazing local cheeses.

    Next to water and air, food is the most important thing for life. We should all be spending more time on the sourcing and preparing of our nourishment and less time believing someone else's idea of what is natural or healthy for us as individuals.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,020 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Several years ago I was doing some research on food labels and came across something showing the legal definition for "natural" was that it "could" exist in nature. So even if it was made in a lab, if there was a natural version of it it was considered natural. Gave up on organics and natural products then.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I used to look for "natural" products, but then I learned that it wasn't a guarantee of anything years ago. I do buy "organic certified" now, and keep my fingers crossed, since I don't trust organic certification either. I much prefer buying local from people I know and trust whether organic or not. I definitely try to get "no spray" at the farmers market since many of them can't afford certification. All of this is more reason for me to grow as much as I can of my own food.