The organic-farm effect: Health requires exposure

The organic-farm effect: Health requires exposure

30 September 2021 Jasmin Peschke 828 views

Children who regularly spend time on a farm with animals have fewer allergies because exposure to diverse stimuli enhances the immune response. Nutrition specialist Jasmin Peschke therefore recommends more contact with nature.


40 per cent of adults in Germany have gained more than five kilograms of weight In the first Covid-19 year, 2020. This can weaken the immune system, while a healthy lifestyle can improve the organism‘s vitality and immune response and make it more resilient. It needs to be borne in mind that healthy ‘is not the same as‚sterile’.

“Children who spend regular time on a farm, helping with feeding the animals and harvesting carrots, have fewer allergies than other children,” says Jasmin Peschke. Based on research he carried out in Germany, Daniel Kusche, who is the coordinator for biodynamic farming at Kassel University (DE), even speaks of a ‘positive organic-farm effect’. Children who drink a glass of cow‘s milk now and again are less likely to develop allergies, if the milk is unprocessed and comes directly from cows on a biodynamic farm where they have space to graze.

Plants, too, prove to be resilient in challenging environments and, to a certain extent, can defend themselves against pests, if they grow naturally and actively absorb nutrients. Their vitality is better than that of plants which are given mineral fertilizers and grow in greenhouses, protected from external influences. Jasmin Peschke thinks that “protection does not necessarily lead to strength and resilience. We know that from muscle training, too.” Recent research results show that organic apples have a more diverse microflora than conventionally grown ones. When one eats such an apple, one‘s organism has to deal with this microflora. The many diverse microorganisms strengthen one‘s own microbiome – a topic that is being pursued further in biodynamic research.


English by Margot M. Saar.

Website: Nutrition Department / Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum

Cover image: Carrot fresh from the field (Photo: Simone Helmle)