Chuck Rice – Soils

(Chuck) Soils are a wonderful diversity of microbes in this living soil. What most people don’t understand is the value of those organisms directly for us, for humans. Over 90 percent of our antibiotics that we use currently for our health came from microorganisms and fungi that we have discovered drugs for. Some people would argue that somewhere around 60 percent of our anti-cancer drugs come from the soil. And our immunosuppressant drugs, many of them come from soils. We have concerns about the overuse of antibiotics and getting antibiotic resistance. And so by digging down into the soil, we can now find new antibiotics that will help defeat or overcome the resistance that has occurred naturally from use in humans and animals and other uses. What most people are aware of or think about related to human health is the nutrition that we get through growing crops provided by the soil. A lot of our nutrients, particularly our micronutrients, zinc for example, is one of the nutrients that’s critical for physical and mental development. And that zinc nutrition in some of our depleted soils, particularly it’s been shown in Africa and other places, soils that have been degraded, they are low in zinc and do affect the human development of children as far as their mental and physical abilities. And again the microbes play a role in there, not an element that’s made up in soil, but the microbes with their association with plant roots, help grab on to those nutrients, supply the plant that then feeds the world. The soil is an extremely valuable resource and if we lose the healthiness of that soil, we’ll lose that potential organisms that could help us directly.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.