This is my blog site on how to grow plants to improve gut biology which as part of our intelligent control system for our bodies plays a major role in our health. I only publish when I have something useful to say so I suggest you click on the ‘Notify me of new posts by email’ at the bottom of every post. Constructive comments welcome.
Creating an alternative food system
Colin Austin © 22 June 2020 Creative commons this document may be reproduced but the source should be acknowledged. Information may be used for private use but commercial use requires approval.
Our intelligent control system
Modern food production is incredibly efficient. It is full of energy food, tastes good and is very convenient. We need energy food, most of the food we eat we burn up for energy – but it is not enough – we need food to replace our body parts as they wear or age and above all we need food to feed our brains our head brain and our gut brain which is made from trillions of beneficial cells which make up our intelligent control system which manages our entire body.
Whether we like it of not we are totally dependant on beneficial microbiology. They were on the earth first – breaking down barren rocks to create soil enabling plants – and eventually us humans – to grow and evolve.
This beneficial microbiology forms part of our guts, the trillions of cells communicate with each other to form a neural network which has intelligence – just like in our head brain or a super computer.
Our guts are a genuine brain which communicates with our head brain to form an intelligent control system which manages our body, our heart rate, breathing, immune system our hunger and appetite so we eat enough food without overeating.
We are totally dependant on this beneficial biology.
Why we feel hungry and overeat
Our intelligent control system has evolved to send signals telling us whether we need to eat by making us feel hungry or stop eating by making us feel full. But our intelligent control system really is smart and is looking at all our food needs, not just energy, and if we are deficient in just one key ingredient, it will send out signals for us to eat more, even though we may be full of energy food.
This worked extremely well in the past as our food was low in energy foods but high in replacements and gut food so we would rarely overeat on energy food.
Modern food is exactly the opposite, high in energy food and low in replacement and gut food.
When we get a signal that we need to eat we can end up eating far more energy food than we need as our bodies crave the missing nutrients. That is the real problem with modern food, it does not satisfy us so we eat too much of it.
Our bodies are complex
You can read a book like ‘Eat your Vitamins by Mascha Davis’. It is a nice chatty little book full of information about all the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients we need – iron, chromium, selenium, iodine, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum etc. – a list going on for two pages.
But what she does not tell us (because it is so obvious) is that we can’t just go down to the scrap yard and munch on a few bit of scrap metal to get our iron and chromium, we need the bugs to turn it into chemicals that we can absorb.
I similar chatty book on gut biology is Giulia Enders book called Guts – but again she does not explain the link between gut health and soil.
But here we are really interested in the health of our brains and good read is Brain Food by Dr Lisa Mosconi but again she only just mentions how important the soil is.
If you want to read about the connection between soil and gut biology then go to
It is a bit heavy reading but the facts are clear, gut health comes from the soil.
Kale is supposed to be a healthy vegetable – and it can be, but go shopping, you can see two perfect looking healthy plants, one grown in healthy soil is really healthy for you the other grown in dead soil using chemicals and toxic sprays is definitely not – but how do you know?
Where do the good bugs come from?
The short answer is from the soil. There are more than ten times the number of species in the soil than inside us.
How do these soil bugs get from the soil into our guts? The most common way is for the good bugs to move into the plants that we eat. They also come from our mothers, from contact with each other, the bugs our quite happy to take advantage of a little cuddle or kiss, through our skin and even directly from the soil.
We use the term pro-biotics to indicate this process of getting new bugs into our guts, but when they are there we need to feed them, or else they will just die. Bugs need their own type of food we call pre-biotics.
Plants are the most effective pre and pro biotics (way better than any pill). But they must be grown in soil which is full of beneficial biology and essential minerals.
The key three (and a bit) lessons
The three key message we can take from learning how plants grow in the natural environment are;-
– a large amount of decaying organic material to feed the micro-biology
– the micro biology (particularly the fungi) breaking down the rocks to provide essential minerals
– soils which lead to the growth of beneficial biology in aerobic conditions while restricting the growth of harmful biology which tends to grow in anaerobic conditions.
These are the three rules we can learn from traditional agriculture and plants growing in the wild that we need to apply to grow food which will lead to a healthy gut (and hence a healthy body).
For modern times we should also add to those three rules the avoidance of toxic chemicals which will damage our gut biology.
It is based on studying how nature and traditional food production works.
Beneficial biology is allowed to grow naturally in beds filled with a mixture of organic material, largely compost made from food waste and volcanic rock dust containing all the essential minerals. Biological inoculants may be added to start the biological process.
In natural system there are always good bugs and bad bugs, however if the conditions are right the good bugs will out compete and control the bad bugs. All bugs need water to survive and breed but the good bugs prefer aerobic conditions with plenty of oxygen while the bad bugs thrive in anaerobic conditions. A key feature of the Gbiota beds is to cycle the water on a flood and drain cycle so the soil is always moist but never saturated (for long).
This is a sustainable system actually creating soil, very different to the chemical based industrial agriculture which is destroying our soil and is a major threat to our grand kids.
Technology for human benefit
Modern technology is simply amazing – just look at face recognition. It can scan thousands of people in a crowd, comparing with profiles of ‘people of interest’ finding matches in micro seconds and then following them.
Then along comes the microscopic Corona virus throwing the whole world into chaos – are we missing something?
This is not anti technology it is simply saying that our technology is now so powerful we have to learn how to use it better for our mutual benefit of society as a whole.
In the last fifty years our food system has totally changed and has lead to a reduction in our life expectancy and the chronic diseases of diabetes, obesity and the related heart attacks and dementia.
We need to totally rethink our attitude to technology learning to cooperate with biology and the natural world, working with it collaboratively for the benefit of our species overall and not just for profit or power.
Benefiting us all
The Gbiota is a powerful technology for improving our food supply, our health in general and our immune system and the management of fats and insulin. But a technology, however good by itself is not going to benefit anyone if it is not widely available to everyone at a price people can afford.
This widespread availability is not going to be achieved by a massive advertising campaign on a for profit basis – there is excessive promotion and manipulation of the truth in the food industry already.
People need to know that the food they are eating is authentic and the way to do that is to buy from a grower you trust. Technically this is easy in the age of the internet and buying on line but there is a need to create local groups to work together – a social movement.
People power is far more effective than multi billion dollar advertising campaigns. These ideas will go viral from people just talking or using social media to communicate with each other then.
We can learn from the Corona virus, at first just one person was infected and in a very short time it had spread across the world.
It is a very simply message to spread, we need beneficial biology in our guts, we get that from eating food grown in nutrient rich biologically active soil. This is not about profits, it is simply that it is a better world for us all to live in if we all have access to clean air, and water, and healthy food grown in a sustainable way. Do it for your grand kids!
More information contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org