More information on types of phytochemicals and their benefits can be found here.
Factors such as an in increase in organic matter greatly improve plants' diet compared to soil where chemical fertilizers have been used. Healthy soil as a result of sustainable agriculture practices results in healthy crops that affect gene expression and the relationships they have with the soil microbiome. Crops can form symbiotic relationships with beneficial bacteria and fungi that transfer viral nutrients from the soil to plants we eat, or to forages that farm animals eat.
The idea that healthier soil creates healthier people proves the importance of incorporating sustainable farming practices into any farming operation. In previous blogs we have talked about examples of regenerative practices including crop rotations, reducing or eliminating tillage, and implementing cover crops. Montogomery and Bikle have compiled a list that includes the key components for healthier soil:
- Minimize disturbance to the land by greatly reducing or eliminating tillage.
- Keep the ground alive with living roots from other cash crops to keep the soil intact and in place, and soil life healthy.
- Rotate a diverse array of crops on agricultural lands.
- Reduce use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides.