Is Using Compost and Compost Tea Really Safe?

Here, we have a question from James, who’s been doing a bit of researching. “After researching the
safety of compost tea, “food cultivation, and
food safety in general, “I read a study from the
UCONN College of Agriculture “where they sound the
alarm on mulch piles, “compost, both plant and manure based, “and compost tea applications, “noting that pathogens grow rampant “on organic mulch piles.” I expect they’re sponsored
by someone who’s not organic by the sounds of this, anyway. They’re probably getting good funding to put this information out there. “I began this research after
watching countless videos “of folks spraying on compost tea, “and later picking fruit and eating it “straight off the tree without washing. “I caught myself thinking, “‘Wait, am I going to
kill myself doing that?’ “How can we be sure we’re not
creating a biological war zone “in our mulch and compost piles, “and that we will not get sick “by using such sprays, teas, and mulches?” We want a biological war zone. It’s actually something called nature. This is how nature works. It’s ashes to ashes, dust to dust. It’s quite biblical and religious, really. It’s the way creation works. Decomposition creates life,
and in between the processes, there is food production
and animal production, and nature itself grows
on decomposition cycles. And it’s a lot healthier than
manipulating natural systems with poisons and toxins that
we’ve created in laboratories and creating unnatural
assemblies that are very hard for nature to deal with, and we’ve orchestrated those elements particularly for nature to
find it awkward to deal with. I think one of the biggest plagues of modern life is sterility. People are becoming sick,
because they’re too sterile. They live in too sterile a world. They don’t touch living organisms, so they have no immunity to nature. And you can’t live separate from nature. You can’t live on artificial food. Food comes from living elements, and the energy of living food
is probably the healthiest thing you can engage with. Rather than these new bottled-up foods, you can now buy powdered food in a bottle of a complete diet, it
has no energy in it. It has no relationship, no symbiosis, no engagement with living systems. Nature thrives on biological war zones, where it’s all about decomposition. Yeah, mulch piles are rancid
decomposition processes that change life and death,
life and death processes through to soil. That’s how an ecosystem works. A forest is an ecosystem. An ecosystem’s major in trees, so a lot of times we
just generally call them some type of forest. A forest grows on a fallen forest and all the organisms
that live in that forest, when they fall and die into that forest, decompose through the processes. I’m not recommending you eat this. I don’t think it’d probably
do you that much harm. It’s been processing for a while. At the other end, it’s quite
rancid when it first starts this decomposition process,
before it gets here, and we’ve manipulated this process. Compost tea is made from
good-quality compost, and it’s highly oxygenated,
so it’s still aerobic. This is aerobic, it’s not anaerobic. It doesn’t smell bad. With your nose, it’s great. Actually, it doesn’t smell much at all. Oh yeah, it smells a little bit earthy. All right, and at the other end, a major component was manure, so it doesn’t smell putrid. If you smell something,
and your immediate reaction is “ooh,” like that, you back up, like you just smelled some
bleach, you’ll do that, that really strong smell
of some bleach up close, you’ll back up. If you smell something
putrid, you’ll back up, because there’s probably pathogens there that are even dangerous to breath, but that doesn’t smell bad at all, that smells like the earth. Now why is that? It’s because there’s lots and lots of beneficial microorganisms in there. That’s like beneficial microorganisms like the ones you’re
supposed to eat on your food and part of your food. So what we’ve done, what have we done? We’ve built a diverse,
beneficial community of life. The good guys. It’s like the community
that you want to live in, where you never need any guns, and you hardly need any
law or crime control because there isn’t any, because everybody’s helping each other. Everybody’s positively interactive. But if you live in an area of
extreme crime and violence, yeah, you don’t really want
to go outside without a gun. Life is continuously dangerous. So that’s when you get full of bad guys, and in soils and mulch piles, the pathogens are the anaerobes. They can live without much
air or any air at all, the anaerobic organisms. Where the aerobic organisms,
that are breathing and moving, and they live in an abundance of air, they’re the ones that
interact with the plants and give us this wonderful
diversity of growth, and this wonderful diversity of food with a massive amount of microorganisms. So there’s some very interesting things that we’ve discovered using
things like compost tea. If you have very, very bad body odor, and you don’t wash very much, and you’re continuously covered and sweat, and your sweat is smelling, it’s the anaerobes that you’re smelling. Bad body odor smells is the anaerobes. If you actually take a bath
in oxygenated compost tea, you’ll stop smelling very quickly, because the compost tea,
oxygenated compost tea, is full of beneficial organisms, and they actually control the pathogens and the anaerobes that smell, and they overpower them,
and they consume them, and they take away the smell. If you spray a big,
putrid manure pile from, even from a feed lot, where you have this toxic
manure, it smells awful, if you spray it with good-quality
oxygenated compost tea, full of beneficial organisms, they go to work on it immediately, and the smell starts to
diminish quite quickly as the good organisms take over. This is what we need to do
with permaculture in the world, we need to inoculate the world, and we are doing it
right across the planet with people who know how to
work with beneficial organisms and create beneficial,
interactive communities, and we can then just
overpower and diminish the effect of people
who aren’t good people, who live on immoral, unethical crime and all kinds of problems. We need to overpower
them with good action. So this is my take on it. This is what I think you’re worried about. We’re told to fear everything that could possibly be a problem, ’cause we can have compost
that goes the wrong way. We can have, it goes anaerobic,
and it starts to smell. It’s putrid, starts to diminish in size, but if we manage it, it’s all
about balance, and managing, and moderating, we can end
up in a very good situation. So there’s always a good and
bad, a positive and a negative, a light and a dark that we’re balancing. This is how creation is,
this is how nature is, this is how reality
is, and it’s wonderful. It’s endlessly engaging and interesting. But if you’re just going to go, “Okay, we’re going to manage
everything with toxic chemicals, “’cause they’re absolutely
stable and regular, “and they always work the same way,” you’re taking all the
interest out of the situation. It’s all just easily calculated, everybody’s sterile, and
life now completely dies and diminishes back to
only primitive organisms, possibly nothing at all.

