On January 6th, the dream and vision of Living Ground ~ Suelo Vivo was presented to the community here in Southern Ecuador.   The intention was to share  hope that, together, we could actually enact a solution to the state of affairs we are all facing and enduring.   I do feel many of us know what the problem is.   Here is a solid  “soilution”! 

Are we ready?!    

A US Foundation (whose intention is global food sovereignty) gifted us with a tractor and a Mighty Mike Microbe Compost turner.    A huge gift that enables us to make massive amounts of biologically rich compost.    The Foundation’s  name is “River of Kindness”   So, we have the equipment.    Over the past two years, I have been in actively studying and applying experiential knowledge of the teachings of Dr Elaine Ingham (www.soilfoodweb.com).  We have the knowledge.    We have negotiated a long term lease on land and a potential to purchase two parcels.  We have the land.   Now, we need the team and the financial means to make this happen.     Call me crazy, but I see it all coming together easily.

As I shared in the presentation on January 6th (see video below), I have no intention of “running” a business nor do I wish too.    BUT THIS IS IMPORTANT.    I would much prefer to walk next to others in this dream as a group.   So, I am giving it my best shot to inspire others to collaborate.    If it doesn’t work, I just make a lot of compost and share with clients who want to regenerate in a small scale.     We are gearing up to do a fundraiser and that will be announced soon.


We need leaders to rise with intention and focus.   At the workshop, many did sign up for PODs.   This is an amazing opportunity at so many levels.  Not only can we regenerate the soils and remove the harmful chemicals and sprays seeping into our food system,  we can harvest amazing results at all levels of existance from the smallest of the microbes to the human being.   We can reduce farmers/growers input costs; we can reduce water needs; we can increase crop yields; and, my favourite, we can ensure plants have nutritional fullness (human health).  This Operation Microbes means everyone wins (profits).    It really is a win/win/win!

The vision….

  1. have a location that is producing live microbe rich composts, teas and extracts that will be spread locally and beyond.
  2. have a large greenhouse for medicinal and rare plants
  3. a market stand and hang out with elixirs, tonics, medicinal spices, herbs and foods.   
  4. we will sell only products produced in microbe soils.   Growers can sell their produce all year round.   
  5. we will create a full-blown active soil microscope laboratory.   
  6. we will help growers convert to microbes and away from chemicals
  7. we will help targeted growers to grow  plants for essential oils and purchase their plants to make the essential oils in a distillery.   
  8. we will have a workshop area and train, teach and guide regeneration
  9. we will help growers produce more and reduces costs.   
  10. we will gain our health and microbiome strength from the foods grown in microbe rich soils.   
  11. we will create art around the microbes and sell T-Shirts and Base Ball Caps with microbe art and “I love shit” (spanish and english). 

It will be an education center, hang out, and fully alive business.   Everyone will win.  Profit sharing is horizontal so everyone benefits.

Can you see it?   

Here is a view of the presentation in English and Spanish  (and, sorry, it announces this is January 22nd…I really do not know what the date is anymore…it was January 6th).   


For the creation of Living Ground, Suelo Vivo, to happen, we need to rise and educate POD leaders.   That was the intention of the presentation.     There are nine PODS each having equal worth to the bigger whole.    All PODS are formed on the foundation of the “good guy” microbes.  Whether it be the compost makers, testers (lab techs), growers, artists, gourmet market operators, distillery creators (essential oils)  they all connect to the infusion and presence of the microbes.   We are mearly the creative force in the “soil food web” rising its’ importance (foundational) so all thrive and benefit.

For more details on the POD descriptions (listed below), view the POD CREATION SHEET

 I also encourage everyone and all interested parties to connect on the Living Ground Telegram Channel

The Operations Microbe goal is rise up and inspire 2 POD leaders for each section (preferably one local and one gringo) who will be fully trained and mentored in the creation process.   The leaders will be linked together to ensure all teams are working with integrity, empowerment and inspiration.   Each leader will be trained in Tools and Art of Sacred Commerce.    All training will be offered freely in exchange of the commitment to make this happen.    

It is my commitment to offer all training (whether in the operations and understanding of the microbes, soil food web or sacred commerce) to all those who show up.   If the team member chooses not to continue with the creation, there will be an agreement made that training costs will be reimbursed.    There really does need to be a common vision and a selfless commitment towards this creation.   My effort will be given and shared only for those who really do want to put this dream into action.   

