HUMUS & TOPSOIL
Introduction to the classic book “SECRETS OF THE SOIL”,
by Peter Tompkins
Humus is The Most Important Ingredient for
Healthy Topsoil & Healthy People
Note by webmaster: I was horrified beyond measure to learn that the FDA is now, unbelievably, like something out of a Nazi horror movie, invading farms and telling the farmers that healthy, organic practices are now no longer allowed, under the authority of the falsely named “Food Safety Modernization Act“. Why are we paying feds who have never so much as sprouted a bean to harass farmers about what they should do? This is tyranny in the extreme, and if this is not stopped, the long term results will be catastrophic.
If this bullying, which we pay for with taxes, continues it is likely to:
Kill and hurt millions.
Put small farmers out of business.
Give the multinationals almost total control over our food and eventually our lives.
This news had me walking around in a shocked daze for a day, because I knew what this meant long term for the future of America, and I knew that virtually no one would even know about it, let alone realize that this is the cause, when later on this causes the disease and death for millions of people.
It’s already beyond criminal that pollen from GMO farms flies onto nearby non-GMO farms, and infects their healthy plants with DNA from bacteria that will make the plants produce poison (specifically, glyphosate, the poison in Roundup), or something similarly disastrous. This is why GMOs must be outlawed, not just labelled.
But to make matters even worse, if that was possible, the feds are now invading farms and telling farmers, for example, that they are not allowed to put compost on vegetables. They are meant to be our servants, working for us, not against us!
This will destroy food supplies as well as people’s health and brains even further, because humus, the main ingredient in compost, is essential to make vegetables healthy in many ways. In particular, it enables them to absorb minerals. Minerals are even more important for health than vitamins. Basically, without organic minerals, you are dead. But humus, which has not received the study it deserves, likely does much more than that. I will tell a story to illustrate how ‘magical’ humus is:
One day years ago, I was in the country side about 100 miles west of Sydney, Australia, helping out with cleaning up some horses that were kept in small yards with shelters. As usual, there was a drought on. The Australian bush looked much like it does in this picture, except there was no grass at all, not even the yellow, dried grass you can see in the background. The photo below has a road in the foreground, but at the time, everywhere looked pretty much like that road. (Don’t be fooled by the green-looking leaves – nothing can eat eucalyptus leaves with their high oil and toxin levels, except for koalas).
I was asked to haul a wheelbarrow of horse manure behind a shed. When I got to the pile where people dropped off the manure, I was staggered. There was a large area of the thickest, greenest greenery I think I have ever seen. From memory it was a mix of clover and grass, probably oats. It looked much, much thicker and greener than this:
Remember, there had not been a drop of rain for months. I was stunned. How could that be, without any rain? Then my mother explained to me: there is serious magic in humus, that makes plants amazingly more healthy and gives them massive water-saving qualities. Horse manure is high in humus. Humus is seldom given to plants these days. It’s mostly only organic farmers that use it, and now the FDA wants to stop them from using it? While we have a drought on, and humus can give these kind of results?
I have been unable to find the passage again, but I read in a book once that before cars were invented, farmers in Paris were able to grow tons and tons of food on fractions of an acre, and harvest about a dozen times in the year, because they used huge amounts of horse manure. Horse manure makes much richer compost than cow manure, because their one stomach does not use up all the goodness of the plants as efficiently as the four stomachs that cows have.
The Power of Fulvic, an ingredient of Humus
Science is beginning to get just a glimmer of the importance of humus, with new discoveries of the power of fulvic, just one of the magic ingredients of humus.
Fulvic is created by microbial activity at the roots of plants. It dissolves, and converts inorganic minerals in soils, into a form that is usable by plants and people. There are approximately 70 to 84 minerals your body MUST have, and farmers are only replacing 3 back into the soil.
Fulvic also increases absorption of oxygen and decreases acidity. It quickly destroys acid in the body fluids which helps increase the amount of oxygen in the blood. A lack of blood oxygen is a major contributing factor for acidity. Excess body acidity is associated with virtually all degenerative diseases; including cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, kidney stones, tooth decay, sleep disturbances and depression.
In addiition, fulvic is the most powerful natural free-radical scavenger and antioxidant known to science at this time. Free radicals circulate throughout the body, injuring tissue and making cells susceptible to infections, diseases, or worst of all, cancer causing mutations. Fulvic bonds to these free radicals, transforming them into organic, usable substances, or if the cell is too damaged, it is flushed out of the body.
