If the soil could talk it would rain complements on all those who know how to look after it properly. One of our most precious resources, it has been mismanaged and misunderstood for too long but that is changing – thanks to people like Nicole Masters, my guest today on Inside Ideas.
There are multiple studies now coming out to show that, on average, regenerative agriculture is about 78% more profitable than the industrial model.
In her new new book: For the Love of Soil: Strategies to Regenerate our Food Production Systems, Masters presents a range of tools, principles and mindsets that producers can use to regenerate their soils.
“This book is not a technical ‘soils for dummies’ it’s very much about: what are the stories of the people on the ground? What is it that they do? Who are they in this space? I didn’t want another reference book,” Masters explains.
And the independent agroecologist is bringing a few acres of knowledge to this, after spending the last two decades writing and speaking extensively on the topic of soil health.
“It’s an exciting time to be on the planet right now to see the connections that are finally being made between the human gut microbiology, the soil microbiome and the planetary microbiome,” she said.
When we disrupt the soil microbiome, Master says it “disrupts the quality of the food that we are growing and the food we are ultimately eating.”
“What we see in the US is an epidemic of a hidden hunger, in that people are not getting the trace elements, the vitamins and the secondary metabolites that they need to thrive and survive. So people eat more because they’re looking for something, not even realising what they’re looking for.”
But cared for effectively, the soil can provide the essential vitamins, enzymes, minerals, water and everything else that plants need to produce the healthy foods that can give people the nutritional building blocks for a better life.
And through the book and her company, Integrity Soils – which delivers programs to producers and organisations spanning over 24 million acres, Masters is on a mission to inspire exactly the types of behaviours and practices that make good soil health a priority.
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