SOIL HEALTH is HUMAN HEALTH -amazing article from Acres USA Feb 2020
This article is a summary of the original material produced by Acres USA (Which is a subscription I suggest you invest in, it is genuinely educational and will keep you up to date on many items such as our “Bee” issues etc.) Or see my last issue (now on my blog on my website) How wheat can affect you.
Dr Zach Bush, is a triple-board certified physician, with a focus on internal medicine, endocrinology, and hospice and palliative care. He currently runs a clinic in rural Virginia that focuses on plant-based nutrition and holistic health. At his clinic a few years ago, Dr Bush began noticing that nutrition-based medicine wasn’t working as he expected. Some of his patients were getting sicker. That led him on a journey deep into a dysfunctional and toxic agricultural system that is robbing crops of nutritional value, accelerating the decline of human health, destroying the environment and paving the way for mass extinction. If that sounds too bleak, read on- because Dr Bush is at heart a radical optimist. He believes that regenerative agricultural practices can save the world by creating healthy soils that will sequester carbon, reverse climate change, produce highly nutritious food and create healthy humans. To further that mission, Dr Bush has started “ FARMERS FOOTPRINT”, a nonprofit that aims to transition 5 million acres to regenerative practices by 2025. According to Dr Bush, all successful revolutions start with farmers.
Dr Bush found himself in internal medicine, which is based in a lot of advanced diseases and is the foundation for things like cardiology and pulmonology. As these specialities focus on one disease type, he didn’t see what was happening to him and that he was beginning to be blindfolded to the bigger picture of human health. He was in a pathway of narrow viewpoints. Then in 2008/9, his world started to deconstruct as clients were declining after eight years of successful practice. Using all his tools and best knowledge as per his training, still, clients continued to decline or die. This occurrence forced him to re-evaluate his pharmaceutical training and as he was doing cancer research and developing chemotherapies and starting to find extraordinary resources within the nutritional world, working with vitamin A compounds to kill cancer cells. His viewpoint was now opened to seeing these safe and nontoxic approaches to cancer management. By 2009/10 the endocrinology world was beginning to realise that through a change in diet, we could reverse diabetes, heart disease and a variety of autoimmune conditions. The universe plays a fantastic role, having closed all the doors in the pharmaceutical industry towards his research, and in a recession, He found himself with no other option but to pursue this question of nutrition as a route to reversing chronic disease.
This direction took him to one of the poorest counties in Virginia, where he started a rural nutrition clinic aiming to educate clients on nutrition and break the co-dependency on pharmaceutical drugs and to find health independence through food and to grow food. Having been a physician equipped with a toolbox of drugs, he now had to evaluate himself and realise he knew nothing about a healthy cell, and how water or nutrients got into that cell, or how they are available to us once digested via the organic garden of the gut. This area of health excited him, imagine treating diabetes or cancer organically; this would change the terrain of human experience as it would no longer be about preventing disease but fostering health. He studied from the last 30 years of plant-based science and started applying this to his patients, asking those with chronic conditions to juice up to 2 pounds of kale a day. He was endeavouring to get nutrient density into their body, but a good two-thirds of his clients were getting worse. This again challenged him into questioning what was missing in our food, or what is now there that was not there when all the science was done. He researched and quickly came up with the conclusion that there is sometimes up to ten times fewer nutrients in our fruit and vegetables than we had 25 years ago. He then questioned how nutrients got into plants, and this took him to the study of soil and its microbiome (bacteria and fungi). These are what we call medicine in the soil. In our agriculture environments, we see 75% of the air and 75% of the rainfall contaminated and detectable for Roundup. So we are now steeped in a planet that is water biology- we have this toxin infiltrated into every segment of biology, and we are suffering for that. We see the collapse of soil systems, bee colonies- moth populations are disappearing overnight. It’s just like the whole ecosystem is starting to suffer under this decimation of these chemicals. We are now seeing in the United States some 52% of children have some form of chronic disease, compared to 4% of the whole population back in the 1960s. We are also seeing a drop in sperm count of 52-58%. If we continue to follow this line, we could see as much as 80% of the population sterile or infertile in the coming years. Data shows us that our health has deteriorated over the past 40 years with the introduction of chemicals. You will see data from 1975 show that 1 in 5,000 children had Autism now it is 1 in 32-38 children. Attention deficit disorders in children are currently 1 in 10 children, and the US does not even screen for this, in countries where ADHD is screened figures are more like 1 in 4. Autism is a syndrome born out of the perfect storm of the destruction of the terrain of normal biology. That terrain begins not in the human cell but in the microbiome ( The bacteria, the fungi, parasites, viruses, all of these extraordinarily complex ecosystems of microbial life that build not just our gut, but also our sinuses and respiratory systems, and our skin of course). Now we’re finding it’s actually in our internal organs-breast, prostrate, even the brain is now found to have microbiome present all the time. Both in a healthy state, as well in pathologic states, we see a shift in the microbiome in the brain in Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and things like this.
The beginnings of chemical agriculture started around World War II when we rolled out petroleum fertilisers, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Those created what came to be called the green revolution, where we were taking these dead soil environments that we had killed through poor soil and crop management in 1910,20, and 30’s creating the Dust Bowl and great depression with the destruction of topsoil over those decades. Then trying to back out of that, we thought these petroleum fertilisers, could put some building blocks back into the soil, but this unfortunately immediately created a codependence, instead of fixing the soil with age-old knowledge of composting etc., the soil became dependent on chemical inputs.
What happens when you grow a plant in NPK rich fertiliser, is a very green, fast-growing plant, but what you cannot see is that it has a deficiency in the immune system and the complexity of nutrient diversity and production. Now that weakened plant soon becomes very prone to insects and illness and the pharmaceutical firms are happy to supply you with herbicides and pesticides- when all we had to do was to change the behaviour of the soil. Glyphosate, (an active ingredient of Roundup), has an extraordinary capacity to kill the microbiome, it also destroys membranes and therefore disrupting cell-to-cell communication and the connection between our barrier cells at the root system of the plant, or the gut system of a human or animal.
A farmer knows that with one application of Roundup they can kill up to 50% of the deep earthworms and 100% of the surface worms in that soil, how many average gardeners using this product, know the precise measures to use? Monsanto’s marketing campaign stated that Roundup was “safer than water”.
We now have 1 in 3 children with Autism, and 1 in two adults with cancer, as you eat glyphosate, it destroys the bacteria that sit in the gut lining you cause damage to the enteric endocrine system. You collapse your serotonin production.
So not only do we need to look at and eliminate chemicals for what they are doing to us and the planet, we need to look at farming practises and not to be reliant on chemicals. We need to bring our soil back to a living earth (regenerative agriculture), this allows the soil to come back to life and nature takes care of the pests and delivers the nutrients back to the plants grown with less expense to the farmer, and less chance of disease.
Dr Bush has set up “Farmers Footprint” to encourage this to happen.