Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Compulsory vitamin supply and Petition ELIANT

For the text below alone I find it already worth to support the Campaign ELIANT: in support of Applied Anthroposophy in Europe.

EU legislation has led to synthetic vitamins being added to biodynamic infant foods.

In 1996 the EU passed a guideline regulating cereal first foods for babies and infants. This determines the requirements for food constituents used during the weaning period of infants. The guideline prescribes Vitamin B1 contents of at least 25 µg/100 kJ in cereal mash or baby bottles. This minimum level is set so high that it cannot even be achieved in a full-grain product diluted with milk. In contrast to this, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the FAO believe that substantially lower levels are wholly sufficient. In the Codex Alimentarius they recommend minimum Vitamin B1 contents of only 12,5 µg/100 kJ. As opposed to the excessively high minimum level in the EU guideline, the Vitamin B1 level in the Codex Alimentarius can be achieved without the addition of synthetic vitamins to cereal first foods.This excessive Vitamin B1 content stipulated by the EU first-foods guideline means that producers of baby and infant foods manufactured under the biodynamic guidelines of the Demeter cultivators association, are forced to add vitamins to their products. This “compulsory vitamin supplementation” conflicts with the aims and approach inherent in ecologically produced and processed products. The consumers of organic and biodynamic products expect these to be produced naturally and processed in an eco-friendly way. Above all, they should not contain additives that do not naturally belong to them. So far all efforts by Demeter International have failed to persuade the European Commission (SANCO general directorship) to undertake a review of guideline 96/5/EC so as to do justice to the needs of the consumers of organic/biodynamic products. In response to all enquiries the Commission has entrenched itself in the position that its scientific committee for foodstuffs has set the minimum vitamin levels after full consultation, and that no new scientific findings have come to light that might allow a revision of the guideline.Demeter has a different view. The fact that Codex Alimentarius regards a much lower level as sufficient is also based on scientific investigations. Nor is Demeter advocating abolition of the guideline, but is asking for a labelling regulation: products with artificial supplementation should be advertised and distinguishable as such. Demeter disputes the view that EU citizens are not adult enough to regulate their own diet and that their consumption must therefore be “compulsorily enhanced”. Demeter also regards this as being in conflict with the image of the self-determining human being that underpins the EU’s philosophy. Freedom of choice, at least, should be preserved.

Since previous lobby work has shown that polite and objectively-founded enquiries do not impress the Commission, we need to strengthen our publicity work in Brussels. The Brussels office of Demeter International will try, along with affected producers, to gain the support and partnership of the European Consumers Protection Association (BEUC). If this succeeds, we aim to hold round-table discussions on the theme of “Food safety, vitamin supplementation and consumer freedom of choice” in Brussels in mid-September 2007, and will invite the SANCO general directorate to attend. ELIANT’s participation and support is of prime importance for this initiative. The aim of publicity work and the conference must be to persuade SANCO to reflect seriously on reviewing guideline 96/5/EG, and to put this review on its agenda as early, if possible, as 2008/2009.

Text taken from the ELIANT website, emphasis added to the especially LUCID conclusion. :)

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Precious advice

My mother uses to say:
"Keep your head high, even if the neck is dirty."

Monday, 27 August 2007

Key word

Well, I found a keyword for my thesis: Existenzgruendung in der Landwirtschaft, i.e. establishment of farm-based livelhoods. I wished there was a proper word for it in English. The lack of words hampers imagination. How can I want something that I cannot express clearly? I cannot even feel it clearly. It's like searching in the dark. But once you have the word, it shines and can be found even at night in the hay.

Leave sequence

This is my first leave sequence, obtained from an Asteraceae whose name I unfortunately don't know. Look how the shape of the leaves changes from bottom to top. The genetic material is the same, and still the shapes are so different. The presence of light alone cannot explain this pattern, as the leaves become larger in the middle, but then, higher up, closer to the flower, they become small again.

How water moves

This image was obtained by putting a bit of Lycopodium on water thikened with glycerin and moving straight through it with a stick. The aim is to understand how water moves. It doesn't move like porridge. It moves in surfaces.
You can drop black ink into a cup of water and see how it moves. It doesn't dissolve evenly, but forms this mushroom shaped surfaces.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Der Golem

Free download of the book "Der Golem" (in German) from Gustav Meyrink:
Very worth reading...
I identlify myself with Charousek :) (The poor student without clothes under his jacket, whose only aim in life is to drive his father into suicide, yes.)

The Golem is a figure of a myth from Prague: a human-like creature made by a magic and that became alive through a number that was stuck behind his teeth.
"The moonlight falls at the footend of my bed and lies there like a big, light, flat stone." Dream and reality, myth and history are interwoven in images that leave deep impressions in the readers mind.
"Das Kapitel hiess 'Ibur', 'die Seelenschwaengerung'."

Do I belive the Golem exists?
Do I belive the Agro-Vampire exists?
Yes. Because I saw him. And he was wearing white socks.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007


Wissen Sie, wie das Lieblingsspiel Rudolf Steiners hieß?
Ganz einfach: Ich sehe was, was du nicht siehst.


Rural exodus in German is called "Landflucht"; it is made up of the words "Land" + "Flucht", i.e. country + fleeing.
Isn't it shocking to look at this meaning? Fleeing from what nurtures us? It's like running away from your mothers hearth & heart. Knocking her down when she is feeding you! Or better: denying that she is feeding you, while you fill your greedy belly.