As a society we are becoming more and more nutritionally deficient every day. Because of this lack of nutrients, the body has less chance of maintaining its once healthy state and symptoms occur which we have been taught to label as “ageing”. This is the beginning of a decline that doesn’t have to happen.
Fulvic is no longer readily available in today’s plants because chemicals, pesticides & GMOs kill the microorganisms that create fulvic. When the fulvic microorganisms in soil are destroyed, plants are not able to take the undissolved minerals into their root systems. The minerals remain in their original inorganic form in the soil, and plants become mineral deficient. To complicate matters, the mineral content of our soils is extremely low right now. Farm lands have been overused and minerals are not being replaced the way nature intended. Even organic foods can be deficient because of our depleted soils.
SECRETS OF THE SOIL
Below is the introduction to the classic that should be read by everyone on earth, Secrets of the Soil: New Solutions for Restoring Our Planet, by Tompkins & Bird. It was written in 1998, and is even more relevant today. I have removed a few sections for brevity, updated statistics where needed, and added a few comments of my own in italics:
“No creature … befouls its nest with such abandon as does Homo sapiens, poisoning his habitat with fiendishly concocted chemicals and their deadly toxic waste. A morass of rotting human flesh awaits us all unless the antidotes are rapidly applied. Providentially, they exist, they work, and as detailed in these pages, can bring us back to health.
That the earth is ailing—almost beyond repair—was clear enough as early as 1912 to Nobel Prize winner Dr. Alexis Carrel. In Man, the Unknown this eminent French scientist warned that since soil is the basis for all human life, our only hope for a healthy world rests on reestablishing the harmony in the soil we have disrupted by our modern methods of agronomy. All of life will be either healthy or unhealthy, said Carrel, according to the fertility of the soil. Directly, or indirectly, all food comes from soil.
Today soils are tired, overworked, depleted, sick, poisoned by synthetic chemicals. Hence the quality of food has suffered, and so has health. Malnutrition begins with the soil. Buoyant human health depends on wholesome food, and this can only come from fertile and productive soils. Minerals in the soil, said Carrel, control the metabolism of cells in plant, animal, and man. Diseases are created chiefly by destroying the harmony reigning among mineral substances present in infinitesimal amounts in air, water, food, but most importantly in soil. If soil is deficient in trace elements, food and water will be equally deficient.
Carrel then came to the point: chemical fertilizers cannot restore soil fertility. They do not work on the soil, but are forcibly imbibed by plants, poisoning both plant and soil. Only organic humus makes for life. (Note: Compost is pure humus). Plants, said Carrel, are the great intermediaries by which the elements in rocks, converted by microorganisms into humus, can be made available to animal and man, to be built into flesh, bone, and blood.
Chemical fertilizers, on the contrary, can neither add to the humus content of soil nor replace it. They destroy its physical properties, and therefore its life. When chemical fertilizers are put into the soil they dissolve and seek natural combination with minerals already present. New combinations glut or overload the plant, causing it to become unbalanced. Others remain in the soil, many in the form of poisons.
Plants that are chemically fertilized may look lush, but lush growth produces watery tissues, which become more susceptible to disease; and the protein quality suffers. Chemical fertilizers, said Carrel, by increasing the abundance of crops without replacing all the elements exhausted from the soil, have contributed to changing the nutritive value of our cereals: “The more civilization progresses, the further it gets from a natural diet.” Our present diet consists of adulterated and denatured foods, from which the most precious essential factors have been removed …
Anyone alive before World War II, especially in Europe, knows that bread, fruit, vegetables, and meat bear no relation to what they were before the war. Our crop yields may have doubled or even tripled, but their nutritive quality has diminished progressively. Visual impression of foods has become the most important factor, though anyone with a glimmer of second sight will pass up, as no more alive than the products of Madame Toussaud’s Wax Museum, the cosmetic and congealed displays of the grocery store today.
Abundance does not mean the food contains a sufficient amount of needed elements and vitamins There is no doubt, says Dr. Melchior Dikkers, Professor of Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry at Loyola University, that malnutrition is the most important problem confronting mankind at the present time. The United States, despite its boasted food production, is grossly undernourished. And, though the per capita expenditure on health care in the USA is the highest in the world, so is the incidence of cancer, obesity, heart, and circulatory diseases.
