(Stillness in the Storm Editor) Microorganisms are nature’s original terraformers. For billions of years, the tiniest creatures slowly transformed the face of the planet, turning toxic compounds into vital nutrients, making inorganic minerals bio-available and eventually forming the first macroscopic life forms (maintaining the environment in which they thrived). Today, these ancient ancestors of all life continue to perform this essential life-giving duty, within every habitat and organism on the planet. They are the ones that break down trash in landfills, clean water in waste treatment plants and bring nutrients to growing crops. They are the ambassadors to the world of minerals for the plant, animal, and fungal kingdoms. One intrepid human being rediscovered our long lost cousins, developing a world-saving product that we can use to restore our bodies, clean the environment, and bring life back to those places ravaged by pollution.
Effective Microorganisms (EM1) is a mixture of symbiotic, mostly anaerobic microbes, discovered by Dr. Teruo Higo, a Japanese microbiologist. Dr. Higo was experimenting with various mixtures of organisms and found a blend that is inherently symbiotic—the waste from one organism was food for another. What this means is that EM1 is an adaptive holistic ecosystem, a self-contained microbial processing facility—for lack of a better term—capable of adapting to almost any need.
Nature’s Little Recyclers
The reason that EM® Technologies™ has been so successful at bioremediation is that Dr. Higa had stumbled upon one of nature’s well-kept secrets. Nature restores her health primarily through microscopic organisms that actually consume toxins and produce beneficial byproducts such as vitamins, enzymes, organic acids, bioactive minerals, and antioxidants. These regenerative microbes are sometimes referred to as “nature’s little recyclers”.
A Nature-Based Technology
In particular, one of the most ancient organisms, dating back over 4 billion years, is of the phototropic strains called “rhodopsuedomonas palustris”. This anaerobic strain of bacteria primarily lives in volcanic magma. They can survive in extremely high temperatures. When the planet was forming as one huge toxic stew, these microbes could travel through the magma as it spread over the planet’s surface. Here they would feast on the toxins. Once these organisms succeeded in decontaminating most of the planet’s surface, they could no longer survive in their own wastes and they resubmerged underground about 3 billion years ago. Dr. Higa’s breakthrough was revolutionary – as it allowed these toxin-consuming bacteria to function above ground once again in a biodynamic and symbiotic alliance. (source)
In essence, what EM1 has the potential to do is replace every toxic substance we use in the modern world, for cleaning, farming, and personal health.
EM1 makes things bioavailable, which means that when it is consumed and infused with various nutritional supplements, it has the ability to transform the microbial ecosystem of your body—the same system that your digestive tract uses to absorb nutrients.
Bear in mind that, according to some of the latest data, 40 trillion out of the 70 trillion cells that make up the human body are actually microbes—not human cells. This means that what makes us human, and healthy, is a delicate balance of bacteria. Every macroscopic organism on earth is actually a symphony of coordination between the creature itself and the microbial ecosystem in the body.
Given this, one of the reasons why health has been so impacted in the modern world is that the microbial balance of our bodies is under attack, ever since the dawning of the industrial revolution.
Today, four out of five Americans are prescribed antibiotics every year, which completely destroy the balanced ecosystem of the body, the foundation of the immune system, leaving only certain strains that then grow out of balance, causing a host of diseases. Candida is one such example of a naturally occurring gut bacteria that grows out of control due to diet and antibiotic exposure.
Furthermore, modern food itself has an antibacterial effect, due to pesticides like Glyphosate, which have been found in the blood of humans and animal that ate food sprayed with Round Up. This, and many other toxins in foods, such as GMOs, also destroys the bacterial balance of the body.
The primary method for absorbing nutrients can’t function if the microbial system isn’t functinally properly. This leads to malnurishment, fatigue, and major health problems like autoimmune diseases, cancers, and so on. What’s worse is that modern-day diets also are heavy in sugar and carbohydrates that feed certain strains of bacteria, leading to an overproduction, which then consumes most of the nutrients in our food, leaving nothing for the body itself. Arguably, most diseases plaguing humanity can be traced back to the destruction of the external immune system (ecosystem) and the internal immune system (the microbial balance of the body).
Finally, the very products we use to clean our houses, wash our clothes and dishes, and so on, usually contain toxins that hinder our health and destroy the environment, not to mention pharmaceuticals in human waste. Laundry detergent has been cited by many alternative healthcare practitioners as a primary delivery mechanism for toxic compounds that lead to disease.
The role of microorganisms is that of a conductor or maestro, to help manage the trillions upon trillions of cellular life forms that make up the macroscopic world, be they in our own bodies or in nature. And we’ve been waging war on the foundation of all life, through antibiotics, pesticides, GMOs, industrial waste, antibacterial soap, hand sanitizers, endocrine disrupting plastics—the list goes on and on.
It seems hopeless, but mother nature provides the best solutions.
