Microorganism, Mankind and Waste
For centuries, one of the most eternal problems facing mankind has been the dilemma of how to dispose of our waste. Today, with global populations expected to climb into the tens of billions within the next century, never before in history has the issue of waste disposal been more pressing. Our society must find new ways not only to reduce, reuse, and recycle our materials, but to detoxify our wastewater, soils, and environment as well. The answer may lie in the adopted widespread use of Effective Microorganisms (EM) to detoxify our landfills, decontaminate our environment, and promote highly sustainable, closed-cycle agricultural and organic waste treatment methods worldwide.
EM owes its discovery to the work of Dr. Teruo Higa, a microbiologist and organic farmer from the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan, who made an accidental discovery while researching the various beneficial aspects of isolated strains of microorganisms on soil composition and plant growth. In 1982, Dr. Higa learned that when blended in a state of balance, certain mixtures of beneficial microorganisms promoted ³healthy plant growth resulting in more abundant harvests of better tasting crops (Higa, p. 55).² After months of testing these mixtures on seasonal crops of mandarin oranges with entirely positive results, Dr. Higa was sure that he had made an astonishing discovery.
EM consists of a symbiotic mixture of various strains of naturally occurring microorganisms found in healthy soils. The primary active agents are a group of photosynthetic bacteria, which when fed a simple diet of molasses and moisture produce a primordial soup of great life-giving power. The basic principle is this: When introduced into an environment of anaerobic biodegradation, the EM rapidly devours the methanogens and toxic pollutants which are formed as a result of the chemical breakdown process. As a result, anaerobic compost piles mixed with EM produce no harmful or offensive odors, and decompose very rapidly into pure, nutrient-rich composts, which can be directly infused back into the process of organic farming with astonishing results. Unlike conventional aerobic decomposition piles, which require continuous aeration and months of careful attendance, anaerobic piles treated with EM have the ability to break down organic waste into useable nitrogen-rich fodder in less than four weeks. Due to the microorganisms¹ ability to antioxidize root systems and purify toxic soils, plants grown in EM-rich soil can focus their energy on healthy development, rather than defense, producing fruits and vegetables of the finest taste and quality. Years of tests in soils of all structures around the world have produced indisputable results that confirm EM¹s benefit to the healthy growth of all plant species (Higa, p. 104).