Amazingly, Dr. Joseph Weissman, associate professor at the UCLA College of Medicine, a specialist in preventive medicine and immunology, has discovered, after years of research, that nearly all the noninfectious diseases that presently plague mankind are of recent origin, developed during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and that the billions of dollars spent on research, newer diagnostic techniques, organ transplants, coronary bypass procedures, chemotherapy, radiation, and all the various drugs, have not appreciably altered the advance of these killer diseases, but instead have merely enriched the chemist and the medical practitioner. (Note: The Medical Mafia receives $2.2 trillion a year, in the USA alone).
Dr. Weissman argues that most of today’s killer diseases are caused by environmental toxins produced by our industrial society. Many doctors agree, aware that the great increase in diseases of degeneration, such as cancer and heart disease, undeterred by the advances of modern medicine, are primarily due to extensive use of synthetic chemicals in our daily diet, food preservatives, pesticides (and now GMOs & nanotechnology).
Most people, says Weissman, assume their ailments arise from causes beyond their control, unaware that they can choose a life of excellent health, remaining active, trim, and alert into their second century. He believes that choices of diet and lifestyle in our industrial societies play a large part, perhaps the largest, in whether or not we remain vibrant past our prime. (If you want a detailed plan of how to do this, read You’re not fat, You’re toxic).
But doctors in general know very little about food. Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine—described as a member of a small fraternity dedicated to freeing the healing art from the domination of drug companies—lays the blame on the plethora of misinformation on nutrition put out in medical schools, suggesting they might do better not to teach the subject at all.
Even more amazing, Dr. Weissman’s research reveals that many of the killer diseases have developed only within the last hundred years, demonstrably through toxic chemicals introduced into the environment and food supply as by-products of the Industrial Revolution—chemicals such as chlorine and its compounds, coal-tar derivatives, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and so on.
The emergence of industrialization, with its massive toxic wastes, coincided with the appearance of many of the new diseases. Our ancestors may have had a shorter life span, largely owing to infant mortality, says Weissman, but, like present-day primitive peoples, they were virtually free of “degenerative” diseases.
A hundred years ago coronary heart disease was virtually unknown in Europe and America. The first case described in medical literature surfaced in 1910. Today it is the leading cause of death. Cancer, which today is responsible for (updated statistic – 25%) of all deaths in America, was responsible for only 1% a hundred years ago. Today even newborn and very young children are victims of cancer and leukemia. Diabetes, the third most common cause of death, once struck only one in fifty thousand Americans; now it strikes (updated statistic – now one in 12). (Note: Vaccines, infant formula instead of breastfeeding, and electromagnetic stress are also major causes of these increases. These and other causes are discussed in the 55 chapters in You’re Not Fat, You’re Toxic).
Water, in primitive lands—as was the case in developing countries before the late nineteenth century—needed no disinfection. Where there are no industries or factories pouring waste pollutants into the environment, plants, marine life, and land animals are not tainted by dangerous chemicals. Now, not only water but soil and air are everywhere polluted, a pollution that is transmitted via plant and animal to man. In the developed world, says Weissman, there is virtually no clean soil or water left: toxins are in all the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe. Fruits, vegetables, grain, fish, poultry, meats, eggs, dairy products are all affected. And some foods are concentrators and magnifiers of the pollution, the greatest concentrations of toxins occurring in animal fat and cholesterol.
Protection against disease, says Weissman, is more important, and more effective, than later therapy. And protective medicine starts in the soil.
Poisoning of the soil with artificial agricultural additives began in the middle of the last century when a German chemist, Justus von Liebig, known as the “father of chemical agriculture,” mistakenly deduced from the ashes of a plant he had burnt that what nourished plants was nitrogen, phosphorous, and potash (or potassium carbonate)—the NPK of today’s chemical agriculture. Liebig’s dicta—and he wrote profusely—led to a vast and profitable commercial development of synthetic chemicals.
Lulled by propaganda, world farmers became dependent on German mines for supplies of potassium salts, known as “muriate of potash,” without which they were told that nothing on their farms would grow. When World War I interrupted exports from Germany, prospectors located deposits in the United States, launching American companies into rapid exploitation of this bonanza of unnecessary chemicals.
