Strengthening Life Forces: “Vitality – From Soil to Stomach”
Although we have considerable knowledge regarding the individual components of our food, the task of measuring food quality often poses a challenge. How can one inspect the vitality of a plant, for example? And what consequences does that have for the quality of our food? These questions are addressed by Danish researcher Dr. Jens-Otto Andersen in his new book, published in spring 2019: “Vitality – from Soil to Stomach” (ISBN 9788743008903). In the publication, sponsored by the Software AG Foundation, he describes vitality as the ability of a plant to maintain its life processes, even under difficult conditions, and to develop a certain amount of resilience. One example is cucumbers, which have an impressive ability: if you cut them in 2 cm slices, they can grow back together again. In doing so they remain green and can even fend off fungal attacks. This ability provides an interesting reference point for the plant’s vitality. In standardized experiments, it was possible to show that biodynamically- and organically-grown plants were clearly superior to conventionally-grown plants in this respect.
Using composting and special soil preparations, biodynamic agriculture forms an important foundation for healthy, vital soils. Jens-Otto Andersen is head of the Danish biodynamic research association (BRAD), an organization that supports biodynamic agriculture-related research and education in Denmark. For years, they have been examining aspects of food quality. The newly-published English book is based on an earlier book written in Danish, and has been revised, updated and expanded to include up-to-date examples from additional European countries.
“Jens-Otto Andersen has managed to describe the connections between agricultural cultivation methods, the vitality of our foodstuffs, and the physical, spiritual, and mental abilities of human beings,“ said SAGST project manager Cornelius Sträßer. “In doing so, he not only brings a sound and comprehensive quality concept into the social and scientific discussion, but also comes to the conclusion that particularly vital plants form the basis for a particularly healthy diet.“