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The Future of Champagne is Biodynamic. Now What the Hell is Biodynamic?

A primer on how to best break down your bubbly

Photo by Flickr user Anders Adermark.

With Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon—cellarmaster for hip-hop’s perennial toasting libation of choice, Cristal—recently proclaiming that the future of champagne “will be organic and biodynamic,” a discerning tippler begins to wonder. Does it matter if the bubbly in the glass you raise this New Year’s Eve is organic? And what does biodynamic mean, anyway?

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Thirty Years After the Original, a New Study of Organic Agriculture

Thirty years ago, the Rodale Institute showed that organic farming methods work just as well as conventional ones. The experiments continue.


Thirty years ago, the Rodale Institute set out to prove that organic farming methods work just as well as the conventional ones common at big farms across the country. The institute began the Farming Systems Trial, a data-driven project to compare the yields of organic and conventional wheat, soy, and corn crops. Its latest analysis shows that not only do organic yields match conventional crop loads, but organic methods do a better job of maintaining the health of a farm’s soil.

Last weekend, the institute celebrated the 30th anniversary of the experiment by honoring organic pioneers likes Richard Harwood, who helped design the original Farming Systems Trial, and Maurice Small, who works to build urban gardens in cities like Cleveland and Detroit. GOOD caught up with Rodale executive director Mark Smallwood to talk about the future of the Farming Systems Trial and why its innovation still produces insights decades after it first began.

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