Going Back to the Future: Is Biodynamic Agriculture the “Newest” Trend in Organic?
Most people are familiar with organic farming, but they may not have heard of biodynamics. Biodynamic farming is a practice that was first developed in 1920 by Dr. Rudolf Steiner. The main principle of biodynamic farming is that the entire farm exists as a single entity without the need for outside inputs. In other words, where an organic farm may purchase organic seeds or organic feed for livestock, a biodynamic farm must produce everything on the premises.
Organic and biodynamic are very similar; both are grown without chemicals and GMOs. However, biodynamic goes one step further. It is a holistic practice where all things are considered living interrelated systems – animals, plants and the solar system. Biodynamic practices create healthier plants and heal the earth by replenishing the soil and adding vitality to the plant, soil and/or livestock.
Instead of pesticides, biodynamics uses scented flowers to repel insects away from the crops. Honey traps and herbal teas sprayed on the crops are also used to prevent unwelcome pests. Fruits are picked during full moon, and not for ethereal reasons. During full moons the gravitational pull means the soil is more moist and the fruit juicier, with more active available enzymes.
Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself. Preparations made from fermented manure, minerals and herbs are used to help restore and harmonize the vital life forces of the farm and to enhance the nutrition, quality and flavor of the food being raised.
Biodynamic agriculture has been practiced for nearly a century, on every continent on Earth. Biodynamic principles and practices are based on the spiritual insights and practical suggestions of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, and have been developed through the collaboration of many farmers and researchers since the early 1920's. Today, the biodynamic movement encompasses thousands of regenerative gardens, farms, ranches, orchards, and vineyards, in a wide variety of climates, ecological contexts, and economic settings.
Where can you buy Biodynamic grown foods?
Elizabeth Candelario with Demeter USA explains: "Whole Foods' nationwide commitment to the development and distribution of Biodynamic products has given leading organic food companies the confidence and support they need to bring Biodynamic products to store shelves. This, in turn, provides encouragement to farmers to transition their farms to this highest form of sustainable farming. And Biodynamic products deliver on the integrity of their agricultural ingredients, providing deeply nutritious and delicious food. Healthy farms, healthy products, healthy people, healthy planet. Thanks, Whole Foods!"
We can now stock our pantries with Biodynamically grown foods as Whole Foods is launching numerous Biodynamic product lines by well-known processors like Lundberg, Amy’s Kitchen, and Wholesome Sweetners.