Health: COVID-19 has brought health conditions front and center. As scientists rush to develop vaccines, doctors are left to find alternative ways of keeping patients safe. In the eyes of Rupa Marya, MD, “there is a profound connection between soil health and human health – and it’s all in the gut.” After marrying a regenerative farmer, she noticed a link between his soil microbiology reports and the reports on her patients’ gut microbiomes; the human microbiome is comprised of over 100 trillion microbes – bacteria, fungi, and viruses – that live inside each and every one of us. It became clear to Dr. Marya that synthetic fertilizers and pesticides were sterilizing topsoil.
- To make matters worse, the overuse of synthetic herbicides and antibiotics in agriculture has increased the amount of drug-resistant bacteria found in soil and livestock. In 2019, the CDC reported that antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi cause more than 2.8 million infections and 35,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.
- The more complex the soil, the more efficiently plants cycle nutrients, making them more nutrient-rich. This biodiversity, which regenerative agriculture seeks to enhance, is what enables the gut microbiome to combat inflammation and disease. With this in mind, it’s not just up to medical professionals to regulate health, but also farmers and policymakers, who control the way in which our food is produced and regulated.
Watch: Searching for a feel-good movie to curl up with this weekend? Look no further than Kiss the Ground, a new documentary streaming on Netflix. Woody Harrelson lends his voice to the film that argues for the restorative power of soil, which facilitates carbon drawdown and offers a remedy to the climate crisis. Check out Kisstheground.com to learn more about the organization’s efforts to transition farms towards regenerative practices.