October is Non-GMO month…what better time to talk about Biodynamic Farming—what it is and how it affects the food you eat? Here are the Top 5 things you need to know about biodynamic farming and its potential impact on all our lives:
(Note: all photos for this story are from Rosendals Garden, the amazing Biodynamic Farm Jerry and Ashley biked to during their recent trip to Stockholm. There has been so much talk in recent months of the growing trend in biodynamic farming, they wanted to see what it was all about!)
- Biodynamic and Organic farming practices come from the same place. The organic farm movement grew out of the development of the biodynamic approach to agriculture that started in the 1920s. (The term organic was coined from the biodynamic principle that the farm should be viewed as a self-contained organism).
- In practice, the biodynamic farm is run very much like an organic farm, with a focus on building soil fertility, rotating crops, banning GMOs, and eliminating chemicals and hormones.
- The major difference between organic and biodynamic farming: Biodynamic farms feature a completely closed system and the use of biodynamic preparations. Having livestock on the farm, dedicating at least 10% of the land as a biodiversity preserve, and growing certain herbs and plants on the farm help maintain it as a self-contained and sustainable system.
- The Demeter Biodynamic® Processing Standard (there are 16 categories in all, including oil, wine, cosmetics and body care) fundamentally ensures an unbroken chain of accountability from the farm to the finished product.
- The demand for biodynamic products is increasing in the U.S. (In Europe, there are entire stores that carry only biodynamic products!) Every commercial farm or product must be certified through Demeter International, the oldest ecological certification organization in the world to legally use the term Biodynamic on labeling and promotion.
As of 2016, Demeter USA (the U.S. representative of Demeter International) has almost 200 members and certifies more than 20,000 acres. These numbers are set to increase as they have been experiencing an average of 10% growth in certification in recent years. Why the resurgence now? More and more consumers are alarmed (and fed up!) with the byproducts of conventional farming: erosion of topsoil, increased pesticide usage and run-off, global warming, animal abuses, low value of produce, and GMOs.
Shop Biodynamic at Rising Tide
Rising Tide market has its finger on the pulse of every new biodynamic certified product that enters the marketplace. In store now:
- Yellow Barn Tomato Puree
- Crofters Premium Fruit Spreads (Strawberry, Blueberry, Apricot)
- Hawthorne Valley Cheddar Cheese, Original and Turmeric Kraut, and Hot Pepper Sauce
- Lundberg Biodynamic Short-Grain Brown Rice
For more on Biodynamic farming, check out this article from Shape magazine.