Biodynamic Foods: What They Are and Why Should They Matter to Your Family
Most parents agree, few things are as important as the kind of food you feed your family. More is at stake with every meal than simply satisfying taste buds. Are your daily dinners setting your children up for long lives of good health, or are you introducing the ingredients into their diets that will one day lead to chronic disease?
Quality food begins with quality ingredients, and finding the best ingredients requires knowing how they were grown in the first place. In this way, biodynamic foods offer some of the best nutrition for your family, all while nurturing the natural fertility of the planet and encouraging environmental sustainability.
What Is Biodynamic Farming?
Put simply, biodynamic faming is a method of agriculture that is as concerned with the health of the entire ecosystem as it is with cash crop production. As a holistic, ecological and ethical approach to farming, biodynamic growing techniques utilize compost, natural pest control methods, and even the impacts of the gravitational pull of the moon to restore and harmonize every aspect of the farm, from the natural to the cultivated. In this way, the entire farm is treated like a living organism that must be managed in a multitude of ways to maintain efficiency, sustainability and nutritional content for all it produces.
Based on the ideas of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic farming is now practiced in over 50 countries and includes thousands of gardens, orchards, ranches and large farms across the globe. To qualify for official biodynamic certification, farmland must have 10 percent of its acreage set aside as a biodiversity preserve, a two-year annual crop rotation, and more. Organic certification is also required as a beginning step, and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is forbidden in all forms.
What sets biodynamic farming apart from other forms of sustainable growing? In essence, biodynamic growing techniques rely on a triple bottom line approach for success, meaning that ecological, social and economic sustainability are all equally important for the overall success of the farm - not just profitability.
The Benefits of Biodynamic Farming for Your Health
We all know how important it is to feed our families plenty of fruits and vegetables, but is your produce really providing all the benefits that you think it is? Strange but true, the nutritional content in common crops has decreased in recent decades, most likely due to the extensive use of pesticides and herbicides on farms. These chemicals essentially act as a biological crutch for plants, meaning that they don’t have to produce as many powerful antioxidants to ward off attacks. Struggling to survive is how plants gain much of their nutrition, and allowing chemicals to do the hard work for them only results in lower vitamin production and less nutrition for you.
In fact, surveys of existing literature comparing the nutritional content of organic and conventional crops have consistently found that organic crops contain more vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus than conventional varieties, as well as fewer nitrates and heavy metals. For this reason, there are statistically significant differences in crops grown without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and the benefits only increase when food is grown in a truly biodynamic way.
In the same way, the impact of increased antioxidants, magnesium and potassium for positive heart health is well documented, and a study from the University of Newcastle found that organically grown vegetables have up to a 30% greater amount of vitamins and antioxidants than conventional varieties, making them ideal for naturally boosting your health. Biodynamic farming seems to provide even better results. A study from the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association in Australia found that biodynamic crops had 47% more vitamin C, 13% more magnesium and 8% more potassium.
While the research on organic foods and human health is still developing, extensive studies have showed that animals fed organic foods suffer from fewer illnesses over their lifetimes, which is likely due to the increase of vitamin C and zinc that helps support the functioning of their immune systems.
Preliminary studies are also showing that the benefits of biodynamic farming go beyond nutrition to positively impact taste as well. A study from the American Journal of Ecology and Viticulture found that grapes grown with biodynamic techniques scored ideal tasting scores, even compared to crops that were grown organically.
Why Eating Organic Isn’t Enough
The selection of organic food in supermarkets has been exploding for years, but many people believe that this conventional-crop alternative simply doesn’t go far enough for human health and environmental sustainability.
While organic farming is a step in the right direction, there are too many loopholes for certification that make it unreliable. Powerful farm lobbyists have helped create lax regulations for organic certification, meaning that many organic farms can still rely on chemical pesticides like Bt for production and do little to improve the sustainability of the planet.
For this reason, biodynamic products go a step farther than organic to maintain sustainability for the entire farm ecosystem, not just the fields themselves. If you want to feed your family the best pure foods that nature can provide, the only way to be absolutely sure you’re investing in quality ingredients is to look for produce that goes beyond organic to be biodynamically certified as well.
The White Leaf Provisions Difference
We understand how hard it can be to find biodynamic foods to feed your family, which is why White Leaf Provisions was founded in the first place. We are a family business in Charleston, SC that’s working to improve the offering of pure food products in the United States. Everything we sell is completely transparent in how it’s farmed, processed and packaged, ensuring that you will know exactly what you’re feeding your kids with every bite.
Our organic, biodynamic unsweetened apple and pear sauce is made from US grown fruit without any additives, sweeteners or preservatives. We truly value food that nourishes your family’s bodies as well as the planet, and we think after a single taste you will agree.