World Soil Day
05th December 2020
Soil health and its biodiversity is too often overlooked.
Why should you care about soil health?
Without a productive and healthy soil you simply wouldn't exist.
We come from the soil... yes you could argue that you came from your mother's womb but once your seed was planted, in order to grow you were fed from the food your mother consumed which ultimately came from the soil. The vegetables, grasses and trees come from the biodiversity of nutrients, the microbiome in the soil, each plant requires different nutrients to thrive as determined by the blueprint of the seed. Of course it's not just us that rely on the production of a healthy soil, but all plants creatures alike. Even if you eat meat, it is a much less sustainable way for you to get your sustenance however the proteins and nutrients in the meat ultimately come from the proteins of the food the animal eats which comes from the soil.
Of course soil also has the ability to sequester huge amounts of carbon making it one of the many important solutions to reversing climate change. We are losing farmable topsoil at a rate like never before due to unsustainable agriculture practices so learning about its importance and its connection to your health has never been more important. We must spread the message before it is too late. The food you buy has the power to change the way we farm the land. Choosing organic or biodynamic produce over conventionally (chemically) farmed produce will not only make you and your gut microbiome much healthier but also increase the resilience and biodiversity of the soil as more farmers make the switch due to the consumer demand!
As mentioned in the The Need To Grow documentary,
"Just one handful of healthy soil contains more micro organisms than there are humans on the earth"
"we are about 1% human and 99% microbes."
The microbes in the ground are just as important as the microbes in our gut.
When we use harmful chemicals in agriculture (conventional farming) many of the microbes in the soil are killed and the soil becomes more and more reliant on a constant input. Our gut also has a microbiome just like soil does. In fact we are more microbe than we are human, we literally are what we eat. If we are feeding our own microbiome with the chemical fed produce from conventional farming it surely cant be good for the health of microbes in our body.
Here is some information related to the effects of agricultural chemicals to our gut health:
There are hundreds of pesticides in use today, the use of which is common in industrial agriculture.
Many pesticides have been linked with chronic health issues such as cancer, endocrine disorders, genetic issues, reproductive issues and neurological disorders. Some pesticides can also directly disrupt our gut ecology (gut dysbiosis), potentially leading to further chronic health issues such as diabetes, obesity and chronic gastrointestinal issues.
The debate surrounding pesticide use is often confusing and muddled. Consumer advocates routinely produce papers highlighting evidence of health risks, which are often countered by regulatory bodies with papers stating the evidence is not conclusive.
The simplest way to reduce the amount of pesticide consumption is to eat organic foods; otherwise, it is recommended that you wash and/or peel your fruit and vegetables thoroughly using running water.
Fruit and vegetables containing skins – such as bananas, oranges and avocadoes – will require less cleaning. However, fruits such as grapes, apples, guavas, plums, mangoes, peaches, and pears, and vegetables such as tomatoes, aubergine and okra, may contain more pesticide residue due to their crevices in the skin.
Here is a video from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity
Plants nurture a whole world of creatures in the soil, that in return feed and protect the plants. This diverse community of living organisms keeps the soil healthy and fertile. This vast world constitutes soil biodiversity and determines the main biogeochemical processes that make life possible on Earth.
This year, by addressing the increasing challenges of soil management, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) campaign "Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity" aims to raise awareness of the importance of sustaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being. By encouraging people around the world to engage in proactively improving soil health, the campaign also aims to fight soil biodiversity loss. If we do not act soon, the fertility of soil will continue to be adversely affected at an alarming rate, threatening global food supplies and food safety.
Encouraging all people to participate, FAO has created a thematic website full of information, initiatives and material to spread the message through different multimedia platforms.
World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on 5 December as a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources.
An international day to celebrate Soil was recommended by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) in 2002. Under the leadership of the Kingdom of Thailand and within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership, FAO has supported the formal establishment of WSD as a global awareness raising platform. The FAO Conference unanimously endorsed World Soil Day in June 2013 and requested its official adoption at the 68th UN General Assembly. In December 2013, the UN General Assembly responded by designating 5 December 2014 as the first official World Soil Day.