For those who attended the workshop on January 6th and signed up for the PODS, you have been added to the mailing and communication lists.   If you are interested in a POD after watching the presentation video, please contact me EMAIL


We are now preparing to raise the necessary funds for “Operation Microbe” set-up.   Here are the PODS…

Full Financial Requirements for “Operation Microbe Creators”  


Compost Makers ~ Microbe Makers Build Microbe Compost, Teas & Extracts.
Two Team Leaders (Gringo/Local)
Lab Techs ~ Microbe Testers Laboratory Soil Testing of the Microbes
Two Team Leaders (Gringo/Local)
Consultancy Team
Microbe Infusers
Off Site Consultancy to regenerate lands, farms and gardens. .
Two Team Leaders (Gring/Local) and a team of compost workers.
Must be fully trained in understanding the soil tests, compost and applications to regenerate land (including removal of toxins, chemicals and toxins)
Distiller One Team Leader with team
Creation of pure essential oils and operations of the stills. Bottlings and labeling
Onsite Gardener and Grower
Microbe Planters
On site part time
Potting of plants and seeds for sale
TiendaOperation ~ Microbe Sales Two Team Members (Gringo and Local)
Operations of the Microbe Market that will showcase Microbe products and produce.
Tea/Tapa Bar and making of food and offerings.
Off Site Microbe Artists Microbe Creatives
Product makers but the base must be all products are connected to the microbes
Off Site Microbe Growers Produce to sell in the Tienda/Market or used for Essential Oil making

As above, so below!   Up, up and away!

…The Soil Biology Primer represents a new era in our agency’s soil science contributions to natural resource conservation. In the past we have focused primarily on the chemical and physical properties of soil . This publication highlights another integral component of soil , its biological features. The Primer explains the importance of biological functions for productive and healthy agricultural systems , range lands, and forest lands.

The Soil Biology Primer is intended for farmers, ranchers, agricultural profes sionals, resource specialists , students, teachers, and NRCS conservationists, specialists , and soil scientists as a reference for enhanced understanding of the critical functions performed by soil life. I hope you enjoy reading about the fascinating diversity of soil life under our feet and gain a deeper appreciation of the intrinsic value of soil organisms to sustainable civilizations . Protecting our Nation’s soil for future generations is of greatest importance.

ENJOY click to read, explore, learn, download……


Soil. It’s our greatest treasure.

It can take hundreds of years and many natural processes to make even a centimetre of soil. The mechanical and chemical weathering of rock makes up around half of any soil’s composition, with around 5% supplied by organic material, and the rest made up by air and water.

Put another way, soil is a complicated mix of both the non-organic, abiotic components- minerals, water and air, and the organic biotic components- bacteria, archaea, fungi, plants and invertebrates that live and die within it.

In addition, and bound together with any basic discussion about soil, is the reality of a living soil, the soil food web and soil biodiversity. Soil is a complex, sustainable and dynamic ecosystem, sustained through the complicated interaction of countless soil fauna like worms, woodlice, springtails, nematodes and mites, together with fungi and bacteria.

“Despite all our achievements, we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.”

However, within a few generations, we have seen the world’s soils rapidly and increasingly degrade, losing nutrients, carbon and fertility, turning saline or actually blowing away. Crops are losing yield and not responding to NPK fertilisers. Fields and farms are being abandoned across much of the world, forcing even more poverty, suffering and human migration. This degrading is mostly human-driven, due to bad farming practices, pollution, acidification, compaction, deforestation and climate change across the world. It’s a sobering and worrying time. Soil biodiversity is dying, with soil fauna like springtails and soil mites reducing to almost zero. Worms are disappearing, fungal activity ceasing.

Soil scientists and farmers are finally being listened to.   People are learning and gaining more knowledge and understanding.  Research is now well funded and positive changes are being discussed at a governmental level and implemented on a regional and local level. Sustaining, improving and increasing soils is a lengthy and time consuming process, but no dig, microbe compost making and regenerative agriculture are showing great results. Feeding the soil rather than the plant has become a well known mantra amongst gardeners and organic growers. The ship may be sinking, but all is not lost.

Whoever you are and whoever you will become, tread lightly on the earth.”

