Tom Ballard, ND's blog


Exploding Field of Dreams
January 20, 2011, 9:58 am
Filed under: Commentary | Tags: , ,

When you think of American agriculture do you think of vast fields of corn or acts of terrorism? Ammonia, the source of nitrogen that stimulates crops to grow large is also what was used to blow up the Oklahoma courthouse as well as other acts of terrorism.

Nitrogen, while necessary in the right balance, is also responsible for terrorism to our soil, water and air. The Green Revolution which started after World War II, heralded an expansion of agriculture with the use of ammonia nitrogen. It was a great triumph of quantity over quality. Only about 30 % of fertilizer reaches the intended plant. The rest stays in the soil where it destroys the natural organisms which plants need. Nitrogen also evaporates into the air, and it runs off into lakes and rivers causing algae blooms and increasing water acidity. The manufacturing of ammonia also contributes to global carbon dioxide emissions.

The story of agriculture is similar to that of medicine. Chemical farming led us away from caring for our earth, air and water. Chemical medicine upsets the ecology of our bodies and ignores the underlying healthy processes.