Gill Bacchaus Talks Biodynamic Food

Below is an excerpt written by Gill Bacchaus from the Spring 2021 issue of Harvests (available to members of Biodynamics New Zealand). Gill recently self published a book called ‘Love Your Vegges’ which is packed with information about biodynamic gardening and how to get more nutritious vegges into your children! We highly recommend it. Contact Gill if you want to purchase a copy gillbacchus@gmail.com. Become a member here https://biodynamic.org.nz/product/annual-membership

 What is the book about (can you describe the kinds of information, the purpose, and who this book is for).

The book is for anyone looking to increase their health benefits and enjoyment from eating vegetables, although much of it applies to other types of food also. It is aimed particularly for parents seeking to encourage their children to eat a wide range of vegetables. I think many children are put off by the poor taste of many vegetables available in our shops, so I advocate growing your own or seeking a good organic source.

I point out that we are all unique, needing the right food for our particular body, lifestyle and health conditions and also for our mood, thinking and ability to achieve. I discuss the large differences in taste, nutrient content and effects on our bodies from different vegetables, different parts of vegetables and vegetables grown in different systems. There are also practical chapters on growing your own, preparing and cooking vegetables

I encourage readers to think of vegetables in a holistic, dynamic way rather than as bundles of nutrients and explain the importance of eating food containing strong formative forces and particularly strong light forces for peoples’ thinking, mood, spiritual development and ability to cope with life’s stresses and achieve their goals. Although there is not a lot specifically about biodynamics I point out the value of growing biodynamically and using the biodynamic preparations.

How would you describe the difference between biodynamically grown food, to organic? Are there nutritional differences?

I think it’s important to recognise there are many variations in organic and biodynamic systems according to soil and climate type, and what practices an individual uses, so it is hard to generalise. Some organically grown food may contain more, better balanced nutrients than some biodynamically grown food if it has been grown in better soil with more love and care.

If the biodynamic grower recognises and fosters the spiritual connections of our plants to the sun, moon, planets and stars and the beings who work with the cosmic and earthly forces, regularly applies the biodynamic preparations and understands how to use them to strengthen cosmic forces and balance them with earthly forces, then their food products will contain strong formative forces which nurture our souls and spirits as well as physical bodies..

As a biodynamic grower also fosters the individuality of their unique property and makes it as self-sufficient as possible rather than bringing in organic inputs the food will have unique flavours that reflect the ‘terroir’ of their property. (I find it interesting that the value of biodynamic growing is better recognised for wine rather than food production. Developing a unique ‘terroir’ taste in their wine reflecting the individual conditions of their vineyard is an important part winemaking.)

Assuming the biodynamic food has been grown using good organic practises including plenty of good compost, rotations etc in fertile, biologically active, minerally balanced soil and all the biodynamic preparations, including preparation 501, have been applied at suitable times several times a year, it should have a good, complex flavour, and be satisfying to eat. It is also likely to contain more complex sugars, more well balanced, true protein, and more ‘phytonutrients’ (such as antioxidants, and the sulphur containing nutrients in brassicas). 

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