Expanding horizons

Biodynamics awakens the wine's soul.


Nicolas Joly is one of the pioneers of biodynamic viticulture. His white wine "Coulée de Serrant" is widely considered to be among the best in France. In his book "Le vin - du ciel à la terre" (Wine – from heaven to earth) he says: "The more one disregards the laws of life, the more one has to resort to unnecessary artificial means in tending the grapevine to improve the quality of the wine."

Joly began to grow and produce his wine biodynamically in the early 80’s. He soon realised that the plant and animal substances used in biodynamic agriculture not only enlivened the soil, but also increased the grapevines strength. Joly sees the soil as a sensitive organ for an extremely subtle, intangible world that originates in the atmosphere surrounding us. In the words of the restaurant critic and writer Wolfram Siebeck: "They say that nothing is more successful than success itself. Biodynamic wine production, convincingly turned into a success by Nicolas Joly, will continue to gain in importance. And we as wine drinkers will be the real winners of this development."

Biodynamic milk: milk with cream on the top

According to the principle of preserving the natural essence of food as much as possible, by treating them with care and respect, Demeter milk is not homogenised. Therefore milk and solid yoghurts are allowed to build a healthy layer of cream on top.

Fat is contained in milk in the form of relatively big globules, so that a layer of fat is built up. Milk is usually homogenised in order to prevent this. The globules of fat are destroyed under huge pressure. The very small and light pieces that are left over do not accumulate at the top. This complies with today’s consumer demands.

The results of the European "Parsifal Study", conducted on about 15,000 children, show that regular consumption of fresh milk directly from the farm may protect children against asthma and hay fever. The control sample consisted of children growing up on farms, children from rural and suburban environments, and Waldorf school students. The study, which was led by the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Basel, was published in the journal "Clinical and Experimental Allergy" in May 2007.

The protective effect of fresh, untreated milk in relation to asthma and other allergies continues to be the subject of further research. One assumption is that the protective effect is connected to the fat-composition of the milk, as explained by Dr Marco Waser from the University of Basel:

"We need to understand more thoroughly why raw milk from the farm has this protective effect on children. It is interesting to note that the protective effect persists, regardless of whether the raw milk was boiled before consumption, or not. It is possible that this protection against asthma and allergies stems from the natural structure of the milk, which is still intact in non-homogenised milk."

Real Bread

Do you enjoy a hearty, delicious loaf of bread fresh from the farm? This bread is so special, because its only ingredients are flour, water (or milk), yeast and salt. The dough is left to rise, and develop its characteristic aroma. Demeter bakers bake breads like this, without artificial ingredients or additives, in accordance with the Demeter principles. This is why Demeter breads are so tasty.

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Quality revealed in crystal clear pictures.

Here in the case of apples: below, the picture of a Demeter apple with delicate, clearly fanned out needle formations, under that, a conventional apple with irregular needle formations.

Biodynamically grown apple

Biodynamically grown apple

Conventionally grown apple

Many consumers consciously look for food that is good for them. They know that the way in which produce is grown and processed makes a difference to the quality. Working with indications given by Rudolf Steiner, the chemist Ehrenfried Pfeiffer developed a technique to make some of these inner, nutritional qualities visible.

The so-called "picture-forming method" was taken up and expanded by other scientists, among them Dr Ursula Graf (Wetzikon, Switzerland), and Beatrix Waldburger who works at the Goetheanum crystallisation laboratory. The picture-forming method includes the development of "educated judgement" allowing for an objective quality assessment. The forms in these pictures reveal the expressions of life forces and vitality inherent in the analysed products.