Once, while visiting Shipibo Indians along the headwaters of the Amazon, I watched as a leaf that had fallen to the rainforest floor was consumed by decomposers which, through the enzymes resident in their digestive tracks, rendered the leaf into essential nutrients that, in my mind’s eye, were immediately carried right back up into the forest canopy.
Truth is, the dead do not last long in the Amazon!
Up here in the temperate zone, the dead last a bit longer. Still, nature is hungry for the nutrients, and decomposition happens.
Fact is, decomposition has been a big reason we humans have been able to to live in one location for long periods of time. Like mother nature herself, we recycled dead things– usually plant matter– into living soil. We call the trick, “composting.”
In modern times, composting is the trick to what we call, “organic farming,” which is really what we have been doing all along. However, organic farming now has lots of rules and regulations to distinguish it from that what some call, “industrial farming.”
One of the biggest rules of organic farming is: No Pesticides!
Imagine the ruckus, then, when USDA issued rules allowing composts containing pesticide residues to be used in commercial organic farming, and another ruckus when a federal judge tossed the rule out!
And so we ask...
Should composts containing pesticides residues be allowed in organic farming?
Food Chain Radio & Forums #1,069 (Tags: Stan Mitchell, Pacific Coast Ag, compost, composting, USDA, pesticide residues)