Sunday, June 25, 2017

We are Creatures of the Soil

What did people do to repopulate their gut microbiome before probiotics were available to purchase at the store?

I will give you a hint. The answer is related to why people who live close to the earth, such as native people, or back to the earth organic farmers, have a healthier microbiome than a city person. These people have healthy soil on their hands, and on their food,. They are also not afraid to eat a little dirt. This is the key. Most societies also make some sort of bacterial cultured food, that was allowed to ferment. Examples would be kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut. I have cultured most of the vegetables I have grown, as well as many berries. My Grandmother use to culture meat. I have tried my hand at dry culturing pork, but not wet culturing meat in a crock like she did. My dad says it was barely edible. Most of what I have cultured has been a good experience.

Our food normally has a variety of bacteria on it that repopulates our gut. If you are living on healthy soil, growing/harvesting food from that healthy soil, and you eat fresh food right out of the garden, you end up with a variety of beneficial microbes repopulating your gut. (Watch out for dog, racoon, cat or other poo.)

With the advent of the use of chemicals on our food and soil, the microbes and fungus that once maintained a healthy soil life and fed our gut became different. The soil was no longer teaming with these wonderful organisms and minerals have either disappeared or become chlelated and unavailable due to them binding with chemicals. People started washing their food really well before eating as now their was concern about toxic microbes, and toxic chemicals. Our whole food chain changed. However, there are ways to enliven and nurture your soil back to health.

Once again, people are learning to repopulate their soils with healthy organisms. There are a variety of choices of how to do this. The concepts are pretty simple, but people approach it from different angles.  Everything from a spiritual point of view such as you get from Biodynamic Farming, which uses small energetically potentized preparations teaming with good critters and nutrients to support the soil and plants,  to scientific microbiolgoical examination of soil and application of organisms with compost, and compost type sprays. Both angles use additional common sense activities to support a good soil environment.

Nutrient cycling is possible because of the beneficial organisms in the soil.  The soil requires a variety of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes. In a perennial system it also requires microarthropods. You can read more about nutrient cycling by looking at David Coleman and the Soil Ecology Society publications, or check out Elaine Ingham on line.

If you have an interest in biodynamics, there is a wonderful local group where I live. You can also check out the article I wrote on biodynamic farming.