Effective microorganisms can restore the balance, and bring health where there is disease, abundance where there is famine, and vitality where there is decline.
Speaking as someone who has been using this product for over a year, I can tell you that it has changed my life.
I make a batch with volcanic ash, Azomite powder, which according to Ken Rohla, produces a blend of different mono-atomic elements or ORMUS. These are life-giving minerals that nature employs to organize and maintain health, in all living things.
I noticed after I started to drink it that my energy levels increased, I wasn’t getting sick anymore, and I needed to eat less food to feel nourished. I also noticed my skin’s elasticity began to improve.
I used it in a garden and the plants exploded in size, becoming some of the most rich and vibrant ones in the field.
Now to be clear, I don’t work for any company that sells EM1. I am merely a truth seeker and world healer looking for solutions to the myriad of problems we face at this time of transition.
In my quest to discover the primary causes of why the world is the way it is, I found out that learning how to be sovereign is more than just a lawful concept.
The word sovereign is etymologically derived from the combination of the Latin words sover meaning “savior” and regno meaning “to rule, reign; to be supreme lord.” Hence, sovereign literally means “to rule and reign as a savior.” (source)
What this simply means, in my view, is that we each have a duty through invoking sovereignty to leave the world better than when we found it. And since most people have a pro-environmental stance, this miracle substance could be the one of the “saviors of humanity.” In essence, EM1 is the most advanced biotech ever discovered, capable of changing society as we know it from one of inherent parasitism to one of symbiosis with all life. I mean this quite literally as it can replace cleaners in the home, soap and deodorizer for the body, and restore polluted environments back to life.
What follows are two articles, one discussing more about EM1 and another talking about all the ways it can be used—which will likely be mindboggling.
would recommend initially drinking 1 ounce of EM1 diluted in water, as little or as much as you need to get familiar with
the taste and effects on your body. This should be done on
an empty stomach. It will likely cause some rumbling
in your belly, so be prepared for healing reactions. And take it in
small doses at first, slowly increasing over time as needed. I
consume it after a meal of “bad foods”—which tends to counteract deleterious
effects and restore gut balance. For more about dosages and
healing reactions, search for information related to ferments, tinkers,
and detoxification. And finally, this is not medical advice. Always consult your licensed healthcare practitioner before starting any new protocol you don’t fully comprehend.
You can purchase EM1 here.
The best thing about EM1 is that you only need to buy it once (or have someone give you a starter). Then you can make a new batch any time supplies get low. I presently have 10 gallons of EM1 fermenting in my livingroom—it makes a great conversation starter.
Here’s the recipe I use:
General Formula Ratio: 1:1:8 — EM:Sugars:Water
– 2 tsp per Gal of water of Celtic Salt (or Himalayan salt)
– 1 to 6 tsp per Gal of water of Rock Dust Azomite (Volcanic Ash)
Example of recipe, makes four gallons of EM1:
4 Gals water
3 cups molasses, (can use Maple Syrup if needed, but molasses is best.)
3 cups EM1
6 tsp sea salt
12 tsp of Azomite powder
The ideal brewing temperature range is 90 to 110º F. EM Ceramics also improve the brew.
I hope you comprehend the magnitude of this discovery.
In our world of ever-present toxins, we have an ancient tool capable of restoring the whole planet back to its healthy state. You can start that right now by restoring your own body and the environment around you, and letting others who are conscious know.
Maybe one day there will be a global initiative to incorporate this life-giving substance into the fabric of our society. Until that time, I encourage you to reacquainted with your ancient ancestors, the primordial parents of all life on Earth.
What Are Effective Microorganisms?
by Gideon Towett, January 19th, 2017
Effective Microorganisms (EM) are mixed cultures of beneficial naturally-occurring organisms that can be applied as inoculants to increase the microbial diversity of soil ecosystem. They consist mainly of the photosynthesizing bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, actinomycetes and fermenting fungi. These microorganisms are physiologically compatible with one another and can coexist in liquid culture. There is evidence that EM inoculation to the soil can improve the quality of soil, plant growth and yield (Kengo and Hui-lian, 2000).
BACKGROUND AND CONCEPT OF EFFECTIVE MICROORGANISMS
Healthy soil ecology has the capability of protecting plants against soil associated diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms and parasites. The soil system offers this protection through a balanced relationship between pathogenic and billions of beneficial microorganisms working together in synergy. The presence of these beneficial microorganisms in any soil system is what precisely distinguishes a “living soil” from a “dead soil”. They decompose and ferment organic fraction of the soil system converting it into humus containing nutrients while releasing hormones that facilitate plant growth. They are responsible for providing hormones, nutrients and minerals in a useable form to the plants through the root system. In addition, they bring together soil particles in the soil structure enabling it to retain nutrients and moisture (Kengo and Hui-lian, 2000).