45 thoughts on “Is Using Compost and Compost Tea Really Safe?

  1. Exercise caution with commercial mulch, potting mix, anaerobic piles and unfinished compost – inhaling spores is the main vector of concern.
    Aerobic preparations are safe and 99.99% of microbes are harmless – the diversity of which maintains a healthy equilibrium.
    Compost tea isn't usually sprayed onto fruit, many fruits produce compounds that favour their natural microbiome.
    Mulch provides a barrier that prevents soilborne pathogens reaching fruit via aerosolized raindrops.

  2. Here's an article University of Connecticut published about compost tea. It is favorable to aerated aerobic tea.

  3. Concerning the subject of microbes I will quote a block buster franchise:
    "I will not risk open war." King Theoden
    "Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not." Aragorn.😉

  4. Good grief! People conflate "bacterium" with "pathogen". Most bacteria and fungi are neutral to beneficial — think cheese, think beer — and only a few (with specific metabolic defects) are pathogenic to humans.

  5. “The powers that be “ thrive on our fear. The more we fear the more we rely on them for everything and the more they control us.
    They don’t want strong, independent and self sufficient populations, because it makes us dangerous and we don’t need them.

  6. You lose credibility when you jump straight to conspiracy theories when people report things you don't agree with.

  7. I concer my brother! The point you made at 1:45–2:30 is a biblical principal we can all live on. Still do when you look into oil, coal, diamonds, amber, sulfer, and carbon. (Witch all organic mater is made of) are all fossilized and decmpsed remains of life from the past we live on today. Nothing is wasted in God's garden

  8. I'd prefer to eat produce from the earth on Geoff's farm rather than from a more serialised production system 😉

  9. Thanks for your service to the planet and its people.sometimes it's good to remind people that chemical plants get rid of toxic chemicals by using biology and so do municipal waste facilities.soil biology will mediate a great deal of the toxic chemicals overtime. Love you for your earthcare efforts.

