Researchers are trying to find the right kind of additives to be added to soil so that the vegetables grown in it does not harm humans. But how can soil be toxic? It can be according to reports by Science Daily that says in areas like Salinas Valley in California, soils are naturally rich in cadmium which gets taken up by the leafy vegetables and harm humans.
Cadmium in some soils is in very low percentage but some soils like the one mentioned above in California has a lot more. It happens due to erosion of local rock formations or human activities like metal processing, fertilizer or fossil fuel combustion. Vegetables grown in cadmium-rich soil can decrease kidney functions and bone density in humans.
Adrian Paul works with the Sustainable Mineral Institute in Brisbane, Australia and is currently researching to find which soil additives can help solve this problem. “Our research aims to protect local producers and consumers by lowering the cadmium in vegetables. This gives producers the ability to grow safe, profitable crops,” says Paul. “Consumers need to be able to safely eat what the farmers grow.”
“Farmlands provide for us all. Rehabilitating agricultural fields, by removing heavy metals like cadmium, means healthier soils and healthier food,” he adds.