Soil ecosystem can therefore be regarded as a “living system” costing of diverse groups of microorganisms. For this reason, farmers had long before been using animal manures, composts and “compost tea” which is a liquid extract of compost that also contains plant growth compounds and beneficial microorganisms. These mixtures could then be applied to soil and crops to improve the soil quality and help protect crop plants against microbiological infections (Ghosh et al., 2004).
Composted organic materials including animal manures have natural populations of diverse micro-organisms. Many of these organisms exert beneficial effects upon introduction to the soil system. However, they are soon overtaken and suppressed by the natural inhabitants of the soil ecosystem. Building on this practice, microbiologists have developed effective micro-organisms consisting mainly of billions of the beneficial microorganisms that have been isolated from the same natural organic amendments and environments.
BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF EFFECTIVE MICROORGANISMS
The beneficial effects of micro-organisms introduced with the application of composts, animal manure and “compost tea” are often short lived leaving crop plants exposed to soil associated conditions. On application, EM mixtures are also subjected to the same conditions in the soil environment. However, the main advantage the effective microorganisms have over natural organisms in organic amendments is that in EM, beneficial microorganisms are in much greater numbers, and in optimally-balanced populations when introduced. They would therefore persist in the soil environment for a much longer time enough to bring about the beneficial effects.
Studies have shown that, not only does the use of effective microorganisms in agricultural soil suppress soil-borne pathogens, but also increases the decomposition of organic materials and consequently the availability of mineral nutrients and important organic compounds to plants (Singh et al., 2003). In addition, EM enhances the activities of beneficial indigenous micro organisms, for example mycorrhizae which fix atmospheric nitrogen thereby supplementing the use of chemical fertiliser and pesticides. Improvement in soil fertility has significant positive effect on plant growth, flowering, fruit development and ripening in crops (Lévai et al., 2006).
Introduction of a population of beneficial bacteria (EM) in the soil have a supporting effect in reducing soil associated microbiological diseases. The inoculation of EM stimulates “Rotation effect”, an occurrence that comes as a result of regeneration of beneficial organisms and elimination of pathogenic bacteria. Disease suppression is brought about by the competion for available resources between the disease causing microbes in the soil and beneficial microbes introduced in EM. As a result of this, an enhanced population of effective microorganisms through inoculation will deplete the available resources in the soil leading to reduction of pathogenic microorganisms due to starvation (Johan and Jesper, 2005).
The mainstays of EM are the photosynthetic bacteria (Rhodopseudomonas spp.), lactic acid bacteria, (Lactobacillus spp.) and yeasts (Saccharomyces spp.) (Zuraini et al., 2010). The photosynthetic bacteria are independent self sustaining microorganisms. They harvest energy from the sun and soil heat and use it to convert exudates from root systems, soil organic fraction and gases such as ammonia into building materials of cells such as amino acids, nucleic acids and sugars.
These can all be absorbed directly into plants to promote plant growth and also in the soil system promote and maintain the growth and establishment of other beneficial microorganisms. For example, Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM fungi), known to enhance the plant’s absorption capability of soil phosphates, increases in the root zone in the presence of amino acids secreted by the beneficial bacteria. In addition, in the soil ecosystem, The VAM fungi live in association with Azotobacter and Rhizobium which increase the capacity of plants to fix Nitrogen.
The lactic acid bacteria in EM are known to produce lactic acid from sugars and carbohydrates the photosynthetic bacteria and yeasts in EM produce. Lactic acid has sterilizing effects and it presence in the soil checks the proliferation of nematode population and offers protection against nematode associated plant diseases. Lactic acid bacteria in EM also participate in the breakdown of cellulolytic and lignified organic materials in the soil (Ouwehand, 1998).
On the other hand, the yeasts in EM produce hormones and enzymes that are known to promote plant cell and root division. They utilize the amino acids and sugars secreted by the photosynthetic bacteria and plant roots and in turn produce growth factors for the lactic acid bacteria. It can therefore be concluded that, the different species of organisms in EM complement each other and are in a mutually beneficial relationship with the roots of plants in the soil ecosystem. Plants would therefore grow exceptionally well in soils inhabited and dominated by these Effective Microorganisms (Pei-Feng et al., 2014).
[Uses of EM1 below.]
Ghosh, P.K., Ramesh, P., Bandyopadhay, K.K., Tripathi, A.K., Hati, K.M. and Misra, A.K. (2004). Comparative effectiveness of cattle manure, poultry manure, phosphocompost and fertilizer-NPK on three cropping systems in vertisoils of semi-arid tropic. 1. Crop yields and systems in performance. Bioresource Technology, 95: 77-83.
Johan, S and Jesper, M. (2005). Antifungal lactic acid bacteria as biopreservatives. Trends Food Sci Tech., 1: 70-78.
Kengo, Y. and Hui-lian, X. (2000). Properties and applications of an organic fertilizer inoculated with effective microorganisms. Journal of Crop production, 3(1): 255-268.
