This spring we are supporting the great work that The Organic Research Centre, Butterfly Conservation and Dave Goulson’s research, are doing to protect the health and soil biodiversity and the organisms that live there.
So, why care about soil?
Research shows that the widespread use of pesticides and synthetic fertiliser leads to soil which no longer has the required biology for healthy plant growth.
Fertiliser comes from a time when we didn’t know the long-term effects on the soil. Synthetic fertilisers were a miracle! Harvests doubled and we were able to feed an ever-growing population. But now, after years of using synthetic fertilisers, the effects on soil quality are apparent. Less nutritional minerals are found in the soil today, resulting in weaker plants that are easily diseased and less food and habitat for insects.
“Bees have declined by 53% in 20 years in the UK”
Bacteria and fungi form special partnerships with larger plants, creating large ecosystems based on trading products, but how does this work? Fungi and bacteria supply the soil with nutrients which otherwise plants would find hard to reach, they also provide disease resistance, and in exchange for this plants provide sugars and energy.
Healthy soil contains organic matter from dead leaves, roots and animals. This decaying matter is broken down by soil life, like worms. Up to 300 tonnes of soil goes through the guts of earthworms in 1 hectare of land. This process is combining minerals with dead mass and trapping carbon, which creates soil highly useful to agriculture. But modern farming practices have disrupted this process!
“If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse.”
– Sir David Attenborough
The soil contains 10% of all life on earth. To put it into perspective imagine 1 teaspoon of soil, it will contain:
- 1 billion Microorganisms/Bacteria.
- 1-3 meters of Mycelium/Fungi.
- 1000 or more Nematodes.
- Up to 100 Insects.
- Around 3 earthworms.
is that more than you thought?!
“It is estimated that 84% of EU crops (valued at £12.6 billion)
and 80% of wildflowers rely on insect pollination.”
We are beginning to understand there is a lot of life in the soil and all ecosystems rely on it! But at the same time, this environment is very fragile. When we till the soil and use chemicals (pesticides and fertilisers) we disrupt the biodiversity, sending nutrient cycles into chaos and killing the life within the soil!
But what can you do to help?
Use Natural cleaning products. Bio-D is registered with ISO14001, which means they recognise ‘putting environmental management at the heart of what they do to achieve sustainable success.’ Less than 1% of companies in the UK meet this standard!
Bio-D have pledged to have its entire range packaged in 100% recycled plastic by the end of 2018.
By buying organic produce, you are supporting farming practices which have shown to have 50% more biodiversity than conventional farming methods, through using natural fertilisers, natural pest control and working with the land! Which is why at Infinity foods we promise to only sell organic fruit and vegetables!