Get to Know Your Farmers

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The short video above features three American biodynamic farmers who supply the raw materials used in our biodynamic product line. The first is Justin Trussoni, president of Fifth Season Cooperative in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Trussoni grows hemp and vegetables using biodynamic farming methods.

The second is Cecil Wright, a biodynamic maple farmer and founder of Maple Valley Cooperative. The third person was Brian Wickert, vice president of Fifth Season Cooperative. He has been growing biodynamic vegetables and herbs since his 1997. Wickert is also the primary formulator of biodynamic soil preparations used by other biodynamic growers.

As Wickert pointed out, my biodynamic brand, Solspring,1 Today, the range of biodynamic products is one of the largest in the world. We offer more than 70 Demeter-certified biodynamic pantry staples, from snacks and spreads to coffee and tea. This is also thanks to our partnerships with producers such as Wickert, Wright and Trussoni, who put their heart and soul into their work.

What is biodynamic?

Biodynamic agriculture is a spiritual, ethical, and ecological approach to farming first developed by Austrian academics. rudolf steiner,2 Ph.D. (1861-1925). It now meets both organic and recycled certification standards, as well as some certification standards.

Biodynamic farming provides crops that are superior in both quantity and nutrient density. Biodynamic farms are completely self-sustaining, which cannot be said for most organic farms either. For example, biodynamic standards do not simply require farmers to use organic animal feed. Most of the feed must actually come from the farm itself.

Additionally, while organic farmers can dedicate just 10% of their farm for growing certified organic products, 100% of a biodynamic farm must comply with biodynamic standards to be certified.

In addition, 10% of land must be dedicated to increasing biodiversity. This may take the form of forests, wetlands, insect habitats, etc., for example. Biodynamic farming also has all the characteristics associated with regenerative agriculture, such as crop rotation and the use of cover crops.

Focusing on animal welfare and integrating animals on the farm is another core principle of biodynamic farming. That is, the farm is seen as a living, self-sustaining whole, of which biodiversity, both plant and animal, is an integral part.

In my opinion, this is really the best thing and buying food produced on biodynamically certified farms through Demeter guarantees maximum food quality and environmental sustainability. Become.

To learn more about the biodynamic principles pioneered by Steiner, check out Jonathan Steddal’s documentary The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner below. It is also available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

The need for regenerative agriculture has never been greater

Modern chemical-based agriculture destroys rural economies, pollutes water and air, depletes aquifers, destroys pollinators and biodiversity, soil erosion and loss of soil fertility, destabilizes the climate, and contaminates food. , resulting in the deterioration of nutrients and the deterioration of the public environment. health.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,3 Today, 6 out of 10 American adults have a chronic disease. 4 out of 10 people have two or more of the symptoms, and one of the main reasons for this is malnutrition.

Latest government dataFour To back that up, 45% of Americans don’t meet their daily vitamin A requirements, 46% don’t get enough vitamin C, and 95% get less than their vitamin D requirements. 84% don’t get enough vitamin E. And 15% don’t get enough zinc. Any of these defects can cause problems. The authors state:Five

“A properly functioning immune system is essential to human health and well-being. Micronutrients such as vitamins A, C, D, E, and zinc serve several functions throughout the immune system, but Nutrient deficiencies are widespread.

Many studies have shown that nutrient deficiencies can impair immune function and weaken the immune response…nutritional supplements can help address deficiencies in these immune-supporting nutrients. ..

Given the long-term presence and widening of nutritional disparities in the United States, particularly for key nutrients that support immune health, public health measures need to adopt guidelines to ensure adequate intake of these micronutrients. . ”

Sadly, I don’t think that will happen. That’s because even if you consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, you may still fall short of your nutritional needs for several simple reasons: Today’s conventionally grown produce contains far fewer nutrients than its equivalent 50 years ago.6

That’s because plants get their nutrients from the soil, and when soil nutrients are depleted, the amount found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs also decreases.

Additionally, factory-farmed and genetically modified grain-fed meat, eggs, and dairy products typically contain more omega-3s, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and antioxidants than 100% grass-fed, biodynamic animal products. Lower levels of the oxidant, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

the study7 Organic foods have consistently been shown to contain significantly higher amounts of antioxidants, especially in no-till regeneration systems.8 A diet rich in antioxidants is also associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart and brain disease and certain cancers.

And again, biodynamic is organic on steroids. So it’s no surprise that biodynamic foods can be even more nutritious than certified organic, since the focus is primarily on soil optimization.

A U-turn in agriculture is necessary.

Even with abundant land available, food security can no longer be taken for granted. Here’s why:

  • Groundwater depletion is accelerating.9
  • Water pollution is getting worse — Valuable water sources are also threatened by pollution from large monoculture farms and intensive animal feeding operations.Ten According to reports11 According to Environment America, corporate agribusiness is one of the biggest threats to America’s waterways.
  • Soil erosion and degradation are rapidly worsening – Twelve years ago, in 2012, Professor John Crawford from the University of Sydney pointed out that 40% of the world’s agricultural soils were already classified as degraded or severely degraded.12 Conventional farming methods are the main culprit, causing topsoil to be lost 10 to 40 times faster than nature can regenerate and replenish it.13,14
  • Desertification is accelerating — Land is rapidly turning into desert and with it a loss of biodiversity, both plant and animal.

Biodynamic farming is the answer everyone is looking for

The good news is that biodynamic farming can address all these issues and more. To make the transition, we just need to acquire a larger agricultural sector. Our decision to partner with Maple Valley Co-op and Fifth Season Cooperative is just one part of our efforts to expand and normalize that niche. Buying and increasing demand for biodynamic farming products is a way to help in that effort. As Wickert pointed out, here are the reasons to buy biodynamic food:

  • It’s highly nutritious, so you don’t need to eat that much.
  • Longer shelf life than traditional agricultural products
  • Biodynamic supply chains work on federated economics to ensure that everyone from the bottom of the supply chain to the top has a decent living.

We hope you enjoy this little “sneak peek” into the biodynamic farms that are part of our brand. Knowing who the farmers are, where your food comes from, how it’s grown and what principles it adheres to are all important aspects of a truly healthy lifestyle.

Get to know your local farmers. Please talk to them. Let’s visit their farm. Most staff members will be happy to show you around and talk you through the process. Organic, regenerative, and biodynamic farmers tend to be very passionate about what they do, and most embrace the opportunity to educate consumers about their characteristics.

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