Lévai, L., Veres, S.Z., Makleit, P., Marozsán, M., Szabó, B. (2006). New trends in plant nutrition. Proceedings of 41st Croatian and 1st International Symposium on Agriculture, ISBN 953-6331-39-X, pp. 435-436.
Ouwehand, A (1998). Antimicrobial components from lactic acid bacteria. In Lactic acid bacteria Microbiology and Functional Aspects ed Salminen, S Von Wright A., pp.139-159.New York:Marcel Dekker Inc.
Pei-Feng, S., Wei-Ta, F., Li-Ying, S., Jyuan-Yu, W., Shih-Feng, F. and Jui-Yu, C. (2014). Indole-3-Acetic Acid-Producing Yeasts in the Phyllosphere of the Carnivorous Plant Drosera indica L. PLoS One 9(12): e114196.
Singh, D.S., Chand, S, Anvar, M. and Patra (2003). Effect of organic and inorganic amendment on growth and nutrient accumulation by Isabgol (Plantago ovata) in sodic soil under greenhouse conditions. J. Med. Arom. Plant Sci., 25: 414-419.
Zuraini, Z., Sanjay, G. and Noresah. M. (2010). Effective Microorganism (EM) technology for water quality restoration and potential for sustainable water resources and management. Proceedings of the International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software Modelling for Environment’s Sake, Fifth Biennial Meeting held between 5th- 8th July 2010, Ontario Canada.
by Sharon Ingersoll, August 12th, 2008
Try to memorize the odor of EM while it is still fresh. As the dormant microbes awaken from exposure to air, heat and light, they gradually become active and their composition is compromised.
You will see two things happen in this process:
The lactic acid is the first to become active and will create a white film at the top of the liquid. This is OK. But other microbes awakening follow this process.
The photosynthetic bacteria are the last to awaken and when they become active your EM will take on a sharper, more pungent smell. This happens anywhere from 3-4 weeks up to 6 months depending upon storage.
STORAGE OF EM:
Store in the coolest environment available (preferably about 50 degrees), in a closed container away from light. Of the three elements that awaken the dormant microbes, light is the most influential, then heat, then air. I like to store the bulk of my EM in a bladder where the air can be expelled, and place this in a cool, dark environment. I keep a 2-4 oz bottle of EM beside my kitchen and bathroom sinks, and a small halve oz bottle in my purse (great to add to restaurant water). I prefer amber glass bottles with eyedroppers so I can see inside.
FOR ANIMAL WATER:
Add just enough EM to barely tint the water. When administering to food, start with 1-2 drops and increase up to 1 tsp daily.
DO NOT USE STRAIGHT ON INDOOR PLANTS.
Add EM to watering (with or without fertilizer) at the ratio of between 1:500, 1:1000 or 1:10,000 depending on how frequently you use EM and if it is being mixed with fertilizer. EM may be used with every watering.
75 drops = 1 tsp
225 drops = 3 tsp = 1 Tbs
1350 drops = 18 tsp = 6 Tbs = 1/3 cup
24,300 drops = 54 tsp = 18 Tbs = 1 cup
Approximately 1 drop per cup = 1:1000
“ 2 drops per halve cup = “
“ 3 drops per cup = “
“ 4 drops per 1 cup = “
“ 64 drops per 1 gallon = “
“ 2 Tbs per 7 gallons = “
I am always pleased to find new uses for EM, as it is a joy to use a product that is not only safe, but actually has beneficial advantages. Although I am not a doctor or scientist and can not validate with any authority that the ways in which I use EM are not harmful, I do know with certainty that the ingredients in EM are benign and without danger. This is not so with our many household ingredients such as detergents, bleach, ammonia, tile and toilet cleaner, and even personal care products such as shampoo and toothpaste (did you know that toothpaste contains a warning not to swallow)? The more ways in which I find to use EM the less I have to rely on chemicals. My goal is to have a toxic-free home and EM has made this goal much more attainable.
EM does not do everything, but it does enough to allow me to store all of the ordinary household chemicals in the garage where their fumes are not polluting the air within my home. According to a study conducted in 1995, the air in every house tested showed many times more toxic than the air outside, regardless of how pure or polluted the outside air. We need 3 things to live – air, food and water. EM can help make these essential elements less toxic. I have found dozens of uses for EM around my house.
