Nature's help: Seaweed speeds breakdown of DDT in polluted soil

I bet if we look hard enough, we will eventually find a natural solution to a lot of the problems we’ve created with our chemical creations. In the April, 2004 Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology you find this on how seaweed can speed up the neutralizing process: ‘DDT gets into this ‘box,’ so the microbes that would normally break it down can’t get at it. Seaweed has sodium in it. Sodium opens that box. It separates the tightly bound matrix that holds soil particles together and allows microbes to get in.”

My dad was a farmer in his retirement–just a little half-acre garden in deep-sandy-soil Indiana. He tried his best always to identify and use natural ways to battle the Japanese bettles and the moles and chipmunks and fungi and viruses. The local county extension agent probably got tired of all his calls. But dad lived on the land, so he knew and respected it. As we isolate ourselves form the earth with technology and offices and buildings, we forget to ask Nature for help.

The rise of “green” and “sustainable” as respected business terms is a good sign. But nothing will make us smarter like actually being in contact with the earth. That’s where bioscientists have an edge–they deal with life in all its myriad forms every day.

High risk, yes. Immeasurable returns, yes, indeed.