Posted on December 5, 2014
Soil is pretty important! Soil is, as the World Soil Day website points out, “where food begins.” Almost all of our fruits and vegetables are grown in soil, and the feed for animals we raise is almost entirely grown in soil. Even the natural fibers we make into clothing are made from plants grown in soil or from animals who eat plants grown in soil.
Along with water and sun, soil is one of the most important components of agriculture.
And yet some of the things people do cause valuable mineral-rich soil to erode away, to run off into rivers and the ocean. It's not lost forever—the tiny rocks minerals and the organic matter that make up rich soil may be broken down, eaten or absorbed, melted, pressed into new rock, reused in some way by natural cycles—but the soil is lost to us humans, and to the uses we have for it!
People's actions can also poison soil. That generally happens when we try to “get rid” of toxic chemicals by burying them. But simple burial just puts those toxins into the soil that we build on, into the soil that we grow food in, into the underground water that we often wash with and drink. The horrible example of Love's Canal, in Niagara Falls, New York, tells us a lot about this environmental no-no.
Check out the website for T-shirts, videos, infographic, and a film called Symphony of the Soil.
|I said that "almost all" of our food|
is grown in soil. But some food is
grown through hydroponics, in which
air and nutrients are pumped into
water, to be accessed by the roots
of growing plants. It's farming without
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