Daily Archives: August 11, 2016

The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

A riveting exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves―and could revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. Good health―for people and for plants―depends on Earth’s smallest creatures. The Hidden Half of Nature tells the story of our tangled relationship with microbes and their potential to revolutionize agriculture and medicine, from garden to gut.

When David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé decide to restore life into their barren yard by creating a garden, dead dirt threatens their dream. As a cure, they feed their soil a steady diet of organic matter. The results impress them. In short order, the much-maligned microbes transform their bleak yard into a flourishing Eden. Beneath their feet, beneficial microbes and plant roots continuously exchange a vast array of essential compounds. The authors soon learn that this miniaturized commerce is central to botanical life’s master strategy for defense and health.

They are abruptly plunged further into investigating microbes when Biklé is diagnosed with cancer. Here, they discover an unsettling truth. An armada of bacteria (our microbiome) sails the seas of our gut, enabling our immune system to sort microbial friends from foes. But when our gut microbiome goes awry, our health can go with it. The authors also discover startling insights into the similarities between plant roots and the human gut. We are not what we eat. We are all―for better or worse―the product of what our microbes eat.

This leads to a radical reconceptualization of our relationship to the natural world: by cultivating beneficial microbes, we can rebuild soil fertility and help turn back the modern plague of chronic diseases. The Hidden Half of Nature reveals how to transform agriculture and medicine―by merging the mind of an ecologist with the care of a gardener and the skill of a doctor.

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
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Dr. David Montgomery – The Hidden Half of Nature: Microbial Roots of Life & Health


The Real Truth About Health Conference

Published on Feb 20, 2016

Expert Panel Host: David Montgomery

• A riveting exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves—and could revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. Good health—for people and for plants—depends on Earth’s smallest creatures. David Montgomery tells the story of our tangled relationship with microbes and their potential to revolutionize agriculture and medicine, from garden to gut.

David R. Montgomery is a Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he leads the Geomorphological Research Group and is a member of the Quaternary Research Center. Montgomery received his B.S. in geology from Stanford University in 1984, and his Ph.D. in geomorphology from University of California, Berkeley in 1991. His research addresses the evolution of topography and the influence of geomorphological processes on ecological systems and human societies. His published work includes studies of the role of topsoil in human civilization, the evolution and near-extirpation of salmon, morphological processes in mountain drainage basins, the evolution of mountain ranges, and the use of digital topography. He has conducted field research in eastern Tibet and the American Pacific Northwest. In 2008 Montgomery received a MacArthur Fellowship. His book, “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations” won the 2008 Washington State Book Award in General Nonfiction.[1] Montgomery’s 2012 book, “The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood” explores the relationship between catastrophic floods in the distant past, flood legends, “Noachian flood geology”, and geologic discovery over the past several hundred years. After the catastrophic Oso mudslide in Washington State in March, 2014, Montgomery appeared on various news segments to discuss the science behind landslides. He appears in DamNation the 2014 documentary film about dam removal in the United States.Montgomery (King of Fish), a geomorphologist who studies how landscapes change through time, argues persuasively that soil is humanity’s most essential natural resource and essentially linked to modern civilization’s survival. He traces the history of agriculture, showing that when humans exhausted the soil in the past, their societies collapsed, or they moved on. But moving on is not an option for future generations, he warns: there isn’t enough land. In the U.S., mechanized agriculture has eroded an alarming amount of agricultural land, and in the developing world, degraded soil is a principal cause of poverty. We are running out of soil, and agriculture will soon be unable to support the world’s growing population. Chemical fertilizers, which are made with lots of cheap oil, are not the solution. Nor are genetically modified seeds, which have not produced larger harvests or reduced the need for pesticides. Montgomery proposes an agricultural revolution based on soil conservation. Instead of tilling the land and making it vulnerable to erosion, we should put organic matter back into the ground, simulating natural conditions.

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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Raise Awareness, Inspire Change: Creating a New Food Future


centerforfoodsafety

Published on Jan 28, 2014

There’s a secret in paradise. A dangerous secret the world must learn. This video is the humble attempt of my team and me to expose some of that secret… so that we can change the trajectory of our food future, before it’s too late.

Hawai’i is a modern day garden of Eden, home to untold biodiversity and some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. It is also ground zero for experimentation with genetically engineered (GE) crops designed to resist ever more deadly poisons. With GE crops and their accompanying pesticides, the land beloved by residents and visitors alike is slowly being poisoned by a handful of chemical corporations.