USES OF EM1
- soak plastic dishes and wooden utensils and bowls
- wipe counters
- rinse dishes (dishwasher or by hand)
- as soak for any cooked or caked on containers
- clean produce or meat (especially fish, seafood and poultry)
- in the cooking water
- clean refrigerator
- clean toilet
- clean shower
- clean carpets
- mist onto carpets between cleaning to reduce animal smells
- mist onto stuffed furniture to reduce dust mites and odors
- use in laundry (in wash or rinse cycle), especially for musty rags or forgotten washer loads (CAUTION – the microbes may break down dyes faster)
- for cleaning any foul smelling messes
- deodorize EVERYTHING (urine, vomit, garlic/onion)
- diffused in the air to rid odors in house (steam works best, but misting is effective too)
- to rid puddles of mosquitoes
- to clean rust of tools
- in wells
- in septic tanks
- in paint (but check with company about this because I have never tried it, and I suspect that you have to use the paint IMMEDIATELY before it is broken down – but it is suppose to have incredible benefits)
- on wooden decks
- poured onto roof for moss control
- as a rinse after bathing (reduces doggy-odor and leaves their coat soft)
- in their ears for mites & ear infections
- mist onto coat of animal that has ‘rolled’ in something smelly (great for skunk-sprayed animal)
- in their water and food
- in the kitty litter box – pouring straight EM on wood shavings and placing this at the bottom works best, but misting straight EM onto the litter box is useful too
- in bath water (with baking soda to soften)
- to brush onto teeth
- breath control
- as a hair rinse
- to remove unwanted fragrances from hair and skin products
- to clean wounds and sores
- in itchy ears
- for insect bites or other skin irritations (stinging, burning or itchy)
- athlete’s foot or other fungal problems
- a cleansing enema or douche (mildest solution)
- under-arm odor (instant bath)
- in drinking water
Some of the benefits I have witnessed in the kitchen are readily observed when EM is placed in water. Usually, tiny bubbles can be seen within seconds of placing a few drops of EM into tap water. This tells you that the little microbes are busy digesting pollutants and creating oxygen as a by-product.
I feel safe using EM for cleaning all of my food. It effectively reduces fishy odors and I can rely on its safety to clean my produce, unlike the vegetable cleaning products now on the market.
I really appreciate the job EM does in cleaning toilets and other fixtures and counters. Porcelain seems to shine better with EM and I know that it won’t eat away the finish like cleansers do. Also, I don’t like using those ‘blue’ toilet cleaners ever since I learned how bad they are for the environment.
Wherever I smell odor I use EM. I have an elderly lady friend whose old dog is incontinent, so her house wreaks of animal urine. I took some EM in a spray bottle and misted the entire carpet, which reduced the odor immediately and was still effective 3 weeks later!
I also found that one of my cats seems to be a mite-magnet. She has 3 favorite chairs that cause us to itch whenever we sit on them. Repeated use of EM on her and the furniture has gotten rid of this problem.
I found a simple solution to animal odors and cooking odors. I simply put a pot of EM-water on the stove and simmer until gone. EM is activated by heat, released in the steam and cleanses the air. I would imagine this is good for anyone who is ill, or with lung problems, or for babies and children.
I read something in Dr. Higa’s book that made me try EM in my curbside gutters that were a breeding ground for mosquitoes. I found a little EM once a week keeps them from laying eggs!
I also read how EM removes rust and decided to try it on an old horseshoe before subjecting any of my tools to the treatment. I made a strong solution and placed half of an old rusty horseshoe into the solution. After 24 hours the rust was gone, even inside the nail holes. That was over a year ago and the shoe remains rust-free today. I then felt it was safe to subject my tools to a rust-removing dip.
Did I mention that animals who are totally surrounded with EM have odorless shit? My dogs never got totally smell-less but it did decompose into what looked like wood shavings within a couple of days and it didn’t draw flies.
NOW FOR THE “DON’T” LIST:
- Don’t under estimate the power of these microbes.
- Don’t use EM straight on your houseplants.
- Don’t consume large quantities of EM without building up slowly that goes for animals as well as people.
- Don’t expect miraculous changes in your body, just KNOW good things are happening.
- Don’t expect to get full benefits from using a living product like this without investing some time reading and learning about it. There are videos and books available from the company.
Notes from EM seminar, Vacaville, 7/00
Received medal of accomplishment from ministry of agriculture by Japanese government for reducing compost density by half and increasing harvest by 50%.
EM grows green onions that are the size of a shovel handle
Mammoth chives – yields increased 3 fold
Hog farm threatened to be put out of business due to stench. School next door now claims to smell nothing.
Copenhagan Denmark – Lake had clarity of 8 cm from surface and after treated with EM went to one meter
Pakistan – Dung put in open trench then delivered to field…. Brackish water now able to grow rice in Pakistan, 30% of land irrigates with salt water.
Chickens fed a diet of 50% EM treated dung had increased egg production.
Pigs will eat EM chicken dung that has fermented as Bokashi
Indigenous bananas which are normally halve finger long are now several fingers long.
In Japan oranges clustered on trees like grapes and myco-cosmin disease remediated.
North Korea. – EM fertilizer increased corn production two times.
North Korea – 9-10 kilogram cabbage heads were unheard of before EM.
1 hectare of land now produces 9 tons of rice – twice it’s normal harvest.
