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Podcast 451: Soil Secrets

Soil Secrets with Michael Melendrez

Podcast 451: Soil Secrets

Podcast 451: Soil Secrets

Michael Melendrez joins Martin to discuss the dangers of modern agriculture to the health of our soil. Michael Melendrez is the owner and founder of Soil Secrets is a soil amendment technology, their mission is to create food security and independence for people and their families. Using molecular biology they have helped many home owners, engineers and farmers create more sustainable and more nutrient dense soil.

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MARTIN: Hello, everybody. This is Martin Pytela for Life Enthusiast podcast. And today I have with me Michael Melendrez from Soil Secrets, I think I will do best by letting Michael tell his story. Welcome!

MICHAEL: Well, thank you for having me.

MARTIN: Yeah. In our talk before we started recording, we started sharing notes about how we see health. How we see wellness. How we come to understand what’s really important.


MARTIN: And so I’d love to have you share how you came to realizing that fixing wellness with vitamins was really not the best place to start.

MICHAEL: Fixing wellness with vitamins? Well, I look at wellness as a total body experience. Which means you have to consider the entire physical being and the emotional being in order to have wellness. And so one of the, everything in that’s going to be a limiting factor. So if you’re busy exercising and busy eating a good diet but you’re not living in a happy place. You’re not content with your life, the type of work you’re doing or the way you’re living, then you’re not going to have wellness. So you have to look at the total picture. I decided to work in the arena of soil health after I had already worked in the arena of human health, from back in the early 1980’s when I owned a wellness company called Corporate Fit Systems.

MICHAEL: And we considered all the modalities of wellness as part of that program, including exercise and mental health and diet etc. And I discovered that when I began to analyze people for their diet, by documenting everything that they ate, and looking at the data that we had from the USDA concerning how much nutrition should be for example, in an apple. How much calcium should be in an apple, or how much vitamin C should be in an orange. I became doubtful as to the validity of that information. And so I began analyzing fresh fruits and vegetables to see exactly how much nutrition is really in our food. Because if I was going to be evaluating somebody’s diet by having them keep a log of everything they ate, and then we would plug all that information into the computer and get a report telling us, well, you’re not getting enough of this or that. Or maybe you’re getting too much of this or that, then I needed to know if the information was accurate that we were depending on. So when I began analyzing fresh fruits and vegetables, and remember, this is back in 1981, 82. I discovered that everything that I had analyzed was running anywhere from 25 to 30% lower in vitamin and mineral nutrition than what the USDA data said it should contain.

MARTIN: Yeah. Now, this reminds me just to interrupt slightly. Back in 1937, there was a famous congressional report released that said that 80% of mineralization had been lost by 1937 from the original analyses that they ran back when. It’s gone downhill since, like I remember looking at some other analyses that were comparing organic, regular conventional and GMO with….

MICHAEL: Mm-hmm. <affirmative>

MARTIN: And the GMO corn had 10% of the mineralization. I think it was magnesium or calcium they were looking at specifically, of the organic version of it. Right? Like that.

MICHAEL: Well, I analyzed fresh fruits and vegetables that were coming from organic certified farms also. And even that was well below what it should have contained. And that reminds me of a radio show that I heard a year and a half ago during the height of the covid pandemic, where they were interviewing a medical doctor in Albuquerque. And one of the questions that came up was, should I be supplementing extra Vitamin D and Zinc and Vitamin C etc. in order to strengthen my immune system so I don’t get sick from covid or as sick from Covid? And the response from the medical doctor was no, that as long as you ate a reasonable diet, then you should be getting everything you need. Well that basically reveals that the doctor is not aware of the fact that we do have a problem with our agricultural farms being able to produce food that is going to provide nutrient dense nutrition to us.

MICHAEL: And so there really is no opportunity for a reasonable diet. The doctor’s wrong. You’re going to have to find a way to supplement those vitamins and minerals. Or if nothing else, work on restoring the health of your soil that you’re growing your own fresh fruits and vegetables on, and depend on that. So that’s where I made a decision to change my career path from that of wellness over to soils. And because I realized that if I was going to have a significant impact in my lifetime, that I needed to focus on soils. I needed to fix the problem of soils. And that was the beginning of the company’s soil secrets. And we’re talking about the middle 1980s.