  10. The industries are always going to send FEAR out there when they feel to be at any disadvantage financially and marketshare. They dont like free and natural creation.
    Blessings to you

  11. Fuck me. Our chemical agriculture industry is waging war on common sense, organic, natural means of producing wholesome food. Be very suspect of Ag colleges and who funds their "research", or rather, promotional studies.

  12. Thank you for these wonderful words of wisdom. You guys and gals down under have the right view on life and growth! Keep sharing your knowledge!

  13. Don't know if this is the article to which James was referring, but:

  14. It's mass produced food that's making people sick, not a damn compost pile. I've gotten compost/compost tea in my eyes, in my mouth, in open wounds. No problems.

  15. James, stop immediately. Go back to the suburban norm of buying all your sustenance from the store.
    Talk about killing yourself. You're to damn dumb to attemot to take responsibility for your own provision. To ensure your safety, you should hang yourself as soon as possible, before something kills you.

  16. This winter ive grown the most robust and healthy peas in Sydney ive ever grown, in a pot, in pure homemade compost and its compost that didnt even reach the industry standard temperature. The growth and health of my plant's was miles above and beyond what i got last year with bunnings vegetable soil mix!

  17. they are probably thinking of tape worms and ascaris n stuff, ive seen some horrid videos of people pulling worms out of there body in india errrrrr thats scary, i no turning a compost pile with sticks in it is impossible aswel, even without u can only turn so many piles before you stop forever lol people pulling worms out of there eyes.. what the freak man.. i just quit all day smoking and my plans of self reliancy and pushing the zone with tropical fruit trees has gone down the drain i feel like ive realised all my plans were truely flawed, i want to be fruitarian but theres no way i can grow coconuts n stuff in tassie and harvest them in august,and build my own house from clay? isolate myself even more from society by moving to the coast? pipe dreams man im so depressed.. i need some sort of permaculture counceling i wish you lived close Geoff

  18. In aquaponic bacteria nitrobacter converts ammonia into nitrate

    Guys, can I use Nitrobacter to convert Ammoniak urine rabbit into nitrate

  19. Well things are said and understood from a set of assumptions … like “we neeeed NPK badly” and “we cant farm without pesticides” .. “You cant feed the world with just organic food” … things are so easy if we make them black or white, instead of 50 Shades of Green. We can always find a reason for something we want.
    I had a professor who said, Do your home work and make your own test, or as my Grandad told me, the best fetilizer in the vineyard is your shadow!

  20. Google UCONN compost tea. First search result gives a positive view of composting. James's comments should have been verified first.

  21. Geoff — do you know the work of Robynne Chutkin, MD? Here's a link (hopefully it will come through — if not Google her.)

  22. Salams. Nature as "holy war" that when done in alignment with Principle, leads to serenity and health? Sounds right!

  23. The take home is the balance. In systems that have more beneficial microbes than pathogenic, you are fine. It's not just about aerobic vs anaerobic and not just about smell. Botulism and listeria are anaerobic and have no smell or taste. E coli is anaerobic and smells like sh… poo. Salmonella can actually survive in either aerobic or anaerobic environments and does not affect taste or smell. So you can't go by smell, taste or aerobic vs anaerobic completely. The advantage to having a highly aerobic composting system is that you will outcompete the pathogenic bacteria with the beneficial by creating an environment in which the beneficial bacteria thrive better and outcompete the pathogenic strains. The same concept applies to fermenting food and drinks. The other option is to hot compost to a temperature that kills the pathogenic bacteria (and for that matter, kill potential weed seeds).

  24. Beautiful sentiment about being too sterile and not having an immunity to nature. Solution? TOUCH MORE COMPOST PILES

  25. The average person has 3 lb of bacteria in their stomach and body to break down food as it digests we don't draw the minerals and vitamins directly from the food a lot of the times we draw them from the bacteria exudates. We work in symbiosis with bacteria, and when we don't we get inflammatory diseases and allergies do to hyper clean food.

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