Fifteen hectares can now support 20 times its normal land use because the entire land can be used rather than needing to allow land to rest, and because the yields have increased.
CHINA – 3 meters of snow pack does not stay on EM field which produces enough heat to keep ground from freezing.
North Korea can now grow wheat in winter because EM increased soil heat by 10 degrees Celsius
EM is being used in incinerators to remediate dioxin
One application of EM in pond water will remediate 50% of the dioxin
Cotton grown in Arizona grew balls that were 50% normal size.
Growth regulators are used in plants to encourage bottom buds to open. The use of EM caused bottom buds to open on even very tall plants.
“Agriculture is the foundation of the nation.” – Teruo Higa
I wrote this as I read ‘An Earth Saving Revolution’, probably back in 1997-8. I think there is still a lot of good points to this 3 part informational document.
I have had the good fortune to have been exposed to what I believe is the most revolutionary discovery of this century. It comes by way of Japan, through the 14 year serendipitous course of events of one Professor of Horticulture, named Teruo Higa. Prof. Higa has brought to the world such an extraordinary breakthrough for the benefit of the world at large and every creature there in, that I can not contain myself. You will, if you read these pages, find some of the most interesting facts about our world, how it works, and the facts that substantiate my enthusiasm. I promise you will at least marvel!
The basis of my new education comes from Prof. Higa’s book, ‘An Earth Saving Revolution, a means to resolve our world’s problems through Effective Microorganisms – EM’. The cost is $18 and includes shipping. Professor Higa describes how he was a “dyed-in-the-wool” follower of modern chemical farming. At his post at the University of the Ryukyus, he had the opportunity to assist another professor in some studies using microorganisms. Some of the results they were getting were stupendous, causing fruit to excel in size, flavor and yields, while other studies reaped disappointing results.
Eventually Prof. Higa returned to Okinawa where he worked directly in the field with the farmers, forgetting his work at the laboratory and returning to the tried and true form of agricultural practices he believed to be reasonable. More and more he felt his health diminish and inevitably asked of himself the pivotal question, “Could this be a result of chemical exposure”? Upon his return to the laboratory he resumed the study into how microorganisms benefited plant production, believing this to be the clue to non-chemical farming techniques. His research yielded inconsistent results until sometime in 1982, when through his less than immaculate and proper disposal of microorganisms, he tossed a batch of ‘mixed’ test material refuse out onto the lawn. He was ready to throw in the towel, but within a week he found that the area of the lawn where he threw this benign refuse had grown taller and darker than the areas surrounding it. He learned that it was the MIX that made the difference, not any individual strain.
This formed the basis of an incredible technological discovery that promises to feed the planet (because per acreage yields more than double every known record), to make us healthier (because produce grown with EM have more nutrients and yield high levels of anti-oxidants), revitalize our soil and cleanse our water, clean up toxic waste (from chemicals to heavy metals and radio-active compounds), heal our bodies as well as the bodies of our animals (by ingesting EM), and benefit so many other areas that you wouldn’t believe me if I told you!
In the Prologue of the book we get an appreciation of the value of Prof. Higa’s discovery as he explains in elementary terms the properties of some of these organisms. One basic distinction is between regenerative organisms (those that support life) and degenerative organisms (those that breakdown life, decomposes and pollutes). You might think as I did that the degenerative organisms are needed to bring about the eventual decay necessary to the cycle of ‘growth, death and re-birth’. We learn, however, that the regenerative organisms do a much better job of breaking down elements and so they are come to be thought of as the ‘good guys’, or as he calls them – Effective Microorganisms (EM).
One strain of microorganisms belonging to the EM group is anaerobic, consisting of photosynthetic bacteria, yeasts, lactic acid and fungi. These have the desirability of producing large amounts of nutrients including amino acids, polysaccharides, vitamins and more. It’s not hard to imagine already, that by supplying more of these microorganisms to the soil, plants not only benefit, but the creatures who eat those plants benefit. Plants growing in soil treated with EM do not have to use as much energy to convert the very difficult chemical fertilizers into a digestible food, so they in turn use this surplus energy to produce increased yields and better tasting produce. For instance, in optimal conditions, a rice farmer in Japan can hope for nine bales (or 1,200 lb.) of rice per 10 acres using conventional methods. Nevertheless, only a few years of EM use yields increase harvests to 15 bales (1,800 lb.) per 10 acres, and longer experimental plots have yielded 28-30 bales/acre! These kinds of results drove Prof. Higa further into his research while demonstrating without a doubt the efficacy of his discovery. The best is yet to come, as my report will continue.
In one portion of Dr. Higa’s book we learn about the results of increased rice yields with continued use of EM. Prof. Higa then turned his focus to other crops and found similar unprecedented results. In tropical fruit that was characterized as having only a single bloom, the use of EM resulted in multiple harvests of many times normal yields. In cucumbers, which typically produce only one cucumber per node, 4-5 cucs per node became the norm. Corn increased to as many as eight ears per stalk and cherry tomatoes produced 10x’s their normal yields, going from 30 per plant to 300 per plant!
