Since good soil takes effort and money to maintain, Agribusiness hasn’t bothered. As a result, basics required for all life, including phosphorus, are now supplied by mining instead of soil. It’s resulted in inferior food, but the situation is even worse. Phosphorus reserves are running low, leaving us to face starvation.

Phosphorus Mine, by Susan Drackett

Source of Agribusiness Food: Phosphorus Mine, by Susan Drackett

by Heidi Stevenson, founder of Gaia Health

Until the advent of Agribusiness, the single most important factor in farming was soil quality. To that end, any farmer worth his keep made improving the soil one of the priority tasks. Crops were rotated. Soil was amended with compost made from organic wastes, like dead plants, urine and feces from all possible sources. Soil was protected from blowing away. It was treated like the precious resource that it is.

Now, though, Agribusiness treats soil as if it’s nothing more than an anchor for plant roots, almost like a nuisance. Poisoning it with their chemicals is of no concern. Leaching it of nutrients without replacement is not their problem. After all, they can get everything they need from mining operations. The requirements of plants are reduced—in the profits-oriented Agribiz mindset—to a few basic needs, which are usually defined as nitrogen – N on the periodic table, potassium – K on the periodic table, and phosphorus – P on the periodic table. Look at nearly any fertilizer label and that’s what you’ll see: the relative amounts of N, K, and P.

This approach can only come to a bad end—an end that’s now staring the industry in the face as its sources of phosphorus, once freely available from well-cared-for soil, now comes from mining operations. That’s right. Two of the primary constituents of all life on earth, phosphorus and potassium, are now brought to us through raping the earth. The problem is that reserves are playing out.

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