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Biodynamic Produce: What is it and Why it's Important

Biodynamic produce is grown with high regard for the environment. Learn about what it is, why it's important, including how to buy biodynamic produce on a budget.

Picking fresh vegetables on a biodynamic farm

Have you seen products with 'Biodynamic' on the packaging? What does it mean?

Food producers will use the term 'Biodynamic' to show that their product has been grown in harmony with nature without synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. The crops are instead nurtured with natural fertilisers and pest control methods that not only promote a healthy soil but also a sustainable food system.

Biodynamic is a philosophy of organic farming developed in the 1920s by Rudolf Steiner. Biodynamic refers to the dynamic relationship between living organisms and their environment.

The biodynamic approach to farming has three main principles:

  • A healthy soil leads to healthy plants, healthy animals, and ultimately, a healthy human being
  • A farm should be managed holistically as an organism where all parts are interconnected
  • The farm should be managed in harmony with the natural rhythms of nature

Close-up of a red apple on a tree

Biodynamic versus Organic

Organic food is grown without the use of chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilisers. Biodynamic farming is a form of organic farming that goes one step further and uses specific preparations of natural substances to stimulate plant growth and yield.

Biodynamic food production is based on the principle that the farm itself should be self-sufficient. Its own animals provide fertiliser for crops and its produce as feed for livestock. The farm also relies on natural methods to control pests and diseases, such as planting flowers among crops to attract beneficial insects.

Organic agriculture is based on the idea that any substance used in growing plants must be natural—thus excluding artificial fertilisers, pesticides, genetic modifications, or other substances.

Are there Guidelines for Biodynamic Food Labelling in Australia? 

The Australian government has not released any guidelines for biodynamic food labelling. Still, there are some standards set by industry associations and certifying bodies.

Black and white chicken roaming in green grass

Should I buy Biodynamic Foods over and above other foods? 

Whether or not you would like to explore biodynamic foods is a decision based on your personal circumstances and budget. You shouldn't feel guilty if it doesn't work for you. Foods that are not necessarily biodynamic or organic are still nutritious. 

Biodynamic food production is a sustainable and ethical way to ensure that our food is produced with the environment in mind. But it can be expensive, so here are some tips if you want to explore biodynamic foods on a budget.

  • Shop at your local farmers' market 
  • Buy in bulk 
  • Visit a biodynamic farm
  • Utilise your community's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) 
  • Grow biodynamic produce at home. Use food scraps to create compost and other means to close the loop in your mini-ecosystem. 

Image credits: Jacob Lund, Matthew Henry, Markus Winkler


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