Natural, Organic, and Biodynamic

"Ensure that you get what you pay for and reap the benefits of that price tag through food quality – decipher the difference between natural, real organic, and true biodynamic edibles."

Eating healthy, appreciating slow food, and choosing organic are timeless advertising trends in food and beverage. Labels such as these used to sell certain products tend to imbue them with certain characteristics, some of which are meant to give them premium airs. This imbued quality comes at a literal price. Unfortunately, some purveyors are liberal with their labeling; foods tagged as organic may not really be so. There are also natural and biodynamic foods, both of which stand at opposite ends of the organic median.

Ensure that you get what you pay for and reap the benefits of that price tag through food quality – decipher the difference between natural, real organic, and true biodynamic edibles. These labels should not only serve to describe the raw materials and their sources, but the processes involved in foodcrafting as well.

The discipline of artisanry – the expertise and certification of accomplished foodmakers – and the artisan’s respect for terroir brings an entirely distinct range of qualities to the food, realm of nuance to its taste, and insight into how those flavors and textures came to be.  Everything in the entire ecosystem of foodcrafting, from the environment the food comes from, the ingredients added to the food, and the methods used to turn raw ingredients into a finished product can be natural, organic, or biodynamic. The effects of these foodmaking principles are evident in what you consume.

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Natural

“Natural” is defined as a direct product of the earth. The FDA defines the term as something that has no additional colors, flavors, or substances. With natural wines, vinification happens with the least amount of manipulation of hand-picked grapes. Machine-harvested grapes are more likely to break – thus unintentionally initiating the oxidation process, which would then require sulfur sprays to help negate. Some natural sulfites, however, may have been incorporated into these wines.

Due to the vagueness of the definition of the term, it can be hard to identify what is natural and what is not. At the very least, natural food is assumed to be minimally processed. All natural products are supposed to have undergone entirely physical treatments. Aside from said natural sulfites, any chemical modification should take the food out of this category.

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Organic

Organic food strives for minimal impact on resources and processes. This category of food also leans towards balance with the environment where the food is grown and the processes with which the food is made.

This type of food can also be healthier due to the lack of additives; your food grown is your food eaten, with no extras. For instance, organic wine should be made from organically-grown grapes without the addition of sulfites.

Organic meat, as certified by the USDA, requires the animals to be cared for following organic regulations; there are no growth hormones or antibiotics, and the methods used to raise them integrate the protection of native species and the natural resources with which these species are raised.

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Biodynamic foodmaking is a holistic and ethical slant that bases itself on ecological terms. This type of foodcrafting takes the organic concept higher, in that biodynamic food considers the interconnectedness of the food, its environs, and even the effects of celestial bodies. The goal is a sophisticated ecosystem that encourages crop growth and foodstuff quality while literally tending to the earth and other elements within that same network.

For example, biodynamic processes ensure optimum growth for the foodstuff and optimal health for the soil, with some artisans using special composts to restore the soil as opposed to traditional farming that simply takes away nutrients from the growing medium. As the moon influences the tides, the tides’ effects on planting, growth, and harvesting are also considered – some farmers believe that the positions of stars in the night sky also affects the crop cycle.

A balanced, diversified, and sustainable ecosystem is the where the food comes from; whatever depends on the soil is grown in cooperation with it. The tastes and textures of the foodstuff are as true as can be, and the food made with the least impact on its environs.

Appreciate what it takes for food to deserve its labels, and recognize the intricacies of conscientious consumption. Savor the mark of true natural, organic, and biodynamic food with our eco-friendly selections at Origine.

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