#039: In the second half of our conversation with soil and climate scientist Water Jehne we get deep into the real costs of producing industrial food, including the rise of both diseases and healthcare costs, and the overall decline of nutrients available to eaters. Walter also speaks beautifully to the role healthy soil plays in supplying essential nutrients to our food while also preventing the uptake of toxins.
Walter Jehne is a renowned soil microbiologist and climate scientist with Australia's CSIRO. He is the cofounder of Healthy Soils Australia, Regenerate Earth, and the Rehydrate California Initiative, and works as a consultant for regenerative agricultural projects across the globe. Walter serves on the Real Organic Project Advisory Board.
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The Real Organic Podcast is hosted by Dave Chapman and Linley Dixon, engineered by Brandon StCyr, and edited and produced by Jenny Prince.
The Real Organic Project is a farmer-led movement working towards certifying 1,000 farms across the United States this year. Our add-on food label distinguishes soil-grown fruits and vegetables from hydroponically-raised produce. It also identifies pasture-raised meat, milk, and eggs as compared to products harvested from animals in horrific confinement (CAFOs - confined animal feeding operations).
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We believe that the organic standards, with their focus on soil health, biodiversity, and animal welfare were written as they should be. But the current lack of enforcement of those standards is jeopardizing small farms that follow the law. The lack of enforcement is also jeopardizing the overall health of the customers who support the organic movement; customers who are not getting what they pay for at market but are still paying a premium price. The lack of enforcement is jeopardizing the very cycles (water, air, nutrients) that Earth relies upon to provide us all with a place to live, by pushing extractive, chemical agriculture to the forefront.
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#048: In our continued conversation with Dr. Kris Nichols, we focus on the capacity of Earth's soils to store vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, and the role of real organic farmers in using regenerative growing practices to accomplish that task as they produce food, fiber, and energy...
#047: Soil microbiologist Dr. Kris Nichols takes us below ground to explore the evolution of mycorrhizae, the role of "soil glue" glomalin, and the benefits of storing carbon in our crop lands to keep soils teeming with life while reducing the need for costly farm (or garden) amendments.