Week 4: June 26, 2018

Food For Thought

As we are packing another week of hard-to-get-clean greens coming from our field due to those heavy rains a week ago now, we joke about the dirt contributing to our immune systems. After a few gritty bites of spinach, we wondered if it could be true. Does eating dirt actually improve our health?

A quick search on the internet and apparently there is a movement called the “Eat Dirt Movement.” Yes it is real and apparently people are curing a whole host of health issues simply by eating dirt and the soil-borne organisms within. These organisms enter our bodies both from unclean food and unclean hands. They aid the body in absorption of specific nutrients and antioxidants and apparently it is changing people’s lives. Recent research has shown that exposing children to a diverse range of microbes early in life, particularly those found in the soil where they live, reduces their risk of allergies and asthma and strengthens their immune system. Admittedly, we already suspected this to be true but never read the research.

When a school group was on the farm on Wednesday, we mentioned that most herbicides kill the micro-organisms in the soil rendering it life-less and no longer able to breakdown nutrients or make them available to the plant. Growing sustainably, we need our plants in prime condition to fight off diseases and pests, so our soil has to be in peak health for us to make a living. Not-to-mention chemical residue in our food deteriorates our body’s microbiome, which breaks down our nutrients during digestion not unlike what happens in soil. When you realize how many illnesses are linked to inadequate gut bacteria, this should be a serious concern. Perhaps most importantly, our microbiome plays a role in our immune system. It is lesser known that it also influences gene expression. The scientific understanding of biological functions is becoming more and more complex every day!

So the take-away we are pondering today is that the latest and greatest “superfood” is in fact dirt. The five-second rule is in effect to make sure we are allowed to consume that pound of dirt annually. And your dirty greens are providing food for thought.

Capitalizing on the latest superfood,

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