Written by: Megan Tyminski
Local. Organic. Fair trade. Humane. Non-GMO. More and more, people are equating food quality with its growing process. Ethical concerns related to social issues and the environment have materialized into consumer trends, and farming philosophy has made its way to the dinner table. So what’s the next philosophy that could start showing up on plates? Biodynamic farming.
In Columbia, Missouri, Sarah Cyr, restaurant co-owner of Wine Cellar & Bistro has been using biodynamic practices that steward the earth and its people.
The Cyr biodynamic farm grows a variety of vegetables that Craig Cyr “enjoys cooking with later” at the restaurant. Sarah also sources biodynamic wines for the menu, including a lengthy list of biodynamic and organic wines featured prominently on the first page.
As a sommelier, Sarah Cyr can taste the “cleaner, brighter, tastier” flavor profiles in biodynamic wines. It also helps that she feels healthier knowing what is going into the production, and the philosophy.
So what is biodynamic? Essentially, the practice looks at farming as an ecosystem, and integrates organic approaches that are taken “even further to the whole health of the land and the moon cycles,” said Cyr.
Biodynamic farming uses scientific reasoning, and manages soil health as the most important practice. Cyr uses compost preparations from cow horns, fish from their pond and oak bark to provide nutrients and prevent disease.
Tim Reinbott, a researcher at MU Bradford Farm concerned with soil science, said that there is definitely some truth in these principles.
“Soil health in general is a change in philosophy,” he said. “Soil is not just a growing medium. It’s alive.”
According to Cyr, biodynamic farming can be “hard for people to wrap their brains around,” and may seem a little hokey, but in reality, it’s “egotistical of us to think that nature can’t do it better.”
If this philosophy grows, that taste of nature may be in your next meal.