Compost Sample Collection Protocol
Take 1 tsp (approx 4 grams or 4 ml) from a minimum of 5 different areas from a small compost pile or 20 different areas from a large windrow and mix in a bag. Take the teaspoons from various locations and depths within the pile and subsequently combine them into a single labeled sandwich-sized plastic bag. Doing this helps ensure that the sample is representative of the entire pile. For any single sample, please ensure that you do not fill the bag more than half-way with material. (Note: to reduce the amount of sample material, you may combine and thoroughly mix the sample material separately, in a sterile container, and then place a smaller amount of the mixture in the sandwich bag). Seal the bag with the air left inside it – do not expel the air from the bag, as this will limit the oxygen available to the biology in the sample which may result in anaerobic conditions being formed.
Label: All sample bags should be labeled with the name of the sample on the *outside* using a permanent marker or an affixed label. Please do not put any identifying information about your sample on a piece of paper and place it inside the bag. The paper will disintegrate, become food for microbes, and potentially change the biology of your sample.
Soil Sample Collection Protocol Scenario
A: For Healthy Crops, Weedy Patches, Sick Plants, Bare Patches, etc., in the same field.
  1. Draw a map of the land you are working on and number each area being sampled on the map. You will need to create an index so you can identify what each numbered area represents – see the example in Figure 1 at the bottom of this section.
  2. Take at least 3 core-samples from a single weedy-patch and place the core samples in a bag. Then label this bag (using a permanent marker) and index it using a clear numbering system (e.g. W1), marking the reference on your map so you know precisely where it came from. Make some notes on any distinguishing features that may be apparent e.g. “This is in a depression” or “This is where the farmer had previously-stored 2 tonnes of lime last year” etc.
  3. Move to another weedy-patch and take a further 3 core-samples, placing these core-samples in a different bag. Label and index the bag appropriately (e.g. W2) and mark the reference on the map. Make notes as appropriate.
  4. Continue this process until you have collected samples from a representative number of weedy-patches, say 40%, of the total number of weedy patches in the field being assessed.
  5. Comparing results should give you a good indication of what is happening across your weedy patches. You may find that in most cases the conditions are similar, but that there are some patches that are very different from the average – in such cases, you may wish to investigate a little further by asking the farmer if he did something different in that area. Or you may later realize that there was a depression in that locality that you’d previously missed. Repeat steps 1-5 above for Healthy Plants using a different reference e.g. H1, H2 … etc. Then repeat the process for sick plants and so on. Comparing the results from each of these areas will offer you an insight into the overall state of the land you are working on.
Scenario B: No plants growing, just bare soil (e.g. in a field that was recently tilled and not yet planted)
For each field:
  1. Take 3-4 samples from each of 5-6 areas per acre (more if the field is larger), selecting these at random, ensuring that they are well distributed over the area of the field you are working on. Avoid going right to the boundary of the field and to any areas that are not representative of the field e.g. the ridge line or a depression. Make sure to mark the areas you are sampling on the map, as this information may be useful later in your investigation, particularly if you get some unexpected results.
  2. Place all of these samples in the same bag and mix well before analyzing.
  3. Label the bag Bare Soil. This will give you an insight into the general conditions across the field you are working on. You must repeat steps 1-3 for each individual field or paddock – using different sample bags for each.
Scenario C: Varying conditions & features e.g. Ridges, depressions, etc….
  1. Study the landscape carefully and map-out the various prominent features.
  2. Take 5-6 samples from each of these areas and place them in separate bags.
  3. Label each bag and use the numbering system you have established so that you can mark these on your map. These results will inform you of the biological conditions in each of the individual areas being assessed. For any single sample, please ensure that you do not fill the bag more than half-way with material. (Note: to reduce the amount of sample material, you may combine and thoroughly mix the sample material separately, in a sterile container, and then place a smaller amount of the mixture in the sandwich bag). Seal the bag with the air left inside it – do not expel the air from the bag, as this will limit the oxygen available to the biology in the sample which may result in anaerobic conditions being formed.
  4. Label: All sample bags should be labeled with the name of the sample on the *outside* using a permanent marker or an affixed label. Please do not put any identifying information about your sample on a piece of paper and place it inside the bag. The paper will disintegrate, become food for microbes, and potentially change the biology of your sample. Figure 1 – Example of a map & index:
Liquid Sample Collection Protocol
  1. Pour liquid into a clean, not-breakable 4 to 8 oz container with a sealable opening (e.g. plastic water bottle with screw cap). Clean the inside of the container if you are not certain that the bottle held only water previously.
  2. Fill the container ⅓ full of the liquid you want to have assessed. Leave the remainder of the container empty to maximize headspace for air exchange.
  3. Once the screw cap is tightly sealed, cover it with duct tape and place it in a sealed plastic bag.
  4. Be sure that the container is clearly labeled with the name of the sample on the *outside* using a permanent marker or an affixed label.

Is your favourite fruit about to go extinct? 

The deadly disease pathogen Fusarium wilt TR4 (previously referred to as Panama Disease) has been wreaking havoc and ravaging the $25 billion global banana industry – with infected plantations experiencing 100% loss and being quarantined for decades.  Colombia has already declared a National State of Emergency, but it may be too late.  A flurry of apocalyptic media accounts have followed, revealing a race to save bananas from extinction after the disease has left a trail of scorched banana plantations in its wake.

