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What Is Biodynamic?

I have to admit, at first when I dived into the world of organic skin care and makeup, the term “biodynamic” left me completely buffled. It was highlighted on a few sites I checked, but to the best of my knowledge it was another term from the modern scientific mumbo-jumbo marketing world created just to attract my attention.

How wrong I was. The more I researched it, the more amazed I was by how little exposure this concept has had in main-stream North America.

And guessing that there are probably readers on this site who are not all too familiar with the term as well, I am creating this biodynamic post, just so I can link to it every time that it comes up in the future.

So buckle up, and let’s dive in.

Biodynamic – what is it?

The term biodynamic refers to a type of farming/agriculture. Sometimes it is simply shorthanded as BD. The method dates back to 1924 and is one of the original approaches to organized organic farming worldwide. It was founded by Rudolf Steiner, a philosopher, who established the spiritual movement of anthroposophy. (Rudolf Steiner is such a multifaceted figure, that it is impossible to summarize him in a few sentences. Thus I must respectfully send you to Wiki, if you would like to learn more about him and his teachings.)

Originating from a spiritual view of the universe, biodynamic farming regards the farm as a living organism.

The best way to envision this living organism approach is to think of a wild forest. The forest is a system with a high degree of self-sufficiency. It doesn’t need external input to sustain itself. It’s fertilized through recycling of organic material within its own system. The intrinsic biological and genetic diversity of the forest inhabitants prevents pest species from moving in. And the water is cycled through the system efficiently.

In the same way, biodynamic farming practitioners view a farm as a closed system. Sustainability and self sufficiency is the key. Thus most seeds and fertilizers are self produced. Working by hand is essential (for the living connection between human and earth) and sowing and harvesting are matched to the rhythms of nature. Harmony with the world and other organisms, regeneration instead of degeneration, and sustainability as opposed to depletion are the values that guide biodynamic farming.

Needless to say (but I’ll mention it anyways) that biodynamic farming does not use artificial fertilizers or pesticides. Instead the fertilizing preparation are made from farm-sourced materials.

Today biodynamics is practiced in more than 50 countries worldwide.

There is also a biodynamic certifying organization, Demeter International, who also hold the trademark to the word biodynamic. Demeter certification is the oldest traditional organic certification in Europe and is regarded as the highest grade of organic farming in the world.

These are its typical logos (though there are some other variations within specific country markets):

Sample of cosmetics brands that use biodynamic ingredients:

  • Tautropfen (BDIH and Demeter certified products.)
  • Martina Gerbert (Certified Organic (BDIH), but also includes biodynamic ingredients, and has Demeter Certified products, notably massage oils and pregnancy care line.)
  • Dr Hauschka
  • WeledaI have written a very detailed article about this brand. It’s one of the oldest organic brands in the world.
  • Jurlique
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    4 comments

    1 E+S { 05.25.08 at 1:17 pm }

    Very good & easy to understand overview of what biodynamic is! xo, S+E

    2 Acai Plus { 08.25.08 at 7:23 pm }

    Nice bog you have here. I pretty much lurk the internet when I’m bored and read all I can about the organic lifestyle, but I really liked you view on things. I’ll bookmark the site and subscribe to the feed!

    3 edna tomei { 09.18.09 at 5:31 pm }

    Bio dynamics is an ongoing path of knowledge. It is a method and technique . An assembledge of balance and energy, practicing a recognition of science and life forces.
    Bringing the approach of healing. Based on the principles of nature.

    4 Abby { 12.13.11 at 8:33 am }

    Great blog – so informative and love your product reviews! Thank you. :)

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