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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Managing Carbon and Nutrients in Midwestern U.S. Agroecosystems for Enhanced Soil Health and Environmental Quality

Location: Soil, Water & Air Resources Research

Title: Healthy soils healthy people: Unraveling the complexity

item Cherubin, Maurício
item Souza, Tamires
item Monteiro, Maria
item Karlen, Douglas - Doug

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/6/2017
Publication Date: 10/20/2017
Citation: Cherubin, M.R., Souza, T.P., Monteiro, M.I., Karlen, D.L. 2017. Healthy soils healthy people: Unraveling the complexity. In: Reicosky, D., editor. Managing Soil Health for Sustainable Agriculture. 3rd edition. Cambridge, UK: Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited. p.95-105.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The linkage between soil and human health is undoubtedly a complex and multidisciplinary issue. The recognition that soil can influence human health is not a novelty; it has been recognized scientifically for decades. However, the advancement in understanding soil health/quality has renewed interest in the intuitive relationship between soil and human health, and once again initiated important debates in the scientific community, become the theme for global incentives, and a focal point for discussion agendas during global events and conventions. Obviously, it was not our intention to present and discuss all the potential relationships in this chapter. Rather, our objective was to provide people with different backgrounds an opportunity to become aware of this “new” perspective that views soil as much more than the “dirt” we walk and live on. To accomplish this goal, we selected themes: (1) Soil as foundation to human nutrition, and (2) Soil biodiversity and human health to illustrate our viewpoint regarding the implication of soils on human nutrition and control/promotion of disease. Healthy soil delivers vital benefits including food, clean water and air, medicines, raw materials, cultural heritage and social experiences to humankind. Thus, soil is a key component to reach the UN global Sustainable Development Goals within the next decades. Therefore, it is our obligation and duty to manage soil resources sustainably in order to guarantee those benefits can be enjoyed not only by our generation, but also by many generations to come.

Last Modified: 09/24/2017
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