Agro-Chemicals: From the Ground to Our Guts

Regenerative Agriculture

Author: Liri ShabtaiFeb 19, 2021

We acknowledge that farmers cannot stop using pesticides over night due to financial, environmental, and political obstacles. So how do we move forward? We follow processes of nature to inspire technological innovation that can wean farmers off agro-chemical inputs.

Currently, agriculture takes up half of the world’s habitable land. Each year around 5.6 billion pounds of pesticides are sprayed across the world’s agricultural landscapes. These agro-chemicals have devastating impacts on both the environment and human health. Chemicals used for agricultural purposes disrupt soil microbial life, but also directly contaminate the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. In fact, herbicides like Bayer-Monsanto’s glyphosate are now showing up in everything from our drinking water to our morning bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios.

The Pesticide Pipeline

 The lifecycle of a pesticide begins when it’s sprayed directly on fruits and vegetables, which then accumulate on the outer peel or skin of the crop. However, some pesticides are designed to be absorbed into the tissue of the fruit or vegetable to protect it from pests that penetrate the skin. Humans directly consume pesticides from the produce that we eat or, unknowingly ingest it through roundabout cycles. For example, agro-chemicals move through our water cycle and leach through the soil into our groundwater, or are carried off into our water bodies– eventually reaching our drinking water.

The impacts on the natural environment begin with a loss in biodiversity and decreased water retention in the soil. This obstructs nitrogen fixation, which plants need to grow, leading to lower crop yields. Pesticides are destructive to pollinators, resulting in a decrease in pollination and reproduction. Ultimately, disrupting the food chain and harming biological cycles.

Agro-Chemical Impacts On The Human Body

 “We are living in a nutrient-depleted world. Now we’d have to eat 100 apples to get the same vitamin C content of one apple from the 1950s.” Dr. Gemma Newman

 Our current agricultural paradigm has stripped the soil of vital minerals, such as copper, iron, magnesium and potassium. Through the intensive use of agro-chemicals, we’ve lost an immense amount of topsoil, all while degrading the quality of the soil by disrupting biodiversity. Studies have suggested that fruits and vegetables grown in nutrient-deficient soil do not have the same vita-mineral properties that they did prior to the green revolution.

More and more research has been discovered about glyphosates, the active ingredient in one of the most commonly used agricultural herbicides in the world: Round-Up. Glyphospahtes works by blocking the seven-step metabolic process by which plants synthesize essential amino acids. When humans consume glyphosate, we dissolve the tight junctions that make up the intestinal membranes, which are extremely important because they create a barrier between the outside world and the interior of your body.

When we damage tight junctions, we allow for foreign bacteria to flow throughout the body. This creates an immune system response and causes chronic inflammation within your cells, potentially leading to autoimmune conditions, allergies, mental health conditions, Parkinson’s, autism, Alzheimer’s, and even infertility. Some recent research suggests that the presence of pesticides can be detected, not only in the environment, but also in human milk, tissues, and blood.

Healthy Soil Is Our Savior

“We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot” Leonardo DaVinci

By viewing farming as one of the best tools to draw carbon down from the atmosphere into the soil, we can build soils that increase biodiversity in the earth and in our gut. In fact, a single teaspoon of healthy soil contains billions of soil microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and other tiny life forms. There is more life in that teaspoon of good soil than all the human life that ever lived on Earth. These organisms have been sequestering carbon for hundreds of millions of years. They form symbiotic relationships with plant roots through mycorrhizal fungi, which help plants access nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus from the soil in exchange for a steady flow of carbon in the form of carbohydrates.

Pesticides can significantly change this composition, disproportionately increasing bacterial colonies, altering biochemical processes, and hindering nitrogen fixation and carbon sequestration. When pesticides and herbicides are sprayed on fields, they kill the pests and weeds they were intended to, but also harm healthy bacteria responsible for making available vital nutrients within the soil. In fact, only 0.1 percent of an applied pesticide interacts with its targeted weed or pest. The remainder contaminates the soil, air, and water and can have significant indirect effects throughout the ecosystem.

How Do We Move Forward?

 We acknowledge that farmers cannot stop using pesticides over night due to financial, environmental, and political obstacles.  So how do we move forward? We follow processes of nature to inspire technological innovation that can wean farmers off agro-chemical inputs. Overall, leading toward a fully regenerative movement that keeps the farmers pain points in mind, and thus moving accordingly. With patience, kindness, inclusion and open arms– our goal is to help to take the step toward a holistic regenerative system.

Our water structuring and imprinting technology is designed to rapidly renew the soil microbiome by providing optimum hydration, reducing soil salinity, and dramatically improving the bioavailability of amendments.  Our technology is the first step toward revitalizing farmland that has been impacted by decades of chemical use, and with time and dedication, we believe we can restore the health of our fields, our waters, and our families.

Thank you for saying YES to your health, your productivity, and the wellbeing of future generations.

Next: How to Wean Your Farm Off Chemical Inputs

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