Soil as a Natural Resource

To get organizations thinking about and discussing soil, just ask them this simple question:

 How do you feed seven billion people?

The intent of this question is to draw a connection between our food and where it grows from, the soil.  Soil is often forgotten about as a natural resource.  Yet, it is a critical component to agriculture.  Developing fertile soil to support agriculture is a dynamic process.  It is dependent upon the interactions of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere.  Soil is not merely the sum of minerals, organic matter, water and air, but the product of their interactions (Juma, 1999).

In Plan B, Brown calls food security, “the weak link” because the demand side of the food equation is driven by population growth, increased consumption of grain-based animal protein, and the use of gain to fuel cars is far exceeding the supply side.  Food production can not meet these increasing demands because of cropland lost through erosion, desertification, and urban development (Brown, 2009).  Greater emphasis soil conservation is needed to help with the restoration of this resource to support the production of food.  More positive examples are needed, such as the Intervale Community Farm in Burlington, VT.  This is a great example of how an abandoned and forgotten land was reclaimed and turned into productive farm land to serve the greater community.

Brown, L. (2009). Plan B 4.0 Moblilizing to Save Civilization. Earth Policy Institute.

Juma, N. G. (1999). The Pedosphere and Its Dynamics. A Systems Approach to Soil Science. Volume 1: Introduction to Soil Science and Soil Resources. Salman Productions Inc.



9 Responses to Soil as a Natural Resource

  1. pchandler725 says:

    Is soil the limiting factor for a sustainable global population? If you put water and soil together, our future depends on it.

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