On Oahu, Kaua’i, Maui, the Big Island and Molokai companies like Monsanto, Syngenta, Dupont, Dow Chemical, Bayer and BASF have been making Hawai’i ground zero for trial testing of GE crops. Over the recent decades, these companies have bought old Hawaiian sugar plantations, taking advantage of the already cultivated farming land, for their hybrid and genetically engineered growing trials. Kaua’i now has 12,400 acres of GE corn. And according to local officials, pesticides are steadily applied to these crops grown on this fragile ecosystem seven out of every ten days.

Recognizing that Hawai’i was becoming ground zero for genetic experimentation, Center for Food Safety helped Hawai’i SEED form in 2005. Providing national resources to assist local efforts, we committed to helping Hawaiians defend their land.

Since 2005, Hawai’i has increasingly become one of the most active states working to pass legislation around GE foods and crops. The tireless work of local leaders was on stage in January 2013, when Hawaii SEED and Ceres Trust helped put together an island tour featuring food movement leaders: Vandana Shiva, Andrew Kimbrell and Walter Ritte.

The tour was titled Raise Awareness Inspire Change. This film documents that tour.
From a groundbreaking march to the state capitol with a peaceful, powerful rally, to the largest turnout in the history of Kaua’i at the Kaua’i Convention Center, the tour was a huge success. And since the 2013 tour, the forward motion has only increased on the island. A law passed on the Big Island that bans new GE crop planting, and a historic law took effect on Kaua’i to establish buffer zones between GE fields and schools, hospitals and residential areas.

Laws like these are the result of years of effort from passionate voices of civic leaders.
I hope you will enjoy this short video documenting their wonderful work in 2013. I can’t wait to see what the future will hold for Hawai’i and the future of food. If this video inspires you to join the food movement, sign up at CenterforFoodSafety.org.

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Allan Savory on Desertification


centerforfoodsafety

Published on Jun 16, 2016

Wildlife Biologist, Allan Savory, explains the connection between climate change and desertification.

Watch more videos at: soilsolution.org

Transcript: Climate change and desertification are feeding on one another now, and you’re hearing often said that climate change is causing desertification. No, it’s the other way around. Agriculture, in its full—crop production and the non crop production parts of it: forestry, fisheries, wildlife, etc. because agriculture is the production of food and fiber of the world’s land—that is causing climate change just as much as fossil fuels, I believe, maybe even more. And it’s more dangerous because even when we find the alternatives to fossil fuels, it will continue. So what’s happening is this sort of feedback loop where desertification, agricultural damage of soils, is leading to climate change and then climate change is feeding back and making that worse. But we’ll only break it by dealing with the agricultural problem.

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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Dave Montgomery – Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations


UBC

Uploaded on Feb 24, 2011

Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Author David Montgomery has discovered that the three-foot-deep skin of our planet is slowly being eroded away, with potentially devastating results. In this engaging lecture, Montgomery draws from his book ‘Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations’ to trace the role of soil use and abuse in the history of societies, and discuss how the rise of organic and no-till farming bring hope for a new agricultural revolution.

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
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David Montgomery on the Erosion of Civilizations


centerforfoodsafety

Published on Aug 2, 2016

David Montgomery explains how soil health has influenced the rise and fall of civilizations throughout history.

To purchase his book visit: https://www.amazon.com/Dirt-Civilizat…

To watch more interviews visit: www.soilsolution.org/interviews/

Transcript: Societies throughout history have made their living farming and one of the strange things about the history of farming is that it has resulted in long-term soil degradation in society after society. Back from the early days of Mesopotamia through Classical Greece, Ancient Rome, Northern Europe, the Southern United States. Societies around the world that have treated their land in ways that degraded the soil. In the end the soil was not able to support them over the long run. So in a very real sense the history of humanity, as a post-glacial exercise in expansion via agriculture, has had this sort of dark side that has undermined the sustainability of farming practices that we rely on to maintain the continuity of civilizations.

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Center for Food Safety: Lawyers for the Rebellion


centerforfoodsafety

Published on Dec 19, 2013

It has been an incredible year for Center for Food Safety (CFS) and the food movement. With your support, CFS is halting the spread of genetically engineered (GE) crops and foods, stopping the indiscriminate use of pesticides, protecting our pollinators and seed diversity, defending farmers and farm communities from corporate takeovers and persecution, halting the unspeakable cruelty of animal factories, and addressing industrial agriculture’s contribution to the climate crisis.

Will you help us continue this vital work? Please make a tax-deductible donation to CFS today: https://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p…

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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