This video digs into a topic most of us rarely think about. Soil is the birthplace of our food. Only 10% of the land available to us out there is actually used to make enough to feed the 7.4 billion humans who call Earth home. That little bit of dirt is also now more than 85% depleted of the minerals we need that it once had to the brim. Our soil is running on empty. That means a serving of spinach has gone from 150 mg of iron to under 5 mg, and you may not even want to know how much nutrition a potato has lost. Over-farming, erosion, desertification, failure to rotate crops, fertilizers that only rely on a couple of minerals, and pesticide use has rendered our food deficient. This is even before premature harvesting, shipping, sitting on shelves, and cooking rob it of even more nutrition.
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When it comes to your food, nature always has the last word.
Most pro-organic documentaries make their point by taking stabs at the cruelty and other evils involved in the world of industrialized farming. In this short documentary portrait, Jesse Straight, owner of Whiffletree Farm, shows us a different approach. As he gestures to the beautiful landscapes that surround us he explains, “being a farmer is special because this is my office. You spend your day making animals happy…you get to do things that help the things around you thrive”.
The passion that Jesse exudes in this film will make you question every fast-food burger you’ve ever eaten, but for all the right reasons.
The family in this video didn’t eat organic food because it costs more than conventional food. So for two weeks they decided to eat only organic and measure the effect. Before they began the experiment they took urine samples and discovered they had a number of insecticides, fungicides and plant growth regulators inside their bodies. The chemicals found included Chloremequat Chloride, Mepiquat, 3-PBA and TCP. They weren’t too happy when they discovered they’d not only been eating pesticides, but that these chemicals have taken up residence inside their bodies! So they cleared the cupboards and switched to organic for this fascinating 2-week experiment. At the end of the two weeks, they tested their urine again and discovered that nearly all traces of the pesticides had completely vanished.
Bhutan, a small country located in the heart of Himalayas, has declared a mission to achieve Gross National Happiness and Sustainable Development by turning 100% organic. According to the Sustainable Development philosophy and the nation’s Buddhist beliefs, true development can occur only when spiritual, social, environmental and economic developments occur in harmony with each other.
In terms of environmental pollution, Bhutan has decided to become a carbon neutral nation by promoting eco-efficient public transportation. In terms of Agriculture, a 100% organic methodology is pursued. Policy screening tools and appropriate regulations are included in the constitution, assuring the county’s truly Sustainable Development.
However, transforming an entire nation to become 100% Organic is not an easy task. Many are the obstacles in store for the aspiring as well as the more experienced farmers who for years have been used to heavily treating their land with chemical agents in order to boost yields to the desired levels. Transitioning to a 100% natural production takes time, but most importantly it requires patience. The farmers also need to be trained and receive appropriate education on the alternatives and necessary tools that need to be implemented. Through the sustainable and regenerative techniques that are going to be incorporated, farmers will be able to support the health of their soil and therefore promote the growth of their plants and trees, yielding to healthy and tasteful fruit and vegetables in abundance.
Every transition has its challenges and it takes dedication and support to work out – a support backed up with the appropriate knowledge and human collaboration.
A collaboration with each-other, but most importantly a collaboration with nature.
This is the way to move forwards – Care of the Earth, Care of the People and Fair Share, as permaculture ethics very well encapsulate.