[permaculture] Re: using municipal sludge

Golden Love goldenlove at cruzio.com
Tue Sep 28 09:18:54 EDT 2004

There are alternatives to Prozac and all the pharmaceuticals and cleaning
products. I say start at the source. People are becoming more aware of the
alternatives and how they are poisoning the planet and themselves.

Golden Love
Love's Gardens
Creating and Maintaining Sustainable Urban Landscapes
California Licensed Contractor C27 363672
127 National St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone  (831) 471-9100
Fax  ( 831) 471-9200
goldenlove at cruzio.com

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Rain Tenaqiya
Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2004 1:29 PM
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [permaculture] Re: using municipal sludge

I would like to know more about what kinds of biocides, pharmaceuticals, and
other organic chemicals can be taken in by plants.  In my biology classes, I
was taught that plant cell membranes are very selective about what they let
inside when it comes to organic compounds.  Most testing for crop residues
seems to focus on the outside of the plant rather than the inside.  What
kinds of things could a plant intake that could cause problems for people?
I think this is an important question, not to be used as a way to justify
using nasty chemicals on farm land, but to utilize existing wastes and soils
that may not be perfectly "organic."
Many of the substances commonly used in households are relatively benign
once introduced back into the environment (this has nothing to do with their
manufacture, with often has much more impact).  For example, Draino is
mostly just very alkaline salts and would cause no problems for humuns
eating plants grown in soil contaminated with it (assuming the plants could
still grow in that soil).  Most detergents, soaps, and cleaning break down
into basic chemicals, some of which feed plants.  Biocides and
pharmaceuticals are another story.  If they are long-lived (like Prozac is
proving to be), then they could potentially be taken up by plants and eaten
by people, which isn't a nice thought.  They might even be transformed into
something worse in the process.
But in the ecotopian communities I envision, this would hopefully not be a
problem and we could return humunure back to the soil on a large scale,
closing the nutrient loops and creating sustainable culture.  Even now, it
would probably be better to return sewage from cities to farms than to mine
and/or deplete soils.  I wonder what a cost/benefit analysis would say?

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