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The Dirt on What's Making Californians Sick

California spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year on health care but sees relatively little improvement in health. Amid debate about how to curb these costs, we should be looking at what is making people sick. As a practicing physician married to a farmer, I believe one key to our health is held not by doctors who take care of us when we are sick but by farmers who can keep us healthier.

That key is soil. Soil health is human health, and as such our farmers are critical stewards of our health.

Rich, healthy soil contains a web of organisms that perform critical functions. The more diverse these organisms are, the more effectively the soil holds water and the faster it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to stabilize the climate. There’s also evidence that bio-diverse soil helps plants resist disease and use nutrients more efficiently.