Power to the Microbes!

Modern Farmer has an article about the “next green revolution”:

“A lot of materials used in corporate agriculture have the capacity to enhance plant growth and performance, but they suppress soil biology,” he says.

The scorched-earth tactics he’d employed with his pesticides and herbicides, he realized, had worked all too well. The microbial life critical to healthy soils had become collateral damage. Afterwards, in a best-case scenario, Kempf could coax his cantaloupes and other crops to acceptable yields only by practically drowning them in fertilizer. He threw this approach out the window. Instead, by focusing on creating healthy soils, he’d let plants do what plants have evolved to do best when they’re given a fighting chance: grow like crazy.

By focusing on the base biology of his farm–the soil–this farmer, John Kempf, could increase yields and the health of the crops. Essentially, with healthy soil, you can grow hardier, stronger plants. As he determined, wholesale applications of pesticides would lead to temporary successes against pests that attack his plants, and copious amounts of fertilizer could coax the plants into growing larger and better, but once he turned his attention to the biology of the soil that his plants were growing in, the plants grew better than ever before.

Essentially, with healthy microbial life in soil, plants can grow bigger and stronger.

A class of bacteria commonly found in the guts of people—and rodents—appears to keep mice safe from food allergies, a study suggests. The same bacteria are among those reduced by antibiotic use in early childhood. The research fits neatly into an emerging paradigm that helps explain a recent alarming increase in food allergies and other conditions, such as obesity and autoimmune disease, and hints at strategies to reverse the trend.

By focusing on the base biology of humans–the gut–this scientist, Cathryn Nagler, and her research team have found a way to prevent food allergies from developing. With a healthy gut microbiome, your body is better equipped to stay healthy and fight off diseases. While antibiotics kill bacteria that cause diseases, they also kill good bacteria that keep us healthy. This research is another step toward recognizing that people can better control and stabilize their health by cultivating a healthier gut.

Healthy soil leads to strong, healthy plants. Healthy gut leads to strong, healthy humans. Power to the microbes!