Whats it all about?

Colin Austin 10 Feb 2023 (© Creative common – can be copied and distributed but source must acknowledge source)

Energy food

It varies a bit from person to person but about 80%, certainly the bulk, of the food we eat is just burned off as fuel for energy or warming. (Unless you are a lizard, in which case you need to sit on a rock in the sun), your body will automatically control your temperature for you without you having to think about it.

White, black, yellow, red, green or purple, living in an arctic igloo or tropical rain forest hut our bodies are automatically controlled to within a fraction of a degree. Unless some nasty bug gets past your immune system when it will turn up the thermostat to roast it.

A lot of energy is used by our head brain which runs on glucose, but our heart keeps on beating away, we keep on breathing and occasionally we may reach out for the remote, or even more spectacular get up and walk to the fridge for another packet of chips and all this takes energy and all this takes fuel in the form of food.

All food contains carbon and hydrogen and we just burn it off as fuel and we produce energy food in vast quantities – enough to feed the expanding population for years to come.

Replacement food

But our bodies are also wearing out, and we are much smarter than our cars as we can repair ourselves but this does take a different sort of food, full of complex chemicals, minerals and vitamins.

Our track record here is not so good, the content of these complex chemicals in our food has sadly declined but not to worry, modern technology gives us a very good understanding of what we need so if we have the money we can just buy a few bottle of pills – not very economic but it works (sort of).

Not exactly a world shattering disaster but certainly not in the good list.

Brain food

If you can’t tell the difference between a jelly fish and a human then sadly you are a jelly fish. Lets face it jelly fish are pretty stupid – they just wobble around in the water eating what happens to come along.

People are very different – we have brains – two sorts of brains.

The conscious brain which enables you to read this and take decisions – this is interesting I will keep on reading to get to the punch line which I anticipate will come (and you are right) or no this is boring I will put on the TV (and miss the punch line).

Then there is the subconscious brain which I call our intelligent control system which manages our bodies for us without us even thinking.

I talked about our temperature control system, we have no control over that. We can try by running around trying to get ourselves hot but our bodies just says – ‘ that wont work look how I make you sweat’, or the other way around if you get cold it will just turn up the furnace burning up a load of fat (actually special brown fat for the purpose) and if that does not work set up your muscles in some giant and uncontrollable shiver.

Some parts of our body we may have a bit of control over – our body has a very sophisticated system controlling the oxygen level in our blood stream. We can try and show our dominance by holding our breath – but for how long? A minute or two then it wins and we end up panting away.

Every function is our body is managed by this intelligent control system, evolved over millions of years to keep us alive.

Take our immune system – the air we breath is full of microbes – most harmless but some really nasty (have you forgotten about the virus already). Every time we take a breath our immune system leaps into action and says your a goody you can live – or your a baddy – bong your dead! (hopefully).

The same with our food, natural food is full of microbes some bad – bong your dead! But some not just good but absolutely essential. These are the microbes which form our gut brain which together with our head brain forms part of our automatic intelligent control system.

World shattering disaster? Yes of no.

World shattering disaster may be a bit extreme but it is certainly seriously bad. We have been so busy, using the state of the art technology to produce energy food, nice hygienic energy food sterile and wrapped up in clean plastic bags that we have forgotten that we really need those good microbes that form part of our intelligent control system which has evolved to keep us healthy and alive.

Just look at a couple of the side effects – our immune system and the virus. Sadly many people caught the virus and died but also many people caught the virus which had little of no effect on them. There is close association between people eating a diet which gives them a healthy gut and their ability to fight of the virus.


The numbers are certainly big but are dwarfed by the main player – appetite and obesity. Getting a bit of a wobbly tum or bum may not seem a big deal but the side affects certainly are – they lead to a whole range of non infectious diseases – particularly diabetes. Every eight seconds someone has a limb amputated from diabetes. Not good at all.

Now if you think I am prattling on about a few bugs then you should read Tim Spencer book Diet Myths. Tim, a professor from Imperial College is a world renown expert on the gut micro-biome and spent many years experimenting with twins working out what is hereditary (determined by our Genes or how they are activated – epigenetics) or from the environment. He talks, from a strictly medical viewpoint, about how our guts control so much of our bodily functions.

But his book also reviews the work of experts across the field so if you want an unbiased appraisal of the current state of the art then Tim’s book is about as good as your going to get.

So we can be pretty sure that our gut micro-biome is crucial for our health.

But that may be interesting but the real question is what can we do about it.

What can we do about it?

There is a saying for every complex problem there is a simple solution – which does not work (Lincoln I think).

But in this case there is a solution which at least is not too complicated. You see for thousands if not millions of years we have been evolving a healthy gut, the microbes in our gut have become totally dependant on us – if we die they die – that is real mutual dependence.

Experts in the field have studied the gut micro-biome of the remaining hunter gatherers and people living in the blue zones where people are fit, healthy and active up to a ripe old age.

So what is their secret – no magic plants that can be bottled and sold at exorbitant prices – nothing much in common at all except that there were eating lots of fresh plants grown in soil teaming with microbes and minerals.

The lucky ones

So why can’t we do that. Well some people can, the lucky ones with the time, land, skills and energy to learn how to breed microbes in the soil and the knowledge to grow beneficial plants.

And that is what most of the current members of the Gbiota club are doing right now.

Harassed mums and the Gbiota wicking box

But in the real modern world not many people have that luxury, they live in cities, possibly in a flat with no garden and in any case may just not have the time. Unfortunately the single mum with two kids and three jobs trying to keep up with the excessive rental, forced to eat inert highly processed foods lacking essential nutrients, is no longer a rarity.