From the amount of phosphoric acid also found in the ash of his burnt plant, Liebig further concluded that phosphorous must be a prime requirement for the growth of plants. Since Roman times, farmers had been using ground-up bones to obtain their phosphorus. By treating bones with sulfuric acid Liebig created what he called a “superphosphate.” When vast quantities of sea-derived calcium phosphate were discovered—believed to be the skeletons of sea animals collected over millions of years—a whole new industry of artificial “mineral manures” was launched.
Up until Liebig’s time, it was believed that because virgin soils were highly fertile, and contained much humus, the various stages of this brown decaying organic matter must be the principal source of nourishment for plants. Liebig attacked the notion with vehemence. Of humus and of the humic acid derived from it, he wrote. “There is not the shadow of a proof that either of them exerts any influence on the growth of plants either in the way of nourishment or otherwise.”
As William Shestone put it in his 1875 biography of Liebig: “These were the facts and arguments by which, once and for all, Liebig rendered the humus theory untenable by any reasonable human being.”
That the secret to fertilizing soil lay in organic excreta, not chemicals, Liebig only concluded ten years later. Too late. By that time the chemical companies were off to such a profitable start there was no stopping them in their headlong race to destroy the soil and all that it supports.
The first chemical produced on a commercial scale in the incipient “age of chemicals” was the sulfuric acid used by Liebig to produce his “superphosphate,” a clear, corrosive, oily liquid still the most widely sold chemical today, basic to the manufacture of a host of other chemical substances, along with the production of dyes, drugs, paper, pigments, and explosives.
Next most important among the chemicals concocted in the lab for commercial use was alkali, a soluble mineral salt, named by the Arabs from the sea-beach saltwort plant from whose ashes they first derived the substance. While it was at first primarily used in the manufacture of soap and glass, by mid-nineteenth century all the major chemical agents in use were connected in one way or another to alkali. Britain’s United Alkali Corporation, set up in 1891, became the world’s largest chemical enterprise, with forty-three firms employing fifty chemists and twelve thousand plant workers, eventually to be swallowed up by the giant government-sponsored amalgam of Imperial Chemical Industries.
Accidentally, a whole new branch of chemistry was developed in the mid-nineteenth century by a young English chemistry student working in a makeshift lab in his father’s house during the Easter vacation of 1856. Experimenting with coal tar, William Henry Perkin produced a mauve dye from its constituent benzene, the first of the so-called aniline dyes, remarkable for the way it held fast and would not wash out as did natural colors.
Patented, his mauve became fashionable at the court of both Victoria and Napoleon III, obtaining for Perkin a fortune and a knighthood. Soon aniline red, yellow, and black followed mauve; and millions remained to be made from synthesized indigo, the color of jeans.
When a disciple of Liebig, Friedrich von Kekule, realized—in what has been called “the most brilliant piece of prediction to be found in the whole range of organic chemistry” and one that would elevate him to the nobility—that six atoms of carbon in the benzene molecule could be linked together in a circle, with a hydrogen atom attached to each, German chemists saw their way to the construction of endless new compounds by artificially uniting carbon in their test tubes with nitrogen, hydrogen, sulfur, chlorine, etc., in what amounted to a heyday for sorcerer’s apprentices.
Drugs were soon added to the inventory of chemical-company products, as German and Swiss dye companies found endless new ways of turning coal tar and other waste products into a health-debilitating but highly profitable pharmacopoeia.
It remained for a German chemist, Fritz Haber, to discover in 1905 a laboratory process for turning the endless tons of free nitrogen in the air into liquid ammonia, 82 percent of which is nitrogen. By 1915 Karl Bosch, a German engineer, joined Haber in designing the first synthetic ammonia plant in the Reich, enabling the German High Command to indulge in the Kaiser’s war. German dye firms, banding together for patriotism and for profit, produced explosives, chemical fertilizers, drugs, and, as a bonus, the poison gases responsible for some 800,000 casualties in World War I.
With the end of hostilities, the huge amounts of gas left over were redirected to the insect—but on a wider scale, thanks to the improved methods of dusting and spraying developed on humans by the military. Increased doses of nitrogen, no longer needed for explosives, were indiscriminately dumped on crops, weakening their resistance to insects, creating a vicious circle that snowballed as it endured, progressively more profitable for the few as it poisoned soil and aquifer for the many.
