SF Weekly Letters

Fine Wine Between Love and Hate
Steiner prime: This article ["Voodoo on the Vine," Joe Eskenazi, Feature, 11/19] takes Rudolf Steiner's agriculture advice out of context and makes judgments about the man himself and Biodynamics without actually looking into his work in depth.

Steiner's work (his books and lectures) is not something to be briefly looked over and then cast aside as nonsense. It is certainly not something that can be cut up and formed into a pop-culture newspaper bit to be read in ten minutes. Biodynamics takes more time than ten minutes. It takes a more serious and mature person than we often find today to really sit down and try to appreciate Steiner and his ideas.

The author of this article makes him out to be a person who was totally unconcerned and out of touch with the real world, which is completely false. To people who are interested in the theory and practical aspects behind Biodynamics, I would suggest you read a bit of Steiner's agriculture lectures. Or branch out and read something from his large body of work which he called "Spiritual Science."

If you really want to understand Biodynamics, go to a real farm (and not just a Northern Cal vineyard). Visit a working Biodynamic farm where you will find all the entities living and working that are supposed to be on a farm (humans, animals, plants) and you will see why we should really care about the folks who use these preparations.

If you visit one of these farms you might realize that the people who are behind Biodynamics tend to be some of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and determined farmers out there, who truly envision a healthy, local, and living agriculture, that really does give back to the earth.

Go see for yourself the beauty of a true Biodynamic farm.

Sean Green

Stafford, VA.

Buy-odynamic: It's good to see people in San Francisco calling out New Age nonsense like astrology and Biodynamics. I'm all for letting people spend their money on whatever they want. If people are honestly willing to pay for a bunch of voodoo bullshit, more power to them, I guess.

Still, it's refreshing to know that at least a few of them will get a dose of real science and common sense from this article. Uncritical thinking (which is pretty much required to believe in things like astrology) is, without hyperbole, the worst thing in the world. You see its results on the news every day: children murdered in Nigeria because their parents think they're witches, states in the Americas trying to ban or curtail the teaching of evolution in schools, people with deadly diseases throwing their lives and money away to have someone put rocks on their chest while they forgo real treatment.

While a bunch of yuppies buying overpriced wine is a relatively benign example, it's still important to call it out when it's seen. Keep up the good work.

John Rose

San Francisco

Grapes of bloodbath: Although the writer makes many fascinating points, this article would not be as interesting without the horrific picture. If we were to see pictures inside of a meat packing plant — organic or not — how would we feel about the meat? Using the skull after butchering the animal for its meat looks bad in a picture, but in reality shows every part of the animal is used.

I feel it is unnecessary to pick on Biodynamic wineries. Why not pick on the gross polluters? The writer makes it seem as if the winery and its workers are part of some kind of cult. Hopefully many readers have had a chance to visit the winery — it's very obvious it is not.

Can't deny the wine is amazing!


Web Comment

In the Night & Day listing for the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts' "Mole to Die For Tasting Contest" ["We've Got a Mole on the Inside," 11/12] we erroneously stated that there would be "about 25 versions" of the stuff. This was a greedy little bit of exaggeration on our part, inspired by glorious memories of past years at this event. Only 10 delicious sauces were available this year.

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