Soil compost abstract

History books are full of stories about the decline and fall of many great nations.  Soil decline was always the start of the fall.  Poor soils result in failure of the economy and then the defence system. But if history were closely studied and the truth were known, you would find it was really decline of the mind that made the difference – and the mind begins to decline as soon as the soil begins to produce food that is empty of nutrients.

I know an animal nutritionist who taught at a small college.  For an experiment he had his students divide a large group of pigeons equally into two separate large cages. One group was fed polished rice and water; the other group received brown, whole grain rice and water.  Then he made the prediction that the pigeons on polished rice would get five degenerative diseases, stop reproducing and die prematurely.

He also predicted that the pigeons on the brown rice would remain healthy and live and reproduce normally. His predictions came about exactly as he said, but the students learned something they weren’t expecting.  The first noticeable difference in the two groups was behaviour.  The pigeons on the polished rice became irritable and discontented and started to fight amongst themselves. The pigeons on the brown rice never became irritable or discontented.

This experiment inspired me to do a similar test.  I used young chickens instead of pigeons and fed one group white bread and water.  The other group received whole wheat bread and water.  The results were the same as the test with the pigeons.  The very first sign of malnutrition in the animals was irritability and discontent among those eating white bread and water.  Those on the whole wheat bread always remained happy and contented.  The first white bread-fed chicken died on the thirteenth day, and they were all dead by the seventeenth day.  The chicks on whole wheat were kept on that diet until full-grown.  They grew normally, never were sick or attacked by parasites.  The hens started laying eggs, and we butchered the roosters.

Look at our society and the people all around the world. You can find examples that show evidence of eating too much white rice and white bread. Or, could it be symptoms of soil decline!

An extract from “The Secret Life of Compost”
Author: Malcolm Beck