Anthony Bown – Written evidence (FPO0037)

 

Food as medicine. Medicine as food. Socrates.

The fundamental reason for the production of food is to nourish and sustain life.

The modern conventional, high input- so-called high output approach to agriculture gives the illusion of efficiency. This has been caused by the science of narrow single outcome problem solving, with little regard for the overall negative effect on the soil and wider environmental impacts as well as the long term effects on human health.

We at New Holland farm have slowly been learning and adapting, adjusting and discovering how the way we treat the soil, the way we apply which fertilisers, the crops we grow and how we graze/ harvest has a profound effect on the soil biology and therefore the health of the animals.

The crux of the matter is micronutrient density, the higher, the healthier everything is. It is impossible to have a high (Brix) nutrient dense crop if such things as modern NPK fertilisers are used, because they are detrimental to the delicate microbiology in the soil, which if allowed to function at its best can out produce in quantity, micronutrient density ( the true measure of quality),  sustainable and profitability.

So the basics for the soil is to measure the calcium/ magnesium ratios, when these are correct then the pH is correct. Then if needed the P and K may need to be corrected with soil microbe friendly fertilisers. Drainage must be improved if there is a need and aeration  if there is compaction, then the biology will flourish if fed with the root exudates from green growing plants. This is the mechanism to sequester carbon into the soil to feed the microbiology so that they can make available to the plant the micronutrients which are essential for a healthy micronutrient dense plant.

Mob grazing, -high density , short duration grazing with long rest periods for the plants to recover of multiple species perennial plants is the best way to feed the microbiology, sequester carbon , produce high Brix in the plants which can defend themselves from insect and fungal attacks and provide healthy livestock without the need for vaccines, antibiotics and anthelmintics.

There are huge reserves of NPK , micro and macronutrients in the topsoil, the green growing plants are the key to the release of these locked up elements to make them available to the plant in an efficient no waste, supply on demand , recyclable and soil depth increasing way.

We just need to help the biology with minor adjustments, not industrialise the whole process with brought in vested interest products.

Many farmers have increased the soil carbon levels dramatically by using the above principles. If the whole of the world used these methods, then the high co2 in the atmosphere could be rapidly reduced to preindustrial levels.

The Hidden cost of UK food. The un-costed costs of production.

I hate the unjustified adverse effects of our current conventional farming systems based on vested interest science, in the pursuit of short term profit at the expense of the health of the people and the planet.

Are we globally the modern version of Easter Island?.

 

 

Anthony Bown

12 September 2019