The world’s most destructive banana disease is spreading, and there are currently no chemicals available to kill the disease.   This might be a blessing in disguise as it is highly likely that chemical use has actualy contributed to this problem in the first place.   

In August 2021, the Ecuadorian Government has raised the banana disease Fusarium wilt TR4 to pandemic level.  “Ecuador’s message to the global banana community is clear: Fusarium is not just a pest; it is a lethal pandemic for bananas that currently has no solution and that threatens one of the most important industries for the Ecuadorian economy.”

Fusarium wilt is a common fungal disease that attacks many types of herbaceous plants, including banana trees. Also known as Panama disease, fusarium wilt of banana is difficult to control and severe infections are often deadly. The disease has decimated crops and has threatened an estimated 80 percent of the world’s banana crop. Read on to learn more about banana fusarium wilt disease, including management and control. Banana Fusarium Wilt Symptoms Fusarium is a soil-borne fungus that enters the banana plant through the roots. As the disease progresses upward through the plant, it clogs the vessels and blocks the flow of water and nutrients. The first visible banana fusarium wilt symptoms are stunted growth, leaf distortion, and yellowing, and wilt along the edges of mature, lower leaves. The leaves gradually collapse and droop from the plant, eventually drying up completely.   A good article https://draxe.com/health/banana-fungus/ 

The good news is there probably is a natural organic solution, simply utilizing the natural defense mechanism of microbes.    



Fusarium Wilt is a problem in the soil…a bad guy is taking over!    Raise the good guys and let them do their magic!

Bananas As We Know Them Are Doomed VICE News

Disease Is Ravaging the $25 Billion Banana Industry Bloomberg

Why The World’s Most Popular Banana May Go Extinct Business Insider

The world’s bananas are in trouble BBC World Service

Why The Banana Business Of Chiquita And Dole Is At Risk CNBC

Not All Viruses Are Bad For You. Here Are Some That Can Have a Protective Effect
Viruses are mostly known for their aggressive and infectious nature.

It’s true, most viruses have a pathogenic relationship with their hosts – meaning they cause diseases ranging from a mild cold to serious conditions like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). They work by invading the host cell, taking over its cellular machinery and releasing new viral particles that go on to infect more cells and cause illness.

But they’re not all bad. Some viruses can actually kill bacteria, while others can fight against more dangerous viruses. So like protective bacteria (probiotics), we have several protective viruses in our body.

Protective ‘phages’
Bacteriophages (or “phages”) are viruses that infect and destroy specific bacteria. They’re found in the mucus membrane lining in the digestive, respiratory and reproductive tracts.

Mucus is a thick, jelly-like material that provides a physical barrier against invading bacteria and protects the underlying cells from being infected. Recent research suggests the phages present in the mucus are part of our natural immune system, protecting the human body from invading bacteria.

Phages have actually been used to treat dysentery, sepsis caused by Staphylococcus aureus, salmonella infections and skin infections for nearly a century. Early sources of phages for therapy included local water bodies, dirt, air, sewage and even body fluids from infected patients. The viruses were isolated from these sources, purified, and then used for treatment.

Phages have attracted renewed interest as we continue to see the rise of drug resistant infections. Recently, a teenager in the United Kingdom was reportedly close to death when phages were successfully used to treat a serious infection that had been resistant to antibiotics.

Nowadays, phages are genetically engineered. Individual strains of phages are tested against target bacteria, and the most effective strains are purified into a potent concentration.

These are stored as either bacteriophage stocks (cocktails), which contain one or more strains of phages and can target a broad range of bacteria, or as Adapted bacteriophages, which target specific bacteria.

Before treatment, a swab is collected from the infected area of the patient, cultured in the lab to identify the bacterial strain, and tested against the therapeutic phage stocks.

Treatment can be safely administered orally, applied directly onto wounds or bacterial lesions, or even spread onto infected surfaces. Clinical trials for intravenous administration of phages are ongoing.

Beneficial viral infections
Viral infections at a young age are important to ensure the proper development of our immune systems. In addition, the immune system is continuously stimulated by systemic viruses at low levels sufficient to develop resistance to other infections.

Some viruses we come across protect humans against infection by other pathogenic viruses.

For example, latent (non-symptomatic) herpes viruses can help human natural killer cells (a specific type of white blood cell) identify cancer cells and cells infected by other pathogenic viruses. They arm the natural killer cells with antigens (a foreign substance that can cause an immune response in the body) that will enable them to identify tumour cells.

This is both a survival tactic by the viruses to last longer within their host, and to get rid of competitive viruses to prevent them from damaging the host. In the future, modified versions of viruses like these could potentially be used to target cancer cells.