German chemical companies, with money from their opposite numbers in the United States—who had made equally enormous profits from the war—amalgamated in 1925 to form the I.G. Farben conglomerate, soon the largest chemical enterprise in Europe, closely bonded with its U.S. partners. Together these conglomerates funded Hitler, rearming his Wehrmacht as a “bulwark against the Soviets.” And with petroleum, courtesy of Standard Oil of New Jersey, Hitler was enabled to roll his tanks into Poland and into World War II.
While loyal GIs desperately struggled with their lives to undo this handiwork, at Auschwitz I.G. Farben, with slave labor guaranteed by Himmler, produced a special gas to exterminate millions of unwary victims, mostly Jewish.
From World War II, American chemical companies, which had boomed between the wars, derived an even greater bonanza from the free ammonia Bosch had (extracted) from the air. A million tons of bombs were dropped on Germany alone, causing millions of dollars to be funneled by U.S. taxpayers into chemical-company coffers.
At war’s end, eighteen new ammonia factories, developed in the U.S. at taxpayers’ expense to manufacture explosives, were obliged to find a market for their surplus. Du Pont, Dow, Monsanto, American Cyanamid, with their vast wartime profits, produced ever more fertilizer to dump on the unwary farmer, who dumped it onto his fields to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
As a by-product of the war, to keep fleas, lice, and other insects from contaminating GI troops, one of the most toxic pollutants ever invented was produced by a Swiss chemist, Paul Mueller, who chose to give the secret of its manufacture to the Allies: DDT. Derived entirely from the test tube, it was the most potent insecticide yet seen, capable of killing all sorts of bugs in a broad spectrum with astonishing speed and efficiency. On the home front, with manpower critically short, farmers used it against insects to increase crop yields and save on labor.
Following the Allied victory in 1945, DDT began to be used like water, until the toxin seeped into every animal and human body in America. Everywhere, chemical firms reinvested their wartime gains to launch into unparalleled growth in a massive quest for new synthetic broad-spectrum pesticides. The farmer, fearing disaster—his plants, weakened by a surfeit of chemicals, were attracting more and more bugs—turned to even more chemicals. Complacently, the companies brought out new products by the score, mostly chlorinated hydrocarbons similar to DDT, and “organic phosphates”.
In an attempt to beat the game by ever greater production, trusting farmers in America, prodded by bankers, chemical companies, and the manufacturers of agricultural machinery, changed from a subsistence way of life to commercial enterprises, investing large cash payments in new land and equipment, going heavily into debt on fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides-and, in so doing, sealed their own doom.
That chemicals were pointlessly poisoning the soil, killing microorganisms, stunting plants and proliferating degenerative disease in man and beast was perfectly clear to a whole group of sensitive minds in Europe and America as early as World War I. Distinguished, distressed, and well-informed, several authors on both sides of the Atlantic were speaking up and propagandizing for a viable alternate method of agriculture requiring no chemicals.
Their main premise was that in soil properly nourished with adequate supplies of humus, crops do not suffer from disease, and do not require poisonous sprays to keep off parasites; that animals fed on these plants develop a high degree of disease resistance, and that man, nurtured with such plants and animals, can reach an extraordinary (and in fact quite natural) standard of health, able to resist disease and infection from whatever cause it may derive.
One of the first to sense that the use of chemical fertilizers was doing more harm than good, that it was destroying the life and vitality of topsoil, momentarily stimulating plant growth but actually inviting disease, was Sir Albert Howard. As a British colonial officer in India, with the high-sounding title of Imperial Chemical Botanist to the Government of the Raj at Pusa, Sir Albert had the rare opportunity of being free to carry out experiments without restraints, enabling him to grow whatever crops he liked in any way he liked with land, money, and facilities provided by the government. He was thus able to observe, dispassionately, and with no axe to grind, the reaction of suitable and properly grown varieties of plants when subjected to insects and other potential pests.
He found that the factor that most mattered in soil management was a regular supply of freshly made humus, prepared from animal and vegetable wastes, and that the maintenance of soil fertility was the fundamental basis of health.
He claimed that his crops, grown on land so treated, resisted all the pests that were rife in the district and that this resistance was passed on to the livestock when they were fed on crops so grown. He noticed that the natives never used artificial fertilizers or poison sprays, but were extremely careful in returning all animal and plant residues to the soil. Every blade of grass that could be salvaged, all leaves that fell, all weeds that were cut down found their way back into the soil, there to decompose into humus and reenter the cycle of life.
