Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Organic food no more nutritious than conventionally grown food

This article at Harvard Health Publications reviews a super study of 250 studies on nutritional value of organic vs conventionally farmed produce.  Shows 30% less pesticides in organic but little or no difference in nutritional value

Monday, April 3, 2017

Soil Fertility and Biodiversity in Organic Farming by Maeder

Great article on organic farming vs traditional farming pluses and minuses http://www.ask-force.org/web/Organic/Maeder-Organicfarming-2002.pdf

African farmers save the soil

Great article on how African farmers are replenishing their soils without chemical fertilizers  http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

Monday, October 10, 2016

MicroBiometerTM gives results comparable to Carbon Fumigation and it takes only 12 minutes.

I just spent a marvelous week with Professor Paolo Grazziatti and his soil microbiology team at Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri - UFVJM Campus JK - Diamantina/MG correlating the MicroBiometer™ method with the carbon fumigation method.  Initial results with excellent and Prolific Earth Sciences and UFVJM are continuing the collaboration.  

Microbial Biomass reflects the nutrient value and pH of soil, from Anderson and Joergensen

TH Anderson and RG Joergensen 1997 SoilBiolandBiochem

Reviewed their data showing excellent correlation of Microbial Biomass as calculated by Soil Respiration with the Carbon Fumigation method, R2 = 0.89.  Interesting their data shows that Microbial Biomass is just a reflection of the pH and nutrient value of the soil, R2 = 0.89

Review or “Hotspots of microbial activity induced by earthworm burrows, old root channels, and their combination in subsoil. 
Hoang D.T.T. et al. Biol Fertil Soils 26 September 2016, generously shared by the authors on Research Gate. 

Great article -- reports that Microbial Biomass and Soil organic matter is orders of magnitude increased in earth worm burrows as compared to bulk soil.  Interestingly they show that the quality of the organic matter correlates with the microbial biomass.  Also show that levels of critical nutrients like N and Phosphorous are significantly higher in the burrows where they increase the quality of the nutrients.  They compared biopores made by worms with those, made by decaying roots and those made by root biopores with worms.  The increase in microbial biomass is attributed not only to the increase in substrate but to the quality of the organic material that is created by earth worms as they process soil as shown by the superiority of the burrows inhabited by both decaying roots and worms.  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Is Roundup killing us?

Dr George Lundberg, at Medscape reported the following -- this is taken verbatim.
"Glyphosate is the most used herbicide in the world, the pride and joy (as well as a great cash cow) of mega-giant chemical manufacturer Monsanto. Although ubiquitous as Roundup® and generally presented for many decades as safe for humans and animals, in 2015 The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization labeled glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans."[3]
The European Union (EU) is trying to determine whether Monsanto should have its license to sell Roundup renewed this year. With that renewal in mind, in the spring of 2016, 48 members of the EU Parliament, representing 13 nations, volunteered to have their urine tested for glyphosate. All were found positive by a German lab.[4] In May 2016, a University of California, San Francisco, lab working for The Detox Project, funded by concerned individuals, reported positive urine tests for glyphosate in 93% of 131 urine samples from across the United States.[5]
Okay, but Is It Dangerous?
Is this widespread presence of glyphosate in humans incidental and harmless or are we all in danger of being poisoned by this Monsanto product? That is a very good question.
Remember the gut microbiome? We are learning a great deal about how it influences so much of human health. There is a project called Qmulus, at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and funded in part by Quanta Computers of Taiwan. Under its auspices, authors Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, in a 40-plus-page review[6] with 286 references, paint a very troubling picture of glyphosate's inhibition of cytochrome P450 enzymes. For example, one role of this enzyme is to detoxify xenobiotics. The authors propose that the consequences of this inhibition, when coupled with other synergistic disruptions, may insidiously induce many diseases associated with a Western diet, including diabetes, obesity, cancer, autism, Alzheimer's, and others.
A 2015 paper[7] by the same authors takes these and new findings and deductions even further to manganese deficiency in cows fed genetically modified Roundup Ready feed. This update is 55 pages long with 328 supporting references. Both are in open access; peruse them if you choose. [Editor's note: Links to the full text of these papers are included with the references.]
I do not know whether the implications of these findings are actually important for human health. Obviously, the considerable power of Monsanto is working hard to make this kind of talk go away.
I have stopped using Roundup. But I did that a while ago to do my small part to keep the milkweed healthy so our Monarch butterflies have something to eat on their long annual Western Hemisphere migration. It is urgent that more independent research (meaning, not funded by industry or tainted government agencies) on glyphosate continue posthaste."

"That is my opinion. I am Dr George Lundberg, at large at Medscape."