discourages waste by employing one organism to feed on the waste
products of others. It is only when we interfere with nature and
reduce its biodiversity that waste becomes evident.
suggests that unpleasant natural mechanisms are nature's ways of
warning us about wasted resources. The degree of the nuisance matches
the level of waste. This eco-logic has enabled me to formulate the
Nitrogen Waste Model, which says that the root cause of most modern
problems can be traced to nitrogen waste.
are the pieces of my model:
is a major plant nutrient. Nature makes it available in a slow-release
manner. The earthworm-bacteria-plant ecosystem achieves this most
effectively. Residual nitrates, free amino acids and other forms
of non-protein nitrogen (NPN) in plants, however, indicate an oversupply
(a waste) of nitrogen in the soil.
pests look for such NPN and serve as nature's waste indicators.
They scatter the surplus nitrogen on a large area that may be suffering
from a nitrogen shortage. Storage pests such as fungi, insects,
rats, etc., cull agricultural produce that has NPN.
suggests that such food be destroyed because it could be harmful
to man. Sanitation pests, including flies, cockroaches, rats, redworms,
potworms, mosquitoes, aquatic weeds, etc., also look for wasted
and animal diseases, including modern diseases such as cancer, AIDS,
Mad Cow Disease, etc., are the result of NPN coming from food, water
and foul air. NPN primarily affects the brain and sensory organs
such as the eyes, ears, teeth, skin, etc. Modern social problems
could also be traced back to NPN pollution in our bodies.
validity of the above model may necessarily be found in its ability
to explain available data. The following points seem to support
the Nitrogen Waste Model:
is the limiting plant nutrient. Plants have to get CO2 from a dilute
source (air is about 400 ppm CO2) to build their biomass, which
contains about 40% carbon. Nitrogen is less limiting than carbon.
Soil nitrogen content can be 5,000 ppm and plants may have between
2-3 percent nitrogen.
chemical fertilizers seem to work by increasing the nitrate level
in the soil. This initiates a corrective action on the part of denitrifying
bacteria that can crack even the soil humus, the very basis of soil
fertility. CO2 produced during this process boosts crop production.
As the soil humus content is reduced, there are reducing returns
and increasing pollution of water bodies and food.
the increase in pest attacks follows the curve of nitrogenous fertilizer
use. Recent trials at the University of Ohio (Phelan, 1994) have
established the link between the use of soluble nitrogen and pest
(1990) has given a summary of global research, which provides support
for the above model. White (1993), too, provides considerable data
on the NPN scavenging ability of plant insects, rats and animals
such as rabbits, monkeys, hares, pigs, bats, owls, parrots, kangaroos,
etc. These animals eco-logically have prior access to these foods.
What they do not consume is good food for us.
Sheep Disease was probably due to the consumption of NPN. Sheep
offal, although sterilized, contained NPN and was fed to cows, which
may have led to the Mad Cow Disease in Britain. Mad Fish Disease
(reported off the Canadian coast) was probably caused by an increase
in the nitrate concentration in the sea. Intensive poultry and hog
farming also experience NPN problems in the toxic effects of ammonia,
another NPN source.
handling garbage are reported to have a high incidence of tuberculosis
and other diseases. People working in the mining industry, using
explosives (which contain ammonium nitrate) suffer from several
health problems because they breathe air polluted with NPN. In addition,
the harmful effects of nitrates and monosodium glutamate (amino
acid, a NPN), particularly in babies, are well discussed in the
literature. In fact, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), another form
of NPN affects the brain and has been used as an anesthetic.
Duesberg, a noted virologist from the University of California,
Berkeley, has published several papers relating drugs such as amyl
nitrite to AIDS in the USA. AIDS in Africa and other countries could
be due to NPN in food. Milk is often adulterated with urea in developing
countries, which may account for an increase in AIDS in these countries.
The HIV virus seems to be the fire-fighter that helps to remove
NPN from our bodies and does not allow the use of drugs to cure
the disease. Increased sexual activity seems to be the natural mechanism
for removing NPN from our bodies. The development of a vaccine against
HIV would allow an increase in NPN until the next fire-fighter,
such as the Ebola virus, takes over.
containing protein and no NPN does not become spoiled due to fungi,
insects and rats (Bhawalkar, 1997, White, 1993). The quality of
nitrogen in our food, thus, is important. The traditional Japanese
technique of preserving fish in the soil supports this point. In
the old days, fish had a small NPN content. Modern fish can be boiled
and washed with water (which has a low NPN content) and stored for
a long period without refrigeration or chemical preservatives.
problems or pests such as odor, flies, cockroaches, rats, redworms,
potworms, mosquitoes and aquatic weeds need NPN (Bhawalkar, 1997).
Baker (1931) has reported the use of fly maggots for pathogen control.
Even Napoleon's doctor used this therapy. The Wall Street Journal
(January 17, 1995) has reported a revival of maggot therapy to cure
gangrene in the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach, California.
The antibiotics that had replaced the former maggot therapy have
become useless now due to the modern practice of feeding antibiotics
regularly to farm animals (to get a better feed conversion ratio).
have recently discovered the ecoenzymes,similar to those harnessed
by flies and mosquitoes. By integrating these with vermiculture,
we are able to produce a special grade of vermicastings that we
market as SUJALA.
SUJALA is an effective way to prevent fire (pathogen growth) from
inviting fire-fighters (flies and mosquitoes).
are well discussed in cancer literature. The Wheat Grass Therapy
by Dr. Ann Wigmore gives support to the above model because sprouting
is an effective way of removing NPN. Beans are traditionally sprouted.
If consumed directly, they cause gas (due to NPN).
produce has 93% less nitrates and 42% less free amino acids (both
are NPN) (Lampkin, 1990). Organic produce, thus, can generally be
characterized as having a low NPN content.
consumption of 4-5 liters of water (with low NPN) per day is an
effective technique to flush the body of NPN and is known to help
cure several health problems.
as with nitrogen, we must reduce our carbon waste so that we do
not contribute further to global warming. We can do this in part
by promoting on-soil rather than off-soil composting. The latter
is wasteful because carbon that is oxidized away from the soil is
not available to soil bacteria and earthworms. The CO2 produced
in off-soil composting cannot be utilized by growing plants and
contributes to global warming. Eco-logic, thus, provides us with
an effective tool to understand nature and achieve prosperity by
reducing these wastes.
et al., (1931) The Treatment of Chronic Osteomyelitis with the
Maggot. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Vol XIII.
U. S. (1997) Vermiculture Ecotechnology, 2nd edition, Bhawalkar
Earthworm research institute, Pune,India.
P. H. (1995) Infectious AIDS - Have We Been Misled? North
Atlantic Books, Berkeley.
N. (1990) Organic Farming, Farming Press Books,
U. K. Phelan, et al., (1994) Soil Fertility Management and
by a Corn Pest: A Comparison of Organic and Conventional Chemical
Farming, (personal communication.)
T.C.R. (1993) The Inadequate Environment (Nitrogen and the
Abundance of Animals), Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
permission from Worm Digest