Pegivirus C or GBV-C is a virus that does not cause clinical symptoms. Multiple studies have shown HIV patients infected with GBV-C live longer in comparison to patients without it.

The virus slows disease progression by blocking the host receptors required for viral entry into the cell, and promotes the release of virus-detecting interferons and cytokines (proteins produced by white blood cells that activate inflammation and removal of infected cells or pathogens).

In another example, noroviruses were shown to protect the gut of mice when they were given antibiotics. The protective gut bacteria that were killed by the antibiotics made the mice susceptible to gut infections. But in the absence of good bacteria, these noroviruses were able to protect their hosts.

The future of therapeutic viruses
Modern technology has enabled us to understand more about the complexities of the microbial communities that are part of the human body. In addition to good bacteria, we now know there are beneficial viruses present in the gut, skin and even blood.

Our understanding of this viral component is largely in its infancy. But it has huge potential in helping us understand viral infections, and importantly, how to fight the bad ones. It could also shed light on the evolution of the human genome, genetic diseases, and the development of gene therapies.The Conversation

Cynthia Mathew, Research Assistant, University of Canberra.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 




Land degradation is a collective threat for everyone.    It is vitally important we make a transition to regenerate our soils which as a primary basis of all life and health.   THis is a paradigm shift in our way of thinking and doing.    Our mission is to both educate and create bio-complete soils and spread this gold for our collective future.    It is about changing our approach (even the organic approach) and entering a new paradigm shift.   It is about empowering everyone to thrive, win and benefit.  It is about creating compost that rejuvenates soils, educating everyone into this knowledge and creating a system where everyone wins.

The Plan

* Establish Microbe Compost Creation and Microscope Laboratory
* Consult, Educate and Empower both locals and all food growers.
* Transform neighborhoods here and in Ecuador
* Protect sacred lands and WATER-SHEDS and offering them a solution towards the transformation
* Grow food that is truly nutrient rich and which becomes our medicine.
* Create a reproducible model of sustainability to share our knowledge.

The concept:   Beneficial organisms convert and create life, nutrients, energy, health and bountiful ecosystems.    Our mission is create rich compost, to teach and educate, assist, convert and inspire conversion to regenerative cultivation This creates abundance for everyone.  .  Let’s heal the living world together.

We have a natural way forward for Sustainable Agriculture and Human Health blending science and art.
It’s Time! It’s Necessary!


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We are a little team whose backgrounds and heritage merges from all over the world (England, Canada, USA, Ecuador).    We come together in this project to make a difference, help our community and expand out into the farms of lands of Ecuador.   Our backgrounds are diverse but we all love the land and nature.   Our common dream is to change the world for our sakes and the sake the generations to come


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Bank Account (only available for Ecuador Residence)



The most common conception of corruption is the theft of public money through unscrupulous methods. However, there are many other ways to deceive the public and one of the most notorious is the promotion of industrial chemical agriculture.

Most people in Ecuador, visitors and residents believe that the food is natural and therefore organic. Nothing could be further from the truth. Only 0.3% of the 14 million agricultural hectares are certified organic. That means that those farms have to conform to a rigid process of certification. In the U.S., by the way, the Federal Department of Agriculture allows farmers to use pesticides and still be considered organic.

There are rural campesinos that do not use excessive nitrogen and pesticides, but they are very few and many of them do not follow acceptable practices of not using fresh manure to fertilize plants.

The reality is that almost all farmers, with a few exceptions, are controlled by an industry that has zero interest in the quality or nutritional quantity of the food.

The Big 6 becomes the Big 3

Last year there were the Big 6 and today there are only the Big 3. Bayer bought Monsanto, DOW and DuPont merged and ChemChina bought Syngenta. They combine for about $375 billion in sales in a $450 billion market worldwide of chemical and biological amendments in agriculture.

The concentration of capital is due to over-production and increased competition at a time when farmers are beginning to reject chemicals. India is the best example with the hundreds of suicides due to destroyed families from high costs of the chemicals and lost production. The chemical industry is now switching to biologic products. That may appear to be good but it is not because it follows the same philosophy, but with a different product. I will explain in a minute.

Small farmers are hurt by ag-industry practices too.

The results from the intensive approach from the chemical ag-industry in Ecuador are devastating. They now control the entire university system, so that any agricultural engineer in the country gets almost no training in soil microbiology. There is absolutely no focus on true food nutrition and what used to be a sovereign food system — that is now as foreign as the salchipapas are to the traditional diet.

