What is Organic Soil?

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on May 9, 2013

organic soil

Organic soil has been naturally amended by the decomposition of plants and animals and unfortunately, today, most of the soil in the world has been depleted by agribusiness. Farmers who produce certified organic produce must first develop soil that meets with the criteria of the USDA. This requires them to amend previously depleted soil with essential organic compounds with the intent of restoring soil with the original richness our planet previously enjoyed prior to the damage caused by modern day industrialization.

How Effective is Organic Soil?

Organic soil is better able to cultivate plants than non-organic agribusiness soil. Organic soil also has a composition that provides some mechanical benefit too as the organic amendment improves soil drainage and makes the soil less apt to “pack” so it breaks up easily for planting. Organic amendment greatly increases soil nutrient content and the soil becomes much more resistant to pathogenic invasion that can harm plant life. Healthy soil develops a powerful mycelial layer that works to detoxify the land from pesticides and chemicals.

Research shows soil with higher levels of decomposing organic matter deters pest infestations. Not only do organic farmers avoid using pesticides; they actually do not need them the same way conventional farmers do because the richness of the soil actually provides a sort of natural protection for plants. Crops grown in organic soil contain higher levels of nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. Organic farming often uses 50 percent less of the total amount of energy to operate than the mechanized, chemically oriented methods of agribusiness.

Simply put, organic farming in nutrient-rich, organic soil is as good for the environment as it is for the consumer.

Organic Farmers May be Using Contaminated Water

You have to watch for this. As of yet, the USDA does not regulate water quality used in organic farming. This means that some farmers can, and do, use municipal water sources to cultivate their crops. Many of these sources contain dangerous contaminants that go right back into amended soil and
straight to the core of the plants you eat.

Discovering if your vegetables were grown with municipal water requires some effort on your part, you will need locate and contact the farm and ask them yourself. Ask them if they are using well water or purified water to irrigate their organic soil. Also ask if they have tested the water to make certain it is as healthy as the earth they grow your vegetables in. Conscientious farmers who love the earth and its people will answer these questions politely and directly.

Do not be afraid to ask, and find out the truth about your produce before you buy it.

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