Current posts touching on biodynamic farming (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6138...) and vegetarianism (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6150...) got me thinking: should vegetarians eat biodynamic foods?
Most lacto-vegetarians avoid traditionally-made cheeses. They don't contain any veal, but are made with rennet - a product that's derived from the stomach of a calf.
By the same token, a biodynamic grape doesn't contain any meat, but it's definitely grown using animal products. The various biodynamic "preparations" require such things as the horns, intestines, and peritonea of cattle, the bladders of deer, and the skulls of sheep. These things are buried in the fields, fermented and sprayed on the compost heap, or otherwise applied to crops. Control of pests such as mice is accomplished by "ashing," which requires capturing the pest, burning it, and scattering the ashes in the field. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynam...).
Last month Ubuntu had a wine dinner featuring organic and biodynamic wines. (http://www.ubuntunapa.com/event.html) It didn't register at the time, but now I'm wondering - how can a vegetarian restaurant in good conscience serve foods that were made using animal parts? How many of its customers would drink these wines if they knew that sheep, deer, and cattle were slaughtered in the process of growing the grapes?