The excessive use of urea that is freely distributed by the government through the Ministerio de Agricultura Y Ganadería (MAGAP) is the prime reason for toxic watershed system which causes cancer in humans and animals alike and can only be filtered out with active carbons filtering.

The soils are loaded with salts from the excessive use of chemicals and fertilizers which requires the excessive use of irrigation and increasing erosion everywhere. Ecuador has lost between 20 and 40% of the organic material that normally occupies the top 10 inches of soil. The constant tillage to increase production has freed millions of tons of carbon normally sequestered in the soil upon which the bacteria and fungus use for 50% of their diet, not to mention the destruction of the mycorrhiza and bacterial species that have existed or millions of years.

The UN report on Trade and Commerce published in 2013, “Wake Up Before It Is Too Late” pointed out that the largest contributor to global warming and the green-house effect is industrial agriculture which accounts for 71% of all carbon in the atmosphere. In Ecuador, that means increased flooding on the coast and loss of glaciers and the eventual evaporation of the original 235 glacial lakes in the Cajas Mountains, west of Cuenca.

The impact on health

The worst impact is on health. There are over 450 chemicals that make up the more than 9,000 pesticide compounds that have been directly attributed to non-infectious disease and are now in epidemic form. These include 35 cancers of which 3% of occur in children, as well as other childhood diseases including autism, type 1 diabetes. In the general population, allergies, asthma, depression, Parkinson, Alzheimer’s, metabolic syndrome problems, depression, sexual reproduction, etc., are also on the increase.

The average life span in Ecuador is going down, the use of pharmaceutical drugs is going up and farmers under pressure to increase production are using more chemicals.

The proposal from the former president Correa and current vice president Glas to use transgenic (GMO) seeds is nothing more than a continued policy of chemical additives with a punch that will permanently make glyphosate as natural as DDT until the world rejected it.

The only reason to use GMO is to make money for the multinational companies. The effects of the GMO are absolutely astounding and incredibly horrendous to the entire population. The introduction of any seeds will destroy whatever native population that existed before in short order as a result of cross pollination. The seed producers own patents and have the right to take over any production if the seed was not purchased from the manufacturer. Over 80% of all GMO is packaged with glyphosate which means that pregnant women who consume food produced with that GMO seeds will have glyphosate in their blood during and lactating milk which will then be fed to their children.

The combined effect of the intensive chemicals in the agricultural industry and GMO products has literally destroyed any semblance of a healthy population and the source of food for the future, the soil.

Is this not a corrupt industry?

Ag industry bio products

Let me go back to an earlier point: biological products. Let’s start with a simple lesson in plant development.

Plant development depends on photosynthesis, which uses solar energy to combine with carbon from the air to produce simple proteins, carbohydrates and simple sugars within the plant system. About half of these nutrients are used by the plant for growth and metabolic processes but the rest goes to the roots.

In trees, about 85% of nutrients support the roots while in grasses it is about 35%. Why? The plant releases almost 100,000 phytochemicals called exudates to attract microorganisms, bacteria and fungus. The microorganisms live within 1 to 2 cm. of the roots and are attracted to eat the phyto chemicals. The bacteria and fungus secrete an enzyme that breaks down the crystalline structure of soil aggregates of sand, silt and clay to release minerals in soluble form that eventually gets consumed by the plants.

The plant knows what it needs based on which stage of plant development it is in, such as stalk, branch, leaf, flower and fruit development. How many microorganisms does the plant require? More than a hundred thousand different species in the quantity of many millions of each.

The agricultural industry sells about 5 to10 different microorganisms because it is easy to replicate them. The plant needs hundreds of thousands. What is the problem? The large variety of microorganisms facilitate plant stimulation and the immune system against pests. The limited approach of a few falls short.

In addition and more importantly, humans need between 80-90 trace minerals a day and the only way to get them is if the food comes with a rich variety of minerals and that can only happen with an agriculture that is based on rich microbiology. There is no other way. When people refer to their products being agroecological, they interpret natural use of fertilizer as being organic. It is not. True agroecological production is totally based on the scientific application of microorganisms produced from the very same soil location, not from the US to be used in Ecuador. This is why Denver and Canada could not produce quinoa successfully; same altitude and climate but different soil and microorganisms.

Food produced by microbiological methods will have between 40% and 500% more minerals, antioxidants, vitamins and probiotic bacteria. This is why there is a health crisis. There are a lot of people in Tungurahua, Chimborazo and Bolivar provinces who have thyroid problems. The food they used to eat more than a generation ago that was semi organic had 5 times more iodine than the current food and if they do not buy iodized salt, they are going to have metabolic problems with the thyroid. This is one example of many.