The more Prof. Higa mused on the importance of these tiny creatures, the more convinced he became of the powerful effects they could influence. He began to investigate the significance their presence played in creating the world we inhabit today. Knowing that there are aerobic and anaerobic organisms, he recalled a strain of photosynthetic bacteria capable of enduring temperatures in excess of 700 degrees C. These creatures currently live in the bowels of the earth, but once they thrived on the surface of the planet when it was just a ball of fire. Anaerobic bacteria produce nitrogen and oxygen as a waste by-products. As the theory goes, these bacteria proliferated to the point that they “polluted” the planet with oxygen and lowered the temperature, causing condensation to precipitate in the form of rain, creating the oceans. Many of the anaerobic bacteria evolved into aerobic organisms, while the remainder retreated deep into the earth and can be found today around the hydrothermal mineral vents on the ocean floors.
Whether you agree with this theory or not, the important thing to know is the circumstances in which anaerobic bacteria thrive. Imagine a situation of carbon dioxide, ammonia, methane gas and hydrogen sulfide, a virtual cornucopia of good things for these tiny creatures. Upon consuming this buffet our friendly microbes produce oxygen as a ‘waste’ product! These critters are so effective at their job that even during early experiments, they were able to produce pure drinking water from raw sewage after only 24 hours! This technology allowed the public library in Gushikawa, Okinawa to reduce their waste-water costs by 95% at a time when there treatment costs were soaring.
The same principles are in effect when EM is used on compost, and can be applied to banish malodors in the bathroom, or used in septic tanks, and poured down drains. There are even applications in cooking because the zymogens necessary for fermenting are present in EM, making it ideal for breads and Japanese fermented pickles. When used in water it extends the life of produce, enhances the growth of houseplants and can extend the life of your natural-fiber garments when added to your wash. The household applications are endless. And Prof. Higa maintains that these products will never be out of the financial reach of the common man.
EM is a combination of over 80 varieties of microorganisms, drawn from 10 genera belonging to 5 different families and include both aerobic and anaerobic species. The most amazing thing about EM is the symbiosis in which they all co-exist. This has never before been believed possible because it was assumed these species would be incompatible. But Dr. Higa discovered that they not only coexist, they thrive! Two among the EM team of microorganisms, photosynthetic bacteria and azotobacters, function as nitrogen fixators. One is of the anaerobic nature and the other is of the aerobic nature. Nitrogen fixation is what is needed to take place before plants can make use of the nitrogen in the air, by changing the gaseous nitrogen into nitric acid and ammonia. They co-exist because the waste matter for one is food for the other, and vise-versa, as long as certain criteria are maintained.
A single gram of soil contains billions of these tiny creatures. Most, however, are ‘opportunistic’ and display a ‘follow-the-leader’ tendency. In other words, there are a few dominant strains who ‘fight it out’ for supremacy. The millions of other microorganisms wait for the victor, then adapt to those characteristics. Depleted and contaminated soil favors the victory of ‘degenerative’ strains of microorganisms, so the benefits of the ‘regenerative’ strains seem utterly amazing because we have never before created a favorable environment for their proliferation. In our own intestines, the bacteria known as lactobacillus bifidus is the only dominant strain. So by maintaining adequate amounts of this organism, our digestive tract will generally remain healthy while the other hundred or so strains adapt to ‘the good guy’. Herein lies the power of EM. By introducing sufficient quantities of ‘good guy’ dominant organisms, the entire microorganism eco-system is swayed to these characteristics. And the added joy is that these organisms are found virtually everywhere, in every type of soil, and will not negatively impact an eco-system as they die off when their job is done.
In parts 1 & 2 we learned about some benefits of using EM in crop production and some of characteristics of these Effective Microorganisms. This time we are going to explore how these creatures selectively kill ‘bad’ insects while allowing ‘good’ insects to thrive.
It is incredibly brilliant! Let’s take the common fly which everyone, at one time or another, has encountered in non-desirable quantities. (I wish I had EM when I raised pigeons and horses!) When flies lay their eggs in EM treated organic matter, the eggs fail to mature into maggots. Similarly, maggots fail to mature into larva. The reason for this is that there is a particular kind of substance found in putrefied matter which allow them to produce necessary hormones needed to mature through the pupa stage and become adult flies. This substance is unavailable when EM is present, and without this substance NO FLIES CAN MATURE! Does this trigger your thinking cap like it does mine? I mean, if the presence or absence of a substance can totally eliminate the production of a hormone in flies, what about people? Yes, yes, I know what some scientists say, that ‘we’ aren’t ‘flies’. Yet, of the scientists who publish articles for the layman, I find an unusual number of them claiming that humans have more likenesses than differences to other species. After all, everything came from the same primordial soup. If the production of fly hormones is dependent upon a certain food substance, then I believe it highly probable that people have similar food-hormone reliance’s.
