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Could healthy soils hold the key to your good health? According to many experts in soil biology and biological farming, the answer is a resounding Yes.
Daphne Miller, M.D., author of
Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing, recently penned an insightful article for YES Magazine1 on the importance of soil quality.
“I spend my days in a sterile 8×10 room practicing family medicine and yet my mind is in the soil. This is because I’m discovering just how much this rich, dark substance influences the day-to-day health of my patients.
I’m even beginning to wonder whether Hippocrates was wrong, or at least somewhat misguided, when he proclaimed, ‘Let food be thy medicine.’ Don’t get me wrong-food is important to our health. But it might be the soil where our food is grown, rather than the food itself, that offers us the real medicine,” she writes.
Key to Improved Nutrition
Dr. Miller cites research in her article that all point in the same direction-healthy “living” soils make for food with better nutrient content. And by “living,” I mean soils that are teeming with microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and microscopic roundworms called nematodes.
Far from being scourges to be avoided at all cost, microorganisms are an essential component of life. We now understand that it is the cooperation between these microorganisms, the soil’s biome, and the plants’ roots, called rhizosphere that is ultimately responsible for allowing the plant to absorb nutrients from the soil in which it’s grown.
Insects and weeds also have their place in this circle of life. According to soil scientist Dr. Arden Andersen, insects are nature’s garbage collectors. Thanks to their specialized digestive systems, which differ from ours, they remove that which is not fit for us to eat-things we cannot digest.
And weeds are nature’s way of evolving the soil-it’s an intermediate plant that mobilizes nutrients in order to alter the soil, making it more suitable for the next evolutionary level of plants to grow in it.
Once you understand this natural cycle, it allows you to address food quality, weeds, insects, and plant disease at its point of origination, without ever resorting to chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetic engineering.