The best example of the benefits of eating organic food is Okinawa, Japan where people live far longer lives than the average by consuming a high organic vegetable diet with a little fish and no meat products. That is another story but the key is the consumption of organic vegetables.

On my farm, we produce a very rich microbiome in the compost that we then use to extract the microbiology and spray the gardens and fruit trees. No pests, no worries with higher production yields. I am working with farmers around the country to advance these techniques through teaching and advocacy.


Shelly Caref retired to Ecuador after working as an engineer and mid level manager in the high tech industry for multinational companies. He and his wife, Nelly, discovered that using chemicals in agriculture had direct linkages that caused her illnesses, his daughters breast cancer and his granddaughters type 1 diabetes. He began a five year journey of discovery, investigation and experimentation to fully understand what is “biological agriculture” and why it is the only way to produce food. He can be reached at scaref@gmail.com The ebook can be purchased in English at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/648740


Mainstream alternative health and television news outlets have really highlighted hormone D (vitamin D) the past few years. As always, the goal is to inject more confusion into people’s minds about natural health.⁣
I have always been concerned about people popping vitamins for health.    I don’t think we know enough about nutrition to be able to isolate and make a pill.    Nature always provides the whole picture unknown to our sciences at this point.   Vitamin D is one I am learning about and it is called the  “sunshine” vitamin for a reason.    The phrase “vitamin D” is smurf language. It means nothing! Vitamin D is a psy-op term to confuse you. Are we talking about D3 (cholecalciferol), 25(OH)D (calcidiol), or 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (calcitriol)? ⁣

Biology of the sunshine vitamin

“Vitamin D is unique because it can be made in the skin from exposure to sunlight.[3,8–10] Vitamin D exists in two forms. Vitamin D2 is obtained from the UV irradiation of the yeast sterol ergosterol and is found naturally in sun-exposed mushrooms. UVB light from the sun strikes the skin, and humans synthesize vitamin D3, so it is the most “natural” form. Human beings do not make vitamin D2, and most oil-rich fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring contain vitamin D3. Vitamin D (D represents D2, or D3, or both) that is ingested is incorporated into chylomicrons, which are absorbed into the lymphatic system and enter the venous blood. Vitamin D that comes from the skin or diet is biologically inert and requires its first hydroxylation in the liver by the vitamin D-25-hydroxylase (25-OHase) to 25(OH)D.[3,11] However, 25(OH)D requires a further hydroxylation in the kidneys by the 25(OH)D-1-OHase (CYP27B1) to form the biologically active form of vitamin D 1,25(OH)2D.[3,11] 1,25(OH)2D stimulates intestinal calcium absorption.[12] Without vitamin D, only 10–15% of dietary calcium and about 60% of phosphorus are absorbed. Vitamin D sufficiency enhances calcium and phosphorus absorption by 30–40% and 80%, respectively.[3,13]”

We are still in kindergarten understanding Vitamin D language. There are over 14 different kinds of 25Ds and three different pathways that it follows: hydroxylation, lactonization and epimerization. We only ever hear smurf language from influencers and “health experts”. We never hear secosteroid hormone D talked about in these terms.⁣
The most important thing to note is that D3 supplements will raise 25D (the one they measure) which will then raise your 1,25D (the one they rarely measure). Saying that D3 supplements won’t raise your 1,25D is like saying giving bakers more flour to bake with (25D) isn’t going to make more bread (1,25D). Its a completely nonsensical statement. D3 is a SUBSTRATE to make the other molecules and guess what? You don’t choose what your body makes. It makes what it needs based upon your pathogen load. Even before this situation everyone has been dealing with chronic infections.⁣
When 1,25D gets too high you get an increase in metallothionein production which binds up copper 1000x stronger than zinc (Karasawa et al, 1987). Excess 1,25D from supplementing “Vitamin D” decreases energy production in your kidneys and opens them up to iron-induced damage (Zager et al, 1999). 25D and 1,25D in excess both suppress hepcidin and ferritin synthesis which increases iron storage in the cell (Barcchetta et al, 2014).⁣
With Smurf “Vitamin D” language we also never hear of Lumisterol, Tachysterol or Suprasterol, three compounds that you make when ultraviolet light (sunshine) hits the 7 dehydrocholesterol in your skin. Choose UV light over oral or topical D3 supplements.


This article was written by Tim Spector from King’s College London and was originally published by The Conversation.

Everyone loves D, the sunshine vitamin. Doctors, patients and the media have been enamoured with vitamin D supplements for decades. As well as their clear benefit in curing severe vitamin D deficiencies, endless headlines hail their magical ability to reduce a vast range of conditions from dementia to cancer.