There are other pesky pests besides flies, but all the commonly recognized destructive species of insects have the same preference for oxidized substances. Because EM procures for the plant vast amounts of anti-oxidants, these pests are deterred. Even the eggs that are laid on plants tend not to develop for the same reasons that fly larva do not develop.
You are probably wondering about ‘beneficial’ insects. Generally good insects are carnivorous, making for themselves a diet of bad insects. Since bad insects are herbivores, they are the only ones affected by the antioxidating effects of EM.
Ants are a species that is difficult for the scientist to categorize into ‘good’ or ‘bad’. But Prof. Higa admits that most people find them to be pests and so he has done some experiments with EM on them. What he found was that the ant has the habit of treating all their food with a type of zymogen unique to their species. This allows them to store their food for later use. The zymogen in EM destroys the benefits of the ants zymogen and causes their food to ferment. Basically, repeated use of EM throughout your property will eventually run all your resident ants away.
I did a little test on the effectiveness of EM as a mosquito abatement treatment. There is an annoying puddle in the front of my house which accumulates from my neighbors run off water. This puddle always has mosquito larva swimming. I placed a few drops of EM into the water and within a few hours went back to check the progress. The first thing I noticed was there were no more adult mosquitoes hovering over the area. Presumably, because they no longer recognized this as a desirable place to lay eggs. After several days passed the activity around the pond was that of ants, presumably cleaning up the carcasses of the dead mosquito larva.
I’d like to return for a moment to the subject of antioxidants in the soil. When you find a rotting potato or you start a compost pile, the offensive odor you encounter (the odor vermin are drawn to) is caused by degenerative strains of microorganisms. When regenerative organisms are added to this organic matter, the resulting smell is rather a pleasant smell. Plants grown in soil where antioxidants are present grow strong roots that are capable of easily absorbing more nutrients. However, when the soil is laden with oxidation plants must labor in order to withdraw adequate nutrients. Amino acids and organic acids are important elements needed by plants. When predominantly oxidized soil conditions exist, these substances are changed into highly toxic amide (a substance somewhere in-between an amino acid and ammonia). In wet farming, as in rice production, they are further broken down into ammonia; in dry farming the resultant substance is nitric acid. Both of these substances are forms of inorganic nitrogen which requires that the plant heavily depend on sugars (organic acids) produced in it’s leaves due to photosynthesis, to synthesize protein from the inorganic nitrogen. This is a terrible waste of plant energy. By contrast, antioxidized soil allows these amino acids to absorb straight away without going through any chemical changes to be utilized. This accounts for the increased crop production which is an earmark of EM use.
(I don’t know if I wrote this or not, but it is interesting)
Microorganisms – Keepers of the Biosphere
Amazingly, we owe everything to the tiniest creatures on the planet. There is no form of life that does not owe allegiance to the microscopic organisms that live in vast numbers throughout of every eco system. They have been found in the molten lava and at the deepest level of the ocean. There are trillions of microorganisms on one square inch of our skin. They are responsible for the air we breath as well as our genetic make-up.
Ninety percent of our DNA can be traced as coming directly from prehistoric microorganisms. All life emerged from these genetic codes. It is believed that it is due to microbes that our planet became inhabitable. When the world was a ball of hot noxious gas, tiny microorganisms flourished on this ‘cornucopia’ of good things to eat. As they multiplied they exuded a by-product of oxygen. This in turn influenced the atmosphere and gradually the planet cooled, the poles froze leaving exposed islands of land. Today about 80% of oxygen in our atmosphere comes from microorganisms, and only 20% from trees and plants. Isn’t it time for us to take a closer look at this mighty force of nature?
We are all familiar with the terms ‘intestinal flora’ and ‘probiotics’, another way to refer to the microbes indigenous to our human system. Acidophilus is the star of this group, known to exist in predominant numbers and assumed by many to be the most important intestinal bacteria. This could be compared to a large family of 12 kids. Are the children the most important members because they are the most numerous? What we’ve learned is that bifidus is the only true ‘leader’ much like the parents in a large family. The direction of the entire colony is decided be the leader-type bacteria. In our own intestines, if parents bifidus are too weak or absent, then the intestinal-family flora will look elsewhere for a surrogate leader. From this perspective, Bifidus may rightly be considered our most important probiotic.
In the way that families of bacteria are divided by followers and leaders, and can, with relative ease, merge with the forces of a competitive family, is at the core of so much alarm about super bugs. This adaptability is what allowed us a world of diversity. They are only predictable when their environment remains stable; otherwise they adapt and change so that even ‘beneficial’ bacteria will take up ‘degenerative’ action when given sufficient stimulus.
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