Dr Zach Bush, a renowned US based physician, argues ‘the health of our soil microbiome is the single most potent factor determining how healthy, or unhealthy we are.’ For a long time it was assumed there were things in the soil that were trying to kill us, but recently scientists have realised that the living microbiome within the soil is there to protect us. That the soil is full of a diverse amount of microbes which our immune system has evolved to live with and learn from – research is suggesting that a healthy diet includes plant microbes.
This understanding – that soil is alive and we are both part of a living, collaborative eco-system – has led soil scientists to question the modern farming methods that employ the use of pesticides, herbicides and tilling, because all these approaches kill the microbiome in the soil. This approach, especially since the 1990’s with the introduction of glyphosate (an anti microbial herbicide), coincides with a huge rise in allergies, cancers and chronic diseases. Glyphosate is also water soluble, and so it travels from the soil into the water system.