Photo courtesy of USFWS
Excerpt from Urban Farming by Thomas J. Fox with permission from its publisher, Hobby Farm Press, an imprint of BowTie Press. Purchase Urban Farming here
The United States Department of Agricultureâ€™s National Organic Program is what regulates standards for any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operations wanting to sell its agricultural products as organically produced.
The standards for labeling a product â€śorganicâ€ť include that the â€śagricultural product cannot be produced using excluded methods, sewage sludge or ionizing radiation.â€ť What is sludge? It is defined as a â€śsolid, semi-solid or liquid residue generated during the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment works.â€ť
Organic farmers use animal manure, so why not human? The reason is that much of our sewage combines residential and industrial waste, resulting in contamination by substances such as mercury, lead and dioxins.