BIODYNAMIC & ORGANIC LIVING FOODS -Health Importance #1

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Greetings
 
The world in which we currently live is becoming starved of (amongst many things) good, healthy and nutritious food.  The best answer to this predicament is to concentrate on BIODYNAMIC and ORGANIC LIVING FOODS!
 
I am going to run a series of Guides to give details on these topics, which will then hopefully enable people to gain an awareness of these valuable aspects of the food we eat.
 

Biodynamic Agriculture

What is Biodynamics?

What is Biodynamic agriculture?

In seeking an answer, let us pose the further question:

Can the Earth heal itself, or has the waning of the Earth's vitality gone too far for this?

No matter where our land is located, if we are observant we will see sure signs of illness in trees, in our cultivated plants, in the water, even in the weather. Organic agriculture rightly wants to halt the devastation caused by humans; however, organic agriculture has no cure for the ailing Earth. From this the following question arises:

What was the original source of vitality, and is it available now?

Biodynamic agriculture is based on the “ Agriculture Course” given by Rudolf Steiner in Koberwitz, near Breslau (Wroclaw), in 1924, in response to requests from farmers.  Farmers and gardeners who work biodynamically take account of the living interactions and rhythms deriving from both terrestrial and cosmic influences. Besides avoiding all chemical and synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, this involves crop rotation appropriate to the locality, animal husbandry and feeding adapted to the nature of each species, and social forms that go beyond the traditional family business. 
 
Enlivening and enhancing of the soil occurs in connection with the biodynamic preparations, obtained from medicinal herbs, cow dung, quartz (silica) and animal remains, which work as remedies in tiny quantities. These promote the development of plants and their life forces by exercising a harmonising influence on them. Each farm becomes an “agricultural organism” and individual business entity through the harmonious interaction and development of human being, animal and plant. The word “anthroposophy” means “wisdom of the human being,” or, for us today, “awareness of one’s humanity.”In 1924 Rudolf Steiner developed a course of study based on meditative exercises that lead « the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe.» Knowledge of spirit can only be found by spiritual means.
 
In the Agriculture field, the focus is on soil management, crop cultivation, animal husbandry and the farm organism. Knowing and working with planetary-earthly correspondences is basic to the bio-dynamic method of agriculture, as practised worldwide.
 
 
  • Nutritional Principles
    Nutrition affects the entire human being, that is to say, the body, but also his vitality and psycho-spiritual state of mind. For this reason, Rudolf Steiner began to give indications already in his earliest lectures 100 years ago on an appropriate nutrition, not just for an esotericist, but for all human beings. With the advent of biodynamic agriculture, this consciousness was extended to include not just the selection of foodstuffs like grains or potatoes, but also to the standard of their cultivation. Consequently, it is an agricultural method that is not just a service to the earth itself, but the products it produces provide healthy nutritional sustenance for people. 

Dietary practices based on anthroposophical principles differ from other “alternative” diets, like the German Dr Werner Kolliath’s whole foods diet (Vollwerternahrung) or the Hay Diet, in a number of ways. It expands the underlying knowledge of natural science in the sphere of nutrition with a wholistic view of the human being as an animated physical and soul-spiritual being. Consequently, a person does not simply require food products to feed himself, but needs also to take in life energies for his vitality and psychological and spiritual activities through what he eats. There are therefore no fixed prescriptions for the use of specific foods. Every person must decide for him or herself. Diet is determined locally by the particular culture and agriculture of a region. One does not eat the same way in Asia as one does in America, and there are marked differences in how Southern and Northern Europeans eat. The Rye bread popular in Central and Eastern Europe is quite unusual in the Southern European countries and certainly in the tropics, and hence probably also of little value. In America a lot of Maize is consumed, in Europe not very often. 

Millet, a common traditional grain in Africa, is relatively unknown in Asia. We must therefore conclude that nutrition is not something uniform, but has to adapt to individual needs, to the prevailing culture of the people, and to the climate. Anthroposophical nutritional guidelines leave much room for individual choice and take into account the local and cultural conditions. 
 

 
  • The Quality of Foodstuffs
    Standards determining the quality of nutrition in its anthroposophical sense are significantly broader and more stringent than those conventionally accepted as scientific today. Not only the ingredients of a specific food are regarded as critical, but also the natural human influences which have determined its cultivation and processing. These are mainly the life energies of plant and animal and the conditions found along the various stages of preparation for sale to the consumer. 
 
These forces have an active influence on the human being, in that they stimulate the digestion and metabolism, i.e. the central life processes in his system. The manner in which these forces are stimulated varies according to the type of food and the manner in which it is cultivated – a banana having a different effect to roast goose. Plants and animals acquire different inner forces. depending on the manner in which they live, their environment, and the type of care they receive from people, as well as, in animals, the way they are kept, whether they are able to move freely and have social contact amongst themselves. This also causes them to have different effects on the human being taking them in as nutriment. 
 

The quality of foodstuffs 

  • Biological Quality (Type of plant or animal) 
  • Quality of Cultivation (Agricultural influences) 
  • Quality of Processing 
  • Quality of cooking or preparation

This expanded view of standards leads one to a different judgment and understanding of the suitability and effect of our foods. It is this that determines, amongst other things, the various guidelines set by the Demeter food standards or the dietary programs of anthroposophical institutions.

 
  • Nutrition in Practice
    There are no blueprints for the exact programming of one's daily food intake. This rests within the freedom of the individual. What can be said, however, is that such an individualised approach presupposes that one occupies oneself to some extent with questions relating to nutrition, that one has a basis of knowledge and has made some experiences. Dietary recommendations are not prescriptions, but a help in choosing. They usually describe the effects of specific foods and provide a basis for making a decision. 
 
Rudolf Steiner spoke of this in a lecture:
 
You see, people tend to ask: is it better to drink alcohol or not to drink alcohol!
Is it better to be a vegetarian or to eat meat!
I don’t ever tell anyone that he s hould enjoy alcohol or refrain from drinking it, or whether he should eat plants or meat.
Instead, I tell them: alcohol works in such and such a way. I simply relate to him the effect that it has, and he can then decide if he wants to drink it or not.
And I do the same in the case of eating vegetarian food or meat. I say: meat has such and such an effect and plants have this effect. And the result is that the person can then decide for himself.
It is this that science must aim for above all else, namely respect for human freedom."
(R. Steiner: Nutrition and Consciousness.)
 
 
As we can see, the main thing is to build up criteria for judgement that will help us find an appropriate diet. Certainly it is less comfortable than fixed rules, but is essential for our time.
 
Based on our judgement of individual foodstuffs, we can make specific recommendations. On the basis of these, whole-foods nutrition has been developed that uses grains as staple diet. The descriptions of Rudolf Steiner and the experiences of many different people have also led to the practice of eating fewer meat and fish products and favouring an ova-lacto vegetarian diet (with milk and eggs). This however, depends entirely on the choice of the individual and his or her needs. 
 
 
 
 
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  • The Importance of Biodynamics!

I will offer more on the topic of the importance of BIODYNAMICS in my next Guide :

Importance of BIODYNAMIC & ORGANIC LIVING FOODS - Part 2

Do let me know if this information has been valuable to you - thanks

 

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