Soil, water, food and our health – is there a connection? To someone that has not spent much time thinking of nutrition and the role food plays in our health, this seems like an erroneous question. Most of the upbringing these days is so removed from most things that connect us with nature, that it seems that there is a barrier created between us and nature. Many don’t even think of what we are eating, and where it all comes from. Many children as they are growing up think that meat comes from the super market. The common sense that meat comes from an animal that are bred for this purpose has not sunk in. So we are treating food as a commodity just like everything else. This is especially true in wealthy countries.
It is only in recent times with the onset of obesity, diabetes, hyper tension and other life style diseases, that the lack of nutrition and its effects on the body has been studied and written about extensively. It is not just enough to study and write about it, but also very important to have an innate understanding of how food and our bodies are deeply connected. Perhaps this kind of insight will bring a new found appreciation and deeper respect for what we put into our bodies.
At a macro level we have forgotten about the very basics of what makes our life into what it is today and shifted our focus on economy, money and profits. What is funny about this is that our life is wonderful not because of the fluctuations of the stock market or the economic growth that is happening in a particular society or nation. Our life is wonderful because we are eating nutritious food, drinking clean water and breathing pure air. This has been completely forgotten.
The quality of the crop in the farms depends on how rich the soil is in its PH levels, minerals, air/ water exchange and organic matter. The more organic matter – leaves and animal waste – the richer the soil. However excessive usage of chemicals and pesticides on the farms have completely depleted the soil of it inherent richness and organic content. This has affected the quality of food and the use of fertilizers for pumping nutrition in the soil are no replacement for natural organic content. We are turning soil into sand because there is no organic material anymore. The chemical from the soil seeps into the crop, eventually into the food and finally into our system. These chemicals have an adverse impact on our system. As the soils loses its nutrition, it weakens our system’s immunity and proper functioning. This is evident in the spike of new ailments that were not even heard of during the days of organic farming.
Unfortunately, soil is something that most people ignore in terms of ecology. The damage we have caused to the soil on the planet is tremendous. Soil is where life evolves. All of us are just a little bit of soil. What was soil became food. What was food became flesh and blood. All of us have heard of the adage – Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust – meaning our bodies will turn into soil after being buried. So it is all a fantastic recycling process that nature has designed for itself. If we do not fully understand this, we are well on our way to living a malnourished and unfulfilled life.
So living with this awareness that earth becomes food and water which in turn becomes flesh and blood makes us stop and think about what food to eat and how to eat it. How much we care about this Earth-our only home – is how we will live. If the entire human race were to vanish, the Earth will flourish. If this sinks deeply into us, and if we realize that it is us who are the needy, we will start looking at Earth with reverence. If we want to live well, being in reverence towards the very earth that we walk upon, the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, the food that we eat, the people that we come in touch with and everything else that we use, including our body and mind, will open up a different possibility as to how we live.
The best legacy that we can leave for our children is an environment of rich soil and water. Only in preserving the quality of the soil will the quality of the planet and life endure.
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