Farm Tales: Organically Grown vs. Chemically Cultivated
March 23, 2016•19 min
The advent of farm chemicals in 1949 has changed the food we eat today.Lifelong farmer and organic pesticide purveyor, Ray Nielsen, has witnessed the change in food since the advent of pesticides.Ray grew up on a Minnesota farm in the 1930s and 40s. His family never used chemical fertilizer or pesticides, because they hadn't been introduced yet. His farming studies at University of Michigan were interrupted by service in the U.S. Army. He had time to buy some acreage and hire a caretaker for his own farm before his service began.When Ray returned from service, he finished his degree and bought more farmland. He started using the chemical fertilizer that he learned about in school. Farming chemicals came about in 1949, so this was a new and exciting development. Ray noticed the use of chemicals turned the soil from a rich black to gray. Each year he had to use more and more fertilizer. Ray then learned about organics and hasn't looked back.Ray defines organic farming as non-toxic farming. Toxic farming depletes the minerals from the soil, leaving the food with lower mineral content. Chemicals destroy the symbiotic bacteria in the plants, essentially destroying their microbiome. Organic farming removes the chemicals from the equation. Organic food is richer in micronutrients, making it taste better.Listen in as Ray shares his farm tales with Dr. Mike.