Have you ever thought much about the earth we grow our food in?
Turns out, it’s endangered. Now, I don’t mean it’s under threat of encroachment by housing or other industrialization, although of course, that’s a big problem. I mean the soil itself isn’t what it used to be.
The same way that we need nutrients to have our immune system work properly, so do plants. Plants have an immune system to ward off pests, just like we do to ward off bacteria and viruses.
Plants that don’t have the nutrients they need are plants under stress. These are the plants that will be attacked by pests, because they’re easy pickings. That means farmers need to up the amount of pesticide they’re spraying, in order to protect the plants because the plants can’t protect themselves.
Wouldn’t it be easier to let the plants help out the farmers? Especially when you consider that farm workers suffer from illnesses due to pesticide exposure. In India, many farmers have chronic kidney disease, something that farmers in Central America are also suffering from, according to a NY Times article.
Did you know some soils are so stripped of nutrients, that fruits and vegetables grown there won’t have the nutrients they’re known for? So no vitamin C might be found in oranges grown in deficient soil. Crazy, isn’t it?
If the government knew about this soil problem, they’d make the farmers do something, right?
Turns out, this was identified as a problem all the way back in the 1930’s, but the politicians lacked the will to do the right thing. The right thing meant adding powdered rock to cropland in order to add back in missing minerals. Thing was, the farmers didn’t want the extra work, especially if they weren’t going to be able to charge more for it.
If it was bad in the 1930’s, think how depleted our soils are now.
Seems to me, we ought to pay the farmers to do this. And we ought to test the soil to make sure it’s been done right. It needs to happen now.
That’s another thing about buying organic: organic farmers compost, which builds the health of their soil. You’re more likely to get the minerals you’re looking for in your organic produce.