Are Biodynamic Products at the Pinnacle of Purity for Consumers of Organic Foods?
The Signs Point to “Yes"
Buying organic is easier and more affordable than ever before. And perhaps you think that when you purchase organic products you’re also doing your bit for the environment and animal welfare. Sounds like the perfect “all-in-one package”. But is organic as good as it gets?
In a word: no. Biodynamic foods are known as “superior organics" because they're grown in a way that goes above and beyond organic standards. Here's a rundown of why "Biodynamic" is the pinnacle in purity standards.
1) The Biodynamic Farm – a self-contained and self-sustaining organism: Biodynamic farmers keep as much livestock as they can feed with their farmland; therefore, the exact amount of manure is produced to turn land fertile and arable. Further, no imported feed (often coming from South America, where entire areas are cleared for it) or fertilizers are required.
2) Animal Welfare: Thanks to appropriate animal husbandry - Biodynamic cattle don’t undergo painful dehorning, which is commonly practiced on conventional and organic farms in order to prevent injuries caused by the inadequate space the cattle are granted. In addition, Demeter, as the first agricultural association, has developed parent flocks and hatcheries for Biodynamic poultry as well as a bull project as an alternative to artificial insemination.
3) 100% Organic Feed: At least 80% of feed must be certified Biodynamic and at least 50% must come from the farm itself. It is always known exactly what is fed to livestock: herb-packed green fodder, fragrant hay, freshly shredded grain and/or legumes.
4) Only 14 Additives Are Allowed: USDA Organic allows around 4x more additives into their sustainable process. Neither artificial nor natural aroma is permitted in processing Biodynamic products. Only flavoring substances gained from fruits are permitted. Nitrite salting and iodine aren’t tolerated in Biodynamic either, and oil mills don’t use any chemical additives. Therefore, Biodynamic products are “food with character”, which guarantees intensified sensory qualities and enhanced mindful pleasure in eating.
5) Biodynamic Plant Breeding – vitality through open pollinated seeds: Demeter had developed standards for plant cultivation back in 2008. Today, the first Biodynamic plant breeding has been certified. In harmony with nature, Biodynamic plant cultivation is geared toward strength, nutritional quality, flavor and digestibility. Genetically Modified (GMO) plants and CMS hybrids, which are produced through a cell fusion process that is allowed in USDA Organic, are prohibited in Biodynamics.
6) Biodynamic Preparations and Promotion of Soil Fertility: Biodynamic agriculture has proven to generate sustainable and fertile farmland and the highest quality in ripeness. The trick here is the use of Biodynamic preparations gained from medical plants, minerals, and manure. They are produced on each Biodynamic farm and can be compared with homeopathy.
7) Appreciation of the Entire Supply Chain: Demeter actually merges the entire supply chain. An entrepreneurial network composed of farmers, processors, traders, researchers and customers promote the development of the Biodynamic methods and are an integral part of the market development. Due to ecological, economic and social responsibility, the most important aims are always transparency, liability and fair prices for all. Thus, only tightly controlled contracting partners are allowed to use the Biodynamic certification label.
Rooted in a deep respect for an understanding of humanity’s place in the world, Biodynamic is committed to sustainability and actively works to transform the quality of life of the planet. Biodynamic goes far beyond any organic label in your grocery store. It requires consumers to engage in food on a holistic level that not only benefits them, but also our social and ecological environment.