Sir Albert proved that livestock fed on organically grown fodder were disease resistant, as were his oxen, which even during an epidemic of hoof-and-mouth disease rubbed noses with infected neighboring stock with no ill effects. “The healthy, well-fed animals reacted towards the disease exactly as improved and properly cultivated crops did to insect and fungi—no infection occurred.”
As a result of his experiments, Sir Albert reached the conclusion that crops have a natural power of resistance to infection, and that proper nutrition is all that is required to make this power operative. “But the moment we introduce a substitute phase in the nitrogen cycle by means of artificial manures, like sulphate of ammonia, trouble begins which invariably ends with some outbreak of disease, and by the running out of the variety.”
Crops and livestock raised on land made fertile by his methods of humus treatment attained a high measure of immunity from infective and parasitic, as well as from degenerative, diseases. Further, his treatment appeared to be curative as well as preventive.
By 1916 Sir Albert was lecturing that chemical fertilizers were a waste of money, maintaining that organic matter, along with the good aeration it promoted, was alone enough to allow microbes to provide sufficient amounts of nutrients to feed the world.
Returning to England in 1931 after thirty years in India, Sir Albert became known as the founder of the “organic” movement and set about popularizing his ideas. By the beginning of the Second World War he had brought out his Agricultural Testament, followed, when the shooting was over, by The Soil and Health, a book in which he warned that the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers leads to imperfectly synthesized protein in leaves, and thus results in many of the diseases found in plants, animals, and human beings.
As a healthy alternative he pleaded for a simple system in which these proteins are produced from freshly prepared humus and its derivatives, in which case he averred that “all goes well; the plant resists disease and the variety is, to all intents and purposes, eternal.”
In vain did such stalwart supporters of Sir Albert as Lady Eve Balfour do battle for his cause in Britain, organizing the Soil Association, and producing a thoroughly convincing work entitled The Living Soil. It validated Howard’s basic premise that humus confers on plants a power of disease resistance amounting almost to immunity, something which cannot be obtained with artificial fertilizers.
In lucid terms Lady Eve pointed out that the action of compost is not due to the plant nutrients it contains, but to its biological reaction, which has the effect of fundamentally modifying the soil microflora. “All these substances are merely some of the raw materials from which humus can be made. They cannot become humus until they have been metabolized by soil organisms.”
But the odds were too heavily stacked against her. Imperial Chemicals forged ahead unmolested. In the United States, J.I. Rodale picked up the banner and launched a movement with his Organic Gardening and Farming Magazine, its tenets supported by Pay Dirt, published in 1945. At Emmaus, Pennsylvania, Rodale created an experimental organic farm and was active in organizing organic garden clubs throughout the United States.
He pointed out that in China organic agriculture was able to feed a population of nine hundred million, nearly as many livestock, and, on about the same amount of arable land as is available in the United States, three times the number of hogs. He quoted reports from travelers to China to the effect that there was no starvation, poverty, or the like, all without huge doses of chemicals, insecticides, and heavy, petroleum-gobbling machines, but only by careful composting of all organic stuff and a labor-intensive method.
Scientific support for the argument for organic farming came in lapidary language from one of the most brilliant soil scientists produced in America, Dr. William A. Albrecht, Chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri, with four degrees from the University of Illinois. Widely traveled, he had studied the soils of Great Britain, the European continent, and Australia, drawing conclusions seasoned by a farm boy’s upbringing. His extensive experiments with growing plants and animals substantiated his observation that a declining soil fertility, due to a lack of organic material, major elements, and trace minerals, was responsible for poor crops and in turn for pathological conditions in animals fed deficient foods from such soils, and that mankind was no exception. Degenerative diseases, as causes of death in the United States, had risen from 39 percent of the population in the decade 1920-29 to 60 percent in the year 1948.
Organic matter, said Albrecht, may be called the constitution of the soil. And a good constitution, he added wryly, is the capacity of an individual to survive despite the doctors rather than because of them. Insects and disease, he pointed out, are the symptoms of a failing crop, not the cause. “The use of poisonous sprays is an act of desperation in a dying agriculture. Fertilizer placement is the art of putting salt in the ground so that plant roots can somehow manage to avoid it!”
