Published on June 1st, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan2
Book Review: Organic Manifesto (Part I)
The following is a brief review of the first part of Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe. Included are some key highlights as well.
I was raised on organic foods and try to buy organic whenever possible. Yet, when I read the title of this book as well as “This book is about the one thing we can do to save ourselves…. It may seem hard to believe that one change will make such a big difference, but I will show you how it will have an all-pervasive impact on global climate change while also preserving our health. In fact, it will inflitrate almost every aspect of our lives.” on the backflap of the book, I thought, “that sounds like an exaggeration and I don’t really buy it.” However, now that I am through “Part I: The Great Chemical Experiment (In Which We Are All Guinea Pigs)”, I can see where the author, Maria Rodale, is coming from.
Rodale writes in a fun and captivating yet highly informative and research-based way. Her summary of findings — regarding everything from the significant connections between pesticides and all sorts of human diseases to some of the great shortcomings of GMOs to the relationship between livestock antibiotics and our increasingly failing health — are chilling.
Here are a few highlights (or “lowlights”) of Part I.
Organic Soil Important to Stop Climate Change
A very fascinating topic to me is the fact that organically farmed soil has been shown to store a lot of carbon. It is actually the Mycorrhizal fungi that grow on the roots of the plants in the soil, especially organically grown ones, that store the carbon. Mycorrhizal fungi may not have gotten much attention from humans or researchers, but they are extremely important for our soil and our climate.
Regarding these fungi and our soil in general, Rodale writes: “Right now, soil scientists understand less than 1 percent of all the living things in the soil.”
With this information alone, it seems we should hault large-scale chemical farming. Unfortunately, there is much more that should bring us to that point as well.
Image Credit: Dan Maudsley via flickr/CC license