Medical specialists such as myself have been promoting supplements to our patients with osteoporosis and other bone problems for decades. Many food products contain artificially added vitamin D with the aim of preventing fractures and falls and improving muscle strength although the vitamin also has been claimed to boost the immune system and reduce ageing. I used to sometimes take vitamin D myself and recommended it to my family to survive sun-starved winters.

However, a new paper on the risks that vitamin D may pose finally has convinced me that I was wrong. My view on vitamin supplements and the multi-billion dollar industry behind them altered radically after I began researching my book, The Diet Myth, in 2013. The industry and its PR is supported by celebrities who reportedly have high-dose vitamins drip fed into their veins, and around 50 percent of Americans and Britons take them regularly. But surprisingly, there is a lack of evidence to support the health benefit claims of virtually all vitamin supplements on the market.

One study based on the large SELECT trial suggested that supplements such as vitamin E and selenium actually increased prostate cancer in some men. And last year massive analyses combining 27 studies on half a million people concluded that taking vitamin and mineral supplements regularly failed to prevent cancer or heart disease. Not only are they a waste of money for the majority of us – but if taken in excessive quantities they can actually hasten an early death, increasing your risk of heart disease and cancer.

Virtually no vitamins or supplements have actually been shown to have any benefit in proper randomised trials in normal people without severe deficiencies. Rare exceptions have been lutein nutrients for macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness – and vitamin D, the golden boy of vitamins.

Since the 1980s, researchers (including myself) have written thousands of papers, associating a lack of our favourite vitamin with over 137 diseases. A 2014 BMJ report, however, found these links mainly to be spurious.

Won’t do you any harm?
Our genetic makeup influences vitamin D levels. We can use this information to tell if naturally low vitamin D levels might actually increase the risk of disease (rather than be a consequence of it). The evidence so far suggests (with the possible exception of multiple sclerosis and some cancers) that low vitamin D levels are either irrelevant or merely a marker of the disease.

Until now we haven’t worried about giving people extra vitamin D because we thought “it might help anyway and of course (as it’s a vitamin) doesn’t do you any harm”. With our increasing knowledge, we should now know better. Recent studies in the last five years have suggested that even calcium supplements as well as being ineffective in preventing fracture can increase the risk of heart disease.

While several studies in normal people failed to find any protective effects from vitamin D, others have been more worrying. One 2015 randomised study of 409 elderly people in Finland suggested that vitamin D failed to offer any benefits compared to placebo or exercise – and that fracture rates were, in fact, slightly higher.

The usual prescribed dose in most countries is 800 to 1,000 units per day (so 24,000-30,000 units per month). However, two randomised trials found that at around 40,000 to 60,000 units per month Vitamin D effectively became a dangerous substance.

One study involving over 2,000 elderly Australians, which was largely ignored at the time, and the one just published found that patients given high doses of vitamin D or those on lower doses that increased vitamin D blood levels within the optimal range (as defined by bone specialists) had a 20-30% increased rate of fractures and falls compared to those on low doses or who failed to reach “optimal blood levels”.

Explaining exactly why vitamin D supplements are often harmful is harder. Some people who don’t take supplements have naturally high blood levels which may be due to them spending large amounts of time outdoors in the sun or eating oily fish regularly – and there is no evidence that this is harmful. Higher than average levels can also be due to genes which on average influence about 50 percent of the differences between people. So our obsession with trying to bring everyone up to a standard normal target blood level is seriously flawed, in a similar way to our one-size-fits-all approach to diet.

Until now we have believed that taking vitamin supplements is “natural” and my patients would often take these while refusing conventional “non-natural” drugs. Our body may not view supplements in the same misguided way. Vitamin D mainly comes from UV sunlight converted slowly in our skin to increase blood levels or is slowly metabolised from our food.

In contrast, taking a large amount of the chemical by mouth or as an injection could cause a very different and unpredictable metabolic reaction. For example, our gut microbes are responsible for producing around a quarter of our vitamins and a third of our blood metabolites and also respond to changes in vitamin levels picked up by receptors in our gut lining. Any artificial addition of large amounts of chemicals will upset some sensitive immune processes.

The news that even my favourite vitamin can be dangerous is a wake-up call. We should be taking our worldwide abuse of these chemicals much more seriously rather than routinely adding them to foods. The billions we waste on these products, assisted by the poorly regulated but rich and powerful vitamin industry should be spent on proper healthcare – and people should be educated to go in the sunshine and eat a diverse range of real food instead. For 99 percent of people, this will provide all the healthy vitamins they will ever need.

Tim Spector is a professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London.

This article was originally published by The Conversation. Read the original article.