Sustainability and LifestyleYou are what you eat
Sara Bronfman believes that sustainability is about more than just where we live and how much energy we consume – important as those choices are. It’s about all our lifestyle choices: as healthy individuals we contribute to a healthier society which in turn is better for humanity. Take the question of diet. Throughout our lives, health care professionals try to encourage us to eat healthy with the old adage “you are what you eat.” But without truly understanding how much our diet affects our bodies, we’re more inclined to pick a juicy burger over a juicy tomato. Especially when so many tomatoes are tasteless – their lack of freshness caused by being picked too soon, served out of season, or grown with harmful pesticides.
One solution familiar to everyone is the traditional Mediterranean-style diet, a very healthy way to eat. Studies have shown the Mediterranean eating pattern can alleviate psychological conditions such as dementia, depression and anxiety. It has proven benefits in preventing heart attacks and has been shown to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. There are reports it may ward off some cancers.
That’s quite a list for a diet that had very humble origins. Back in the 1950s, people in southern Europe were poorer and ate a lot less red meat – probably only about once a week. They would eat fish more frequently, for the simple reason that Fish was more available. But the staples of their diet were plant foods and legumes with some fermented dairy foods like yoghurt. And they used herbs and spices instead of salt to add flavour to their food.
Inevitably, at a time when travel was prohibitively expensive, the food they ate was locally produced. The French have long held the notion of “terroir”. It’s derived from the Latin word terra meaning earth or land and is used to express the sense of place inherent in a wine.
There is no exact English equivalent, but we think the terroir concept can be applied to many other types of produce as well as wine. It carries with it the idea of traditional means of production and we might say that it is the combination of factors that affect a crop, including its particular environmental context, the farming practices employed and the specific habitat.
According to Sara Bronfman, this is why our biodynamic farm is a living lab is rooted in nutrition. Through holistic farming practices and extensive research and development, everything we grow and produce is packed with micronutrients. From Omega 3-boosted eggs to antioxidant-rich olive oil, our products burst with the flavor that nature intended – and provide exceptional health benefits that prevent disease and increase longevity. We believe in the power of good food to feed longer, richer lives. For us this is more than work – it is a way of life. Passionate about the planet, we are planting the seeds for a more sustainable world.
The most flavourful food increases longevity, prevents disease and is better for the environment. We are constantly innovating to return to the roots: that good food is an essential ingredient to a long life. Nutritious is delicious and it is so much better for us to look after our health through nutrition rather than medication.
We always put quality ahead of quantity in what we produce and to achieve that we apply biodynamic principles throughout our farm. Organic and biodynamic are similar, but with important differences. The basic principle of both is to produce good high-quality food without using pesticides, herbicides or growth hormones. both are grown without chemicals and GMOs. Both put a strong emphasis on natural farming methods.
But biodynamic farming goes further. We look into the relationships between and amongst our animals and plants. We want to grow healthier plants and rear healthier animals by putting back even more of the vitality we take out. Everything we do is timed to fit with the natural rhythm of nature and allow the animals, the plants and their surroundings to work together.
We like to think that happy hens lay better eggs. Whether we can prove that scientifically is another question, but we do know that healthy chickens kept in good conditions will lay more eggs that taste and look better. That’s why we let our chickens roam free range on an expansive two hectares, feeding them a nutrient-rich diet of flax seed and purslane, a green that is abundant in Omega 3’s.
We plant chickpeas beside our tomato plants, their roots naturally enriching the soil with nitrogen. We hand harvest the olives of our award-winning olive oil, respecting both the health of the trees and the land by avoiding the noise and air pollution caused by machine harvesters.
And for our bees, we plant rosemary, thyme, and laurestine, a tree that flowers in the winter, to nourish them naturally all year long. Of the honey they produce, we feed them 70%, taking only 30% of the sweet nectar to share with our customers, adhering as always to our ethos of quality above quantity for a more sustainable world. Find out more Sara Bronfman and her work on the about page.