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In the sustainability and environmental community, many discuss the effects our trash has on the global warming crisis. The real issue, nobody is talking about is the soil crisis
What is the soil crisis?
Soil erosion has been a decimate to the agriculture industry. Iowa was once filled with rich dark topsoil, fantastic for farming. Now, due to erosion, the soil is only a foot or a little deeper. This means eventually our fertile lands will be nothing more than a desert.
The soil is lacking in nutrients. In an article written by National Geographic, they touch on the deficiency of phosphorus in our soil. Phosphorus is important for DNA replication. The problem with obtaining it is commercial fertilizers, which allow for better absorption, also cause water pollution.
Healthy soil is a delicate balance of microorganisms, nutrients, and broken-down organic matter. Modern farming has over-plowed and over-used the healthy rich soil. Many people worry about the future implications this may have for the growing food crisis.
Solutions to the soil crisis
Many have provided solutions to the soil crisis. Some methods seem to be common sense, while others are more far-fetched.
Regenerative agriculture is the idea of maintaining the ecosystem surrounding the growth of food. This combines organic agriculture with ecological practices. Some focuses are:
- Crop rotation
- Organic farming
Along with these, they have an impact on the treatment of livestock. Livestock is treated humanely and ethically. Farmers integrate animals into the regeneration processes.
Some of my favorite books on regenerative agriculture:
- The Regenerative Grower’s Guide to Garden Amendments: Using Locally Sourced Materials to Make Mineral and Biological Extracts and Ferments
- Practical Permaculture: for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth
Recompose is a company specializing in human composting. It is a fantastic alternative to modern practices. Useful land is being taken up to bury our dead, cremation releases emissions and burns fossil fuels.
The bodies are turned into rich compost in 60 days. The cost is $5,500 and the compost can either be donated, picked up by family, or a combination of both.
Some other commonly known ways to help our soil crisis include:
- Stopping deforestation
- Composting at home
- Better crop management
This is an everyone problem. No single change is too small.
Why should this matter to me?
Our planet should matter to everyone. You specifically should be concerned due to the fact you consume agricultural products. By being a consumer you are directly impacted by the soil crisis. Food security and cost directly impact every person on this planet.