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View Full Version : Organic Malts? What are the Real Environmental Advantages?



NS_Nano
01-20-2016, 11:07 PM
I am really on the fence about organic products in general. In many cases, academic studies have found them to be indistinguishable or worse than conventional crops in terms of yields, taste, nutritional benefits, and overall environmental impact (the latter especially when produced on an industrial scale). I also have a close friend who is a small scale organic vegetable farmer, and who was personally unmoved about the benefits of organic cereal crops (changes in tillage requires, etc., as I understand it). I have been doing some research, but have gotten bogged down between the highly technical and also highly specific material in the academic literature and the cheer-leading that makes up 99.9% of any article retrievable from the Internet involving a search for 'organic' and 'brewing'. Before I reach out to some agronomists, I figured I'd reach out to the community here to see whether anyone has done the research and has a nuanced and informed perspective on the costs and benefits of organic cereals production (especially barely). I am all for reducing the foot print of our admittedly luxury and unnecessary food product, but would like to do so in a manner that is sane and evidence-based. I'd especially be grateful if someone could point me to any objective academic articles on organic barely production.

Thanks!

Jason

nohandslance
01-21-2016, 06:57 AM
Jason,
You are not alone. As a buyer of all types of grains, my experience with Organic Vs. Conventional farming is more of a headache on the State/Fed level than the actual farming practice. My experience with "organic" is this. The State (to remain nameless) had all season to come and inspect the crop, Barley, they were a no show until harvest but could not certify unless they inspected prior to harvest. Planted, irrigated and harvested all with the States Organic guidelines in place. Would not certify. Paid the premium price. I Will only work with farmers that practice organic methods but will not go the certification route. Only buy your grain from an Estate barley grower that you have direct access to their grain. Be there for sowing, growing and harvest.
Check our Mecca Grade Farms, Seth is doing great things on the organic front with barley for the brewing industry.

Lance
Rebel Malting Co.
Reno, Nevada USA
ljergensen@rebelmalting.com
775.997.6411