In sum he preached that weeds are an index to the character of the soil. It is therefore a mistake to rely on herbicides to eradicate them, since the chemicals deal with effect, not cause. Insects and nature’s predators are disposal crews, summoned when they are needed, repelled when they are not. Crop losses in dry weather, or during mild cold snaps, are not so much the result of drought and cold as of nutrient deficiency. NPK [nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium] formulas, as legislated and enforced by State Departments of Agriculture, mean malnutrition, attack by insects, bacteria, and fungi, weed takeover, crop loss in dry weather, and general loss of mental acuity in the population, leading to degenerative metabolic disease and early death.
The vast bibliography of Albrecht’s scientific and popular papers reveals a lifetime of meticulous scientific investigation into the chemistry and biology of the planet, highlighting the fundamental necessity for feeding plants, animals, and humans through ministrations to the soil itself, correcting deficiencies of diet at their point of origin: the soil.
In 1939 Louis Bromfield, author of The Rains Came, etc., returned from the India of Sir Albert Howard to his Malabar Farm in Pleasant Valley, Ohio, to put Howard’s agricultural philosophy into practice. Working with Albrecht, he bought up several worn-out farms and produced abundant crops with organic techniques. (For example, he planted alfalfa, which puts down roots over 6 foot long, then ploughed it into the soil. This made 2 foot of rich topsoil. But now we have the problem that alfalfa could be infected with GMO alfalfa). In a practical way he proved that insect damage and disease could be controlled with humus, good plant nutrition, and sound soil management.
Were Thomas Dewey to have defeated Harry Truman in 1948, Bromfield was slated to become U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, with every intention of “derailing the fossil-fuel technology that had taken command of the education machine, USDA, Extension, and the farm press.”
But Truman’s triumph brought in the policy of deliberately banishing small farmers to industrial centers and of unleashing the petrochemicals. Through Truman’s creation of the CIA and of a National Security Council trained for “dirty tricks,” the multinationals were able, often through the guise of foreign aid, to impose their deadly chemicals not only on America, North and South, but on all the Third World markets. Sir Albert’s Indians were brainwashed and corrupted into dousing their healthy plants with all kinds of poisons. Chemical-fertilizer consumption in India rose from 1.1 million tons in 1966-67 to 50 million tons in 1978-79.’
During the late 1960s the United States and World Bank applied pressure on India to allow Western chemical companies such as Standard Oil of California and International Minerals & Chemicals to build fertilizer plants on the subcontinent. Collusion is indicated by the fact that farmers received subsidies from the Indian government of 10 to 20 percent on fertilizers and 25 percent on pesticides, plus government-backed loans to pay for them. As a result, fertilizer consumption in one area of India rose between 1969 and 1979 from 3.5 to 50 kilograms per hectare / 2.5 acres.
While Albrecht was the leading scientific supporter of organic farming in America, no modern voice has spoken out against social injustice, environmental deception and commercial hypocrisy as applied to agriculture more candidly, clearly and trenchantly than Charles Walters Jr., A Kansan of Volga Germanic stock. Walters since 1971 has edited and published a straight-punching and hard-hitting monthly, Acres U.S.A.: A Voice for EcoAgriculture, the Eco standing both for economic and ecological.
Walters, has almost single-handedly fought the Truman heritage of diminishing the farmer, supporting instead the principle of agricultural parity, a concept so easy to understand that most economists and financial writers eschew it as “simplistic.”
“Sitting in his Raytown, Missouri offices, we heard Walters take a call from one of hundreds of farmers seeking to elucidate the mystery of parity, and get to the nub of the matter in a few words: “When there is par exchange,” said Walters, “that is to say when the farmer gets a full and not an arbitrarily discounted price for his produce—on a par with the price he has to pay for all that he imports onto his farm—then he prospers. He can pay off his debts. He can enjoy the earnings of the just. On the other side of that equation—and here’s the rub—bankers and money-lenders must go hungry. The farmer doesn’t need their loans.”
With the publication in 1962 of Rachel Carson’s startling expose Silent Spring, the public was awakened with a shock to the danger of the situation, and organics took on new meaning in America. Great pressure had been put on The New Yorker magazine by the chemical companies to prevent her articles from being published, and legal action was threatened to prevent Houghton Mifflin from bringing out the book, accusing her of being a Communist.
