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Review Of The Dirt On Dirt: 5 Things You Should Know About Soil 

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According to the New York Times, is a fact-checker and graduate of the University of Chicago. Soil is a finite resource. Jerry Glover, a National Geographic Emerging explorer and agroecologist at the U.S. Agency for International Development claims that, “The minerals, the nutrients that make up our muscles and bones almost entirely come from soil.” Earths soils are the “thinnest and most nutrient depleted” (Qiu, 2014), yet this same soil is supposed to feed and nourish the population. According to Glover, “We still continue to harvest more nutrients than we replace in soil.” Glover notes that people seem unconcerned with our depleting soil resources. “Native forests and vegetation are being cleared and converted to agricultural land at a rate greater than any other period in history” (Qui, 2014), according to Glover. No-till practices have been used in the western U.S. recently which has cultivated healthier crops according to David Montgomery. Soil and water conservation are related, Montgomery says “healthier soils retain more water” (Qiu, 2014). Large bodies of water are impacted by poor soil as well. Topsoil is blown into large bodies causing aquatic life to die through the process of eutrophication (Qui, 2014).No-till and low-till farming that has been used in the United States is a step in the right direction, however it is not enough to restore soil to its original health.

Chemical Fertilizers are also beneficiary but as Glover claims they are “not a full health package.” Soil has microbes and bugs that nourish the soil. These Microbes and bugs “help cycle nutrients in exchange for plant sugars” (Qui, 2014). Montgomery claims that this symbiotic relationship is not fully understood yet. Over the past 30 years the understanding of Microbial connection has shifted (Qui, 2014).Qui discusses soil and how it impacts our lives and touches on the impact it has on aquatic life. Soil is an important part of the human life. “Soil has accurately been called “the bridge between life and the inanimate world” (Tarbuck, 2017). Through weathering and other processes soil is created and plants play an intermediary role of providing animals and humans with necessary elements. We need soil to provide us with nutrients. Qui references two different people, David Montgomery and Jerry Glover. Both referenced people have a background that pertains to the subject. Jerry Glover is a National Geographic Emerging explorer and agroecologist at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Jerry Glover travels the world to find and reverse global soil and land degradation. Glover has a background in philosophy and soil science. “Glover leads the U.S. Agency for International Development’s sustainable agriculture research program, which partners with small-scale farmers in developing countries to improve the health of their farms, families, and communities” (National Geographic Society, 2018).

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David Montgomery is a participating Faculty member at The UW Quaternary Research Center as well as an Adjunct Professor at UW Civil & Environmental Engineering and Participating Faculty at UW Astrobiology Program. “David R. Montgomery studies the evolution of topography and the influence of geomorphological processes on ecological systems and human societies (University of Washington, 2018). Qui’s article attempts to spread awareness about our current soil and how as a whole we need to take better care of our soil. Soil and soil quality is important, according to Qui. Soil can give us nutrients that we need. Having poor soil can cause aquatic life to die, which means harming the environment and losing another way to feed the population. Qui’s article is informational and relevant to everyone. Understanding our soil and how it is related to each of our lives is important.

The article was easy to understand and follow. It also was a bit short or rather basic. It did lack a more in-depth content than one might have expected. The article was based on fact and backed by her references. Opinion of the author was negated in the article making it informational. The references, Montgomery and Glover have strong backgrounds in Soil. They have studied soil and how it impacts the human life. The sources backed her article well. In conclusion the article, The Dirt on Dirt: 5 Things You Should know About Soil was informative and backed by good science. Her sources were of substance. The article is relevant to me as I am a vegetarian and rely heavily on food items that are grown in the ground. I was unaware that the soil of the earth is depleting and that we are creating “poor” soil. As someone who cares about the environment, this is concerning to me. I hope to see positive outcomes for the future soil of the earth.


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