There was a time when fruits tasted as they ought to and flowers smelled as they should. It is of extreme importance to understand why.
The ‘dudus’ were at work. Soil science calls them “microflora”. Invisible to the unaided eye, under the microscope, they appear as a bewildering variety of millions upon millions of live micro-organisms, from protozoa to bacteria, worms, crustaceans and more. A complete analysis of humus has never been carried out, and there is no sign it will ever be. More forcefully, humus is a closed book to scientists. It refuses to be opened and read.
In pre-scientific times, humus was thought to be food for plants. The ‘dudus’ real job was to act as live, active conveyors of nutrients from the soil to the roots of crops, in the time and mode intended by nature. Roots took long to grow but so strong and healthy on sprouting their leaves, that the plants resisted attack by insects, fungi and bacteria by themselves.
This process, aided by photosynthesis, produced all or almost all nutrients needed to sustain the health of humans and their livestock. Such healthy nutrients were ingested and passed on to the blood, whence they were conveyed to the body cells. Only a few nutrients were not in the soil and therefore not in the blood.
The ‘dudus’ worked day and night, free of charge, assuring natural nutrition, growth and reproduction to man and beast. Farmers knew what worked well for the soil and plants.
On the coming of the white man, inorganic fertilizers were introduced. They became famous and looked appealing. Research by Farmer’s corporation indicates that they are incorporated into the soil at the rate of 600,000 kilograms/year. The concentrated salts from these fertilizers kill the ‘dudus’, bypass their action and feed the roots of crops directly. The ordered flow of nutrients to the cells of the body is diluted, reduced or even stopped dead, and the soil now duduless. Crops ‘jump out’ of the soil faster than when dudu-driven. Photosynthesis no longer produces as many compounds as it did to nourish men and livestock.
Although the size of the crops and income increases tremendously, the yield is relentlessly declining. Plants have become weaker than formerly. Assorted parasites and weeds attack them, and agro-industrial complex shoots powerful poisons at them.
But nature is not mocked. For quite some time she has been presenting an ominous bill.
The bill is malnutrition for humans and animals. A continued dearth of nutrients causes the immune system to collapse, but at different times, in different parts of the body, and with different symptoms; so different, in fact, as to be mistaken by the medical profession for “degenerative diseases”.
Such “diseases” have been neatly classified with common names- cancer, diabetes, hepatitis, depression or with learned ones, such as the names of their ‘discoverers ‘Parkinson, Alzheimer, Hodgkin among others.
Drugs prescribed according to textbooks, do not cure. They make symptoms disappear, to reappear later either as a different symptom in the same place or as the same symptom elsewhere. Destroyed cancer cells make room for more. And the carousel continues, until “a short – or long – illness bravely borne” carries off the malnourished wretch to the grave.
Among them is an 84-year-old ‘mzee’ going down after 14 years, a 48-year-old athletic man succumbing in two weeks, a 21-year-old ‘kijana’ in two years and most pathetic the ‘Watoto’ of a children cancer ward unlikely to attain their teenage age. Their collapsed immune systems do not recover from malnutrition.
What to do
Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine is your food, diagnosing what nutrients are actually lacking in the bodies of Tom, Dick and Harry would remain a closed book.
Listen to nature: press the dudus back into the service, personally, socially and politically.
Personally, reject produce from industrial agriculture, eat only fresh, organically grown food. Patronize mama mbogas instead of supermarkets. The chance of contracting “degenerative diseases” would not be zero, but it would be confined to within reasonable limits.
Socially, grow your own food on any piece of land, however small, around or near home. This is done on a small scale already but it can go large scale: It is amazing how bountiful nature is when seconded.
Politically, weigh the risks that come with inorganic fertilizers. The fun is always short-lived. Aim for long-term.
Go for sustainable organic manure. Go for long life and prosperity!