New on Netflix - A documentary called "Kiss the Ground"
The film has a lot of great ideas (no till, cover crops, biodiversity, compost (the real kind) etc. but sadly presents the idea of using sewage sludge / biosolids in a very superficial and naïve way.
Starting just after the first hour, 1:05 the film looks at composting poop in Haiti. The narrator makes the classic mistake of asserting that humanure and "biosolids" from cities is somehow the same thing. As she says -
"most people don't know that all across America, if you buy some potting mix, it probably has biosolids in it, and that comes from human sewage. We eat food, and we poop it out. We can then treat it, and create soil that has good content for plants, and then the cycle just goes around and around."
No mention is made about what is actually in these "biosolids" from these cities in America (or indeed any city in the world) - is NOT just human excrement - it is a concentration of all domestic and industrial pollutants that go down drains and sewers. It has some good stuff in it, which plants can use, but also thousands of other contaminants.
No mention is made of the fact that this so-called “treatment” does little or nothing to deal with some of the most alarming pollutants found in "biosolids" - things like - Antibiotic Resistance Genes, pharmaceuticals, flame retardants, PFAS, microplastics and phthalates
As Prof. Jordan Peccia- of Yale University, has noted - " biosolids contain heavy metals, hazardous organic chemicals, microbial pathogens, and antibiotic resistant bacteria ... polybrominated flame retardants, pharmaceuticals like Prozac and Tagamet, human hormones such as estrogen, antibiotics, narcotics"
Farms across America are being used as sinks for our cities' toxic sewage waste. It is being spread under the pretense that it is somehow magically "compost" - it is not - it is Toxic Sewage Waste - very different from simple humanure.
As microbiologist, Dr. Sierra Rayne has written - "The science doesn't support the disposal of sewage sludge across the landscape. The supposed benefits are more than offset by the risks to human and environmental health .An unimaginably large number of chemical and biological contaminants exist in these materials, and they persist in the product up to, and after, land disposal. Scientific investigations have identified only a tiny fraction of the total contaminant load. We cannot even say with any degree of confidence what the true range of contaminant risk is from the sludge ... Governments are playing Russian roulette with sewage sludge. Over time, there is a high probability this game will be lost at the public's expense."