Yet, in 1963, Dr. Jerome Wiesner, science counselor to President John F. Kennedy, reporting to a commission assembled to examine the premises of Silent Spring, declared: “Use of pesticides is more dangerous than atomic fallout.”
Carson had written: “We are rightly appalled by the genetic effects of radiation….How then, could we be indifferent to the same effect from farm chemicals used freely in the environment?”
The meaning of this strange language, as Charles Walters was quick to point out in Acres U.S.A., proved elusive, until an Italian scientist, Amerigo Mosca, winner of the chemistry prize at the Brussels World’s Fair, presented certain startling findings.
Mosca stressed the point that toxic farm chemicals are radiomimetic in that they ape the character of radiation. The damage resulting from nuclear radiation is the same as the damage resulting from the use of toxic genetic chemicals, said Mosca. And the use of fungicides of organic syntheses (Zineb, Captan, Phaltan, etc.) annually causes the same damage to present and future generations as atomic fallout from 29 H-bombs of 14 megatons—damage equal to the fallout of 14,500 atomic bombs of the Hiroshima type.
Mosca computed that in the United States in the 1970s, yearly use of toxic genetic chemicals was about 453,000 tons, which caused damage equal to atomic fallout from 145 H-bombs of 14 megatons, or 72,000 atomic bombs of the Hiroshima type. And in charts, graphs and statistics—all of which appeared as part of his running story—the Italian scientist revealed that mentally retarded babies had reached the stunning statistic of 15 percent of live births. He concluded that damage to plants, crops, and soil fertility, coupled with water pollution, was practically incalculable. Continuation of the scenario would see the destruction of the American people within a matter of a generation.
Mosca’s full report was classified by the Italian government, not to be revealed for fifty years—by which time, perhaps, it was hoped that sinister allegations about Montedison, producer of megatons of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides—would be glossed over and forgotten.
“It was recently revealed in the Italian courts that Montedison had corrupted and subverted Italy’s leading publisher, Rizzoli, owner of Milan’s leading newspaper, II Corriere della Sera, into acting as its covert PR outfit with funds manipulated through a phony Masonic outfit in conjunction with the Vatican Bank and the CIA.”
Driving over hundreds of miles of country roads, Walters could not help noticing increasing funerals due to death by cancer among his farmer friends and a host of “scrambled children tetratogenically birthed, bodily deformed or mentally retarded.” Grieved by the untimely lingering cancer death of his sister, exposed to agricultural chemicals in the factory where she worked, he bluntly entitled one front-page article: “Is Modern Agriculture Worth Having?”
And Walters was among the first to expose the dangers behind the now highly propagandized irradiation of foodstuffs to kill pathogens and extend shelflife. (Note: Microwaved food is highly irradiated).
When I saw this process proposed behind the scenes, [said Walters], I cited dozens of scientists who warned about some of the consequences of eating irradiated food: embryonal damage, reduced digestibility, malignant lymphomas in mice, changes in organs, and more. Since the after-effects of the consumption of irradiated foods on living tissue are similar to those of direct radiation, the relevant problems, which include an eventual reduction of the resistance against infectious diseases, AIDS included, deserved attention, but the Svengalis of science defend irradiation as cheap.
That all this horror is unnecessary, redundant, and avoidable has now been demonstrated by a band of happy warriors in their battle for organic farming. Healthy and economic alternatives do exist, though some of them appear extraordinary. To discover what they might be, we crisscrossed the planet up and down. To describe them we have produced this book, along with an appendix on where and how to apply the knowledge. With a little effort the planet can be saved from destruction by corruption, poison, and pollution. The Garden of Eden is not forever lost. The secret to its revival lies buried no deeper than the first few inches of your soil.”
READ SECRETS OF THE SOIL
Packed with chapter after chapter of truly amazing ways to grow massive amounts of healthy food, under all kinds of difficult situations.
The government is causing this unbelievable problem. So only the government can fix it, by rejecting the propaganda of the chemical companies, and following the hundreds years of research of the people in this article. The so-called Food Safety Modernization Act must be repealed.
Learn more ways that you are being Deliberately Poisoned, and what to do about it. Read:
Back from the Brink: How Australia’s Landscape Can Be Saved Solving the Problems of Salinity
How to Grow More Vegetables (and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops) Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You can Imagine
Copyright ©: Stephanie Relfe 2014 – 3000
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