Transmission of farms

A study carried out by Thomas Frieder of the FB 11 at the University of Kassel about the tramsission of farm enterprises outside the family / not to heirs, presents interesting findings:
- The will of transmission should not be made dependable of the successors to be found;
- What is to be achieved should be clear from the outset;
- Succesful transmission results when clear contracts are designed and clear separations are established;
- Trusting in good will and common sense does not work.

And a sentence I 100% agree with and I think cannot be repeated often enough and not be whispered often enough into the ears of Jaime Silva and Mariann Fischer Boel and colleagues:
"Fuer die Agrarpolitik sind die Hemnisse am einfachsten zu beseitigen die sie selbst errichtet hat", i.e. for Agricultural policy, the best way to deal with the problems, is to remove the constraints it itself created.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

O Mistério da agricultura

"A Quercus (Associação Nacional de Conservação da Natureza) acusou hoje o Mistério da Agricultura de ter «falhas graves em matéria de organismos geneticamente modificados»"

Este lapso Freudiano extremamente interessante e quase poetico foi encontrado em:

Prayer for sustainable agriculture

"The silver rain
The golden sun
The fields where scarlet poppies run
And all the ripples of the wheat
Are in the bread that we do eat.

So, when we sit for every meal
And say our grace, we always feel
That we are eating rain and sun
And fields where scarlet poppies run."

Well, if one believes that our bread comes form wheat fields where poppies have not been erradicated by the application of herbicides, this poem cannot do much for the development of sustainable agriculture. But when the sorrow overcomes one that there are no poppies anymore, at least not in the Birtish wheat fields, one might start to search for food that keeps the landscapes we love alive.

P.S. - I found the author of this poem: Alice C. Henderson

Monday, 20 August 2007

Ao picar dos sinos

Admirar o belo,
Cuidar o verdadeiro,
Adorar o sublimo,
Decidir o bom:
Eis leva o Homem
Na Vida a metas:
No agir para o justo,
No sentir para a paz,
No pensar para a luz.
E ensina a confiar
Na presença divina
Em tudo o que é:
No amplo Universo,
Nas profundezas da alma.

R. Steiner

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Gerir o invisível?

De facto existem imensas coisas invisíveis, a um ponto que podemos mesmo dizer que o que gere transformação no mundo e o que o mantém tal como é são sobretudo coisas invisíveis.

A força da gravidade.
O calor.
A luz.
O ar.
Os pensamentos e as ideias.
Os sentimentos.
Que mais te lembras?

Faz sentido pensar no invisível quando queremos perceber o que há. Torna-se quase essêncial... Bem, é isso que a agricultura biodinâmica quer fazer ou, de facto, faz. As preparações biodinâmicas são o invisível levantado ao quadrado, em diluição homeopatica. E venha o diabo ver! Steiner criou de facto 8 preparações principais. 2 preparações para as terras e 6 para a preparação de composto. O monte de composto é o coração da quinta e por isso leva a preparação de Urtica dioica no meio. A urtiga tem propriedades relacionadas ao coração e principalmente ao sangue, por ser rica em Ferro. As outras 5 preparações para o composto são de Valeriana, Milfolho, Dente-de-leão, casca de Carvalho e Camomila. As preparações mais famosas devem ser as preparações em corno de vaca para as terras. Trata-se de duas preparações diferentes, em que se põe uma substância (bosta de vaca ou silica moída) no corno de vaca e enterra-se o corno para hibernar ou veranear na terra. A substância assim obtida é misturada durante uma hora com água, mexendo de forma a que se formem vórtices alternadamente para a esquerda e para a direita. Existem evidências de que compostos e plantas tratados com as preparações mostram de facto caracteristicas com diferenças estatisticamente significativas em relação às referências sem estes tratamentos. Havia muito para pensar e investigar sobre este tema, talvez aqui no blog venham ao de cima algumas evidências caso eu encontre coisas substancialmente relevantes.

Estive a acampar e de noite ouvia as lesmas a treparem a parede da tenda por fora e a fazerem barulho com a rádula. O lugar era escuro e como era lua nova vi as estrelas todinhas que há no céu. A via láctea só me apetecia beber, ou experimentar fazer queijo.

Friday, 17 August 2007

É um deitá-lo aos cães.

A vida é bela, nós é que damos cabo dela.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Aiming high

In the Biodynamic Journal "Lebendige Erde" they congratulate an organization to have adopted 100% organic farming as their aim for German agriculture. Now, it sounds so unrealistic, almost unreasonable to have such an aim. On the other side, it shows how much still needs to be done, and this is encouraging as well. At the same time as a realistic dissection of reality tells not to aim high, aiming at the unlikely provides a great line of conduct, that can give sense and direction to our actions. Somehow this high aims may help to keep "The Scream" alive.

"Nincsen visza út"

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Das bucklig Männlein

Will ich in mein Gärtchen gehen,
will mein Zwieblein giessen,
steht ein bucklig Männlein da,
fängt gleich an zu niessen.

Will ich in mein Küchel gehn,
will mein Süpplein kochen:
Steht ein bucklig Männlein da,
hat mein Töpflein brochen.

Setz ich mich ans Rädlein hin,
will mein Fädel drehn:
Steht ein bucklig Männlein da,
lässt das Rad nicht gehn.

Wenn ich an mein Bänklein knie,
will ein bislein beten:
Steht das bucklig Männlein da,
fängt gleich an zu reden:
"Liebes Kindlein, ach ich bitt,
bet für's bucklig Männlein mit!"

Saturday, 4 August 2007

"Man braucht nicht gleich alles als schlecht hinzustellen und alles zu reformieren".
Steiner, 1924


This is the queue in front of the job centre (Centro de Emprego) of Coimbra at a quarter to nine.