The Quality of Food

Standards determining the quality of nutrition in its anthroposophical sense are significantly broader and more stringent than those conventionally accepted as scientific today. Not only the ingredients of a specific food are regarded as critical, but also the natural human influences which have determined its cultivation and processing. These are mainly the life energies of plant and animal and the conditions found along the various stages of preparation for sale to the consumer.

These forces have an active influence on the human being, in that they stimulate the digestion and metabolism, i.e. the central life processes in his system. The manner in which these forces are stimulated varies according to the type of food and the manner in which it is cultivated – a banana having a different effect to roast goose. Plants and animals acquire different inner forces depending on the manner in which they live, their environment, and the type of care they receive from people as well as, in animals, the way they are kept, whether they are able to move freely and have social contact amongst themselves. This also causes them to have different effects on the human being taking them in as nutriment.

The quality of food:

  • Biological Quality (Type of plant or animal)
  • Quality of Cultivation (Agricultural influences)
  • Quality of Processing
  • Quality of cooking or preparation

This expanded view of standards leads one to a different judgment and understanding of the suitability and effect of our foods. It is this that determines amongst other things, the various guidelines set by the Demeter food standards or the dietary programs of anthroposophical institutions.