Know Nature, Know Thyself


The truth is, you can find acceptable health with most diets, so long as you include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, some exercise, a positive mindset, and regular recovery time (aka fasting). I doubt there many who would disagree with that statement.

WE ARE AN ECOSYSTEM

So how DO we know what is ultimately right for ourselves?

Well, the more we learn about biology and genetics, it is now a known fact that we are 100% a living, breathing ecosystem, with millions upon millions of microscopic creatures living on us and in us.

These life forms breakdown food in our gut and make it available to us. They moderate our moods, our endocrine system, our immune system. They inform us and exchange genetic information with our own cells.

Our health is inseparably related to the health of our internal ecosystem.

In fact, these microscopic organisms perform the exact functions in the soil ecosystem as well.

By understanding how the outside environment functions we can have a pretty good idea of how our own bodies work. So to understand ourselves, let’s take a quick look at nature.

AHHHH, NATURE….

In a SINGLE METER of perennial prairie or woodland soil will exist the following:

1 vertebrate (i.e. bird, rodent, etc), 100 snails or slugs, 3000 worms, 5000 insects (spiders, centipedes, etc), 10,000 rotifers and tardigrades, 50,000 springtails, 100,000 mites, 5,000,000 nematodes, 10,000,000,000 protozoa, and 10,000,000,000,000 bacteria and actinomycetes.

That’s a lot of life going on, with each species performing a crucial role in the maintenance and regeneration of that soil environment. 

It is no different with us.

The consequences of how we treat the soil are certainly visible to the naked eye, and the parallels can easily be made regarding ourselves. 

THE DARK SIDE OF AGRICULTURE

Let’s take a look at the things we do that adversely affect soil life.  First is cultivation. 

By turning the soil, we begin the process of destroying the soil environment, resulting in a drastic reduction of the aforementioned creatures.  The soil environment is a complex relationship between living plants and animals.

Removing plants out of the picture essentially eliminates anything that eats plants or requires them for survival (basically most of the life in soil). 

While we do replace the perennial plants with an annual crop, it is always a single species of crop.  There is but a fraction of the complexity and root mass needed to sustain life in the soil with a mono-cropping system.

Next, we add a toxic cocktail of chemicals.  Seed coatings to kill soil-borne fungus, chemical fertilizers to feed the plant, herbicides to kill competing plants, pesticides to kill the bugs whose job it is to eat sick plants, fungicides to kill airborne fungus, and herbicides to dry the crop before harvesting. 

All these chemicals kill soil life.  This is an unarguable fact.  With all these chemicals destroying the life whose functions are to support a healthy plant, it is no wonder we are seeing so much desertification in the world. 

Google Earth reveals a yellowing from Saskatoon to San Juan del Rio.  This was not the case even 40 years ago when satellite imagery began.  

So how does this relate to us?  Well, if destroying biodiversity in the soil results in sick, unproductive soils, it stands to reason that anything that destroys biodiversity in our own systems will leave us sick. 

Hmmmmm.  Sound like the state of world these days?  

REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

Most people are waking up to this fact, but for the sake of this article, I’ll just spell it out.  Conventional agriculture is killing us.  It is destroying the environment outside of us and inside of us.  Any chemical that negatively affects life on a cellular level is damaging to us.  

As a result, it is our duty to ourselves and our children to STOP SUPPORTING OUR INDUSTRIAL FOOD SYSTEM!  Even organic agriculture falls short, with cultivation and mono-culture practices.  We MUST begin to educate ourselves about regenerative agriculture and the promise it holds in returning this planet, including ourselves, to a healthful, thriving ecosystem that is resilient and productive.

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