I realised that a conventional wicking box was not really meeting these peoples needs so I developed the Gbiota Wicking box, not as some miraculous technical innovation bu that was something that was really simple and did not need a lot of looking after.

We live in a world of complex things and are surprised when (and if) they actually work. I like simple things that actually work.

It has two containers one for water the other for soil.

Flat dwellers can have a few of these boxes near a window, even in winter, which is enough to grow gut brain food, while those with a bit more space can have more boxes and grow a bigger variety and quantity of plants.

Too good to be true

How many time have you bought something thinking it would make your life so much better only to find there is a snag.

Well sorry, Gbiota Wicking beds may be great and give almost everyone access to healthy food which will enhance their gut and hence their health.

The snag is the growing media – what people used to all soil. Much of our modern food is grown in something that looks like soil but is really dead and inert.

Plants will grow great in a synthetic growing media with the right chemicals. Given the right chemicals plants will grow great without all that complex chain of creatures that make up natural soil. They may well grow faster and better than plant grown in real soil and they are certainly great for providing that 80% of energy food that we all need.

But they will be dead and inert and wont have all that complex life form that makes soil and eventually give us a healthy gut.

Good news and bad news

The good news is we know exactly how to grow this soil (not make as in a factory but grow) full of living the living biota and essential minerals – we have been doing it for years. We call it Wickimix.

We just breed them in a mix of organic waste and minerals with a bit of inoculant in Gbiota beds.

It is not that difficult – it just has to be done right if you want the healthy biota which will enhance your gut and not the E-coli biota which will have you sitting on the toilet emptying your gut.

The bad news is that these microbes are in a monster hurry. They can be breeding with a few hours of being born, and will breed like crazy (and you thought modern teenagers were randy) creating trillions of offspring (in the time it takes my grand daughter from wake up to actually getting) up but – and here is the snag – they also die quick.

And that means we don’t want to be hanging around – we want local growers who can supply Wickimix to our mum with two kids and three jobs.

The big snag

But here is the big snag, setting up lots of local growers to supply single mums with two kids and three job living in a flat is just not the sort of thing that turns mega multi national food companies on.

So is she want to have a healthy gut micro-biome it’s a do it yourself project.

And that just won’t work but here is what will.

What will work

Now here is the plan – I have set up a social media web site (actually gbiota.club but can be accessed from the parent site gbiota.com from the community icon).

She can register and set up her own icon on the Geolocation map. This says I am here and I am a customer (or biofoodie).

She can then search for other biofoodies near by but as this is a project we are just getting under way she probably wont be in luck. But not to worry she can send out from the site invites to her friends and contact who she may think would like a healthy gut biome.

Now of course everyone has a gut and would benefit from a healthy gut biome but a lot of people just don’t care – but that is there problem not mine.

But with a bit or effort she can build up a group of local people and actually form a local group on the site which will attract more people to join.

Having got a group together it is now time to locate someone – maybe a just someone with a bit of a garden, gardening club, tree changers, and local farmers who may be interested in become community growers. 


It takes a community

It is no good just one person trying to recruit a grower. One grower can produce enough Wickimix to supply many biofoodies so there has to be a group so it is worth while for the grower to set up a Gbiota bed.

Having found a grower it is no my job to train this grower in the art of breeding microbes which is not an issue as microbes breed up themselves without any help form me.

The trick is to breed the right sort of microbes which will lead to a healthy gut and not E. Colii and give everyone a rumbly tum or worse.

That is just a question of getting the conditions right food and water and the microbes are perfectly capable of breeding themselves without any external advice (just like teenagers).

Whose in control?

Why bother when you can just go to the super market and load up your trolley? There is plenty of choice – you can buy food full of sugars, fats and synthetic flavouring which may be addictive in a nice red plastic box of you can buy food full of sugars, fats and synthetic flavouring which may be addictive in a nice environmentally blue cardboard box – plenty of choice.

And everything is controlled by some friendly global mega corporation who priorities your health ahead of profits – how comforting.

By setting up a local food community consumers are taking that control away from these mega corporation and working with local growers to produce the soil and hence food that will make them healthy.

What a lot of trouble so instead of having an ocean of fat wobbly bums and tums we have lean, fit and healthy people who can expect to have an increased health span. Is that really worth all that trouble of setting up local food groups?

Is it really worth having local growers running businesses supplying their local community and growing real living soil when we know perfectly well we can produce all the food we need with dead inert soil so our grand kids and great grand kids can have a reliable source of healthy food. After all they may not be born yet so why worry about them.

Well that is a decision for you the people to take. I am a great grand dad now and she is just a cute little baby and I will be dead long before she grows up. I would rather like to think she is going to grow up into a fit and healthy person rather than be fat and sick and inflicted by some epidemic.

But that is just the babbling of a doddery old man and I would hate to influence you – BS.

I should not joke about this, soil degradation (amplified by climate change is one of the major threats to our species.

Who pays

There is no such thing as a free lunch so who pays? In conventional social media and other so called free service the operators collect customers information which they can sell to advertisers. Perfectly legal but not the way I thought this project should be run.

I got into this because my wife, a qualified medical doctor became diabetic, here food started to turn black and they wanted to chop her foot off. That is what got me started and led me to the wonderful world of the gut micro-biome which is really at the heart of so many of our current health problems.

Every eight seconds someone has a limb amputated from diabetes and that is largely avoidable if people focused on improved gut health.

To my mind this was pretty close to being world shattering. But I can’t change the world myself but what I can do is at least try and create an organisation which is self financing and can carry on long after I have gone to that magic compost bin in the sky.

So while using the web site is free there are charges for training the growers on how to breed beneficial microbes and grow Wickinmix which obviously they sell.

Any questions email me a colin@gbiota.com