While French Cuisine has always been fresh, (it’s major “secret”), and is often “organic”, nowadays it as ascended to “bio.” Short for “biodynamic.” As in grown according to biodynamic methods
So what exactly, you may well ask, are ‘biodynamic methods? And how do they differ from “organic methods?”
To paraphrase a famous line from Groucho – “Let me answer the second question first.”
“Organic”, as any card carrying Californian will tell you, is agriculture free from chemicals. Which, additionally uses companion planting to keep the bugs away. (ie – marigolds planted next to the tomatoes,)
“Biological” is agriculture adhering to the principles espoused by the Austrian philosopher Ruldoph Steiner. The main principle being to aid plant growth by the application of heavily diluted natural fertilizers, at specific phases of the moon. in essence “biological” agriculture is homeopathy for the soil.
Now while “planting by the phases of the moon” may, to some, sound like new age voodoo, your grandfather will confirm that this is a pratice savvy farmers have always followed. For the best of reasons. it works. It produces the desired results.
However These precise differences between “organic” and “bio” are lost on the average froggie in the street, who regards them as two labels for the same thing.
Thus you find truck farmers hawking their wares as “bio” – simply because they were grown without chemicals. Not clear on the concept.
Which, of course is great news for the monoliths of food commerce, Confusion? – allllrighty then! We can exploit that. We can be “greener” than our competitors.
And so, like everything that starts out new, good, and good for you, there are always those who will jump in with both feet to package it, and, bien suir, flog it mercilessly to fill their wallets.
Ergo, as you would expect the World of French commerce is all over “bio” like a cheap suit.Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, wine have all been elevated to “bio” status. Likewise, their prices.
The giant embrace the French have given “bio”, is, I think, rooted in a conciousness and a tradtion which is uniquely French. That is the concept of “terroir.” (pro – “tear-wahr”) A regard for the land that approaches reverence for the French. Whose pride in their country is unquestionably reflected in it’s products.Thus the great majority of the French treat the land with respect. Not chemicals.
Without question – biodynamic agriculture has raised the bar for food quality standards. And that’s a good thing. But the confusion arising from the lack of “average joe/froggie” info about exactly what it is, it’s properites and methods, needs to be addressed.
Otherwise, it risks becoming just another arrow in the food marketing quiver.
That’s my rant. And I’m stickin’ to it!
THROW ME A BONE HERE, PEOPLE!
What are ya thinkin’?