MARTIN: Mm-hmm. <affirmative> You told me that you actually did some serious research into Humic Acid too, right? Or humus as such.

MICHAEL: Yes. You know, there’s this world of agriculture fertilizer type products, fertilizer companies sell Humic Acid to farmers. And I began doing some reading up on what literature I could find on humic acids. And I discovered that that actually humic acids have never been described. And in other words, no scientists of merit has ever actually found the molecule of humic acid and described what it is. So I decided that I wanted to pursue that research and see if I could find it and describe it. So between 1998 and 2011, I worked on that. And basically with the help of the national nuclear labs in New Mexico and the equipment that they have, we studied the carbon of soils and purified the carbon out of soils. And then did what we called a molecular characterization of that carbon, and found that there is in fact a marvelous chemistry of carbon based molecules that develop in the soil through chemical reactions.

MICHAEL: And that using the term Humic Acid really doesn’t do it justice. The term humic acid is really too simplistic. These molecules are very complex. They are super molecular in behavior, and they are the result of chemical reactions that take place in the soil. They are not the result of just the decomposition of dead stuff, compost and vegetation, detritus etc. That’s not where they’re coming from. They’re coming from a much more complex chemical reaction taking place in the soil. And they really define the very essence of what a healthy soil is.

MARTIN: So is that sort of like a living thing in a way, or is it definable? Or is it changing?

MICHAEL: Well, there’s super molecular. And super molecular means that there’s different shapes and sizes of these molecules, and they will organize together into a much larger structure, and they’ll do this without an outside influence. So there is a chemical intelligence, if you will, that is causing that to happen. And once they come together as a bigger structure, they are very powerful and have a tremendous influence on soils. On the structure of soil, on the health of soil, on how microbes and crops and vegetation can live in that soil. You know, you can take a really terribly damaged soil like mine tailings, and by simply adding these substances to that, you can turn it into a living soil rapidly. So are they alive? Well, they..

MARTIN: As if they were.

MICHAEL: They generate electricity, and they’re massive structures of induced magnetic fields. So we’re getting into some pretty complex stuff there. But they’re just pretty cool.

MARTIN: They behave as though they were some consciousness driving it. Right?

MICHAEL: Yeah. So super molecular, it’s sort of like if you were to take a jigsaw puzzle of the Mona Lisa, a thousand pieces, and you dumped it on the floor, big pile of pieces. Every piece has its place in that puzzle, and that’s the only spot that that piece fits. And so if you were to dump the puzzle on the floor, and then you left and went, went to lunch, and after lunch you came back, the puzzle put itself together. That’s what’s happening here in the case of this chemistry, is that the puzzle is putting itself together into this bigger structure. That’s what super molecular, I’m kind of grossly oversimplifying it, but that’s really what it is.

MARTIN: It kind of suggests that there’s some kind of a higher consciousness, higher intelligence driving this bus, right?

MICHAEL: Yeah. Yep. Yep. Sure is. Yeah.<affirmative> So when you look at the products that are being sold as humic acids, they do not have this characteristic. We also analyze them looking for the same thing, and they don’t contain it.

MARTIN: Okay. And so you may be getting some benefits, but it’s not quite the same thing.

MICHAEL: Correct. Correct.

MARTIN: Hmm. All right. Well, I guess I better have my product that we call Humic Acid sent to you to take a look at and tell me if I’m overstating my benefits or not, right? Because we have study, there are studies out there, right? There are scientific studies that talk about, I have used humic acid or have used fulvic acid, and I have done this and that. And I mean, there are studies that show that it affects viral expression. There are studies that it affects how people detoxify, how their immune system is able to tell this apart from that.

MICHAEL: Yeah. There are studies that do definitely demonstrate those benefits. But it’s also important to understand that the method of analyzing both Fulvic or Humic Acid by the laboratory industry, both the laboratories that are owned by commercial entities as well as universities, that there is no standard method of analysis to find those things. And there are methods that are accepted by certain government entities, like the state of California says, well, you have to use the CDFA method of analysis, which is a method that they accept, or the Humic Trade Association method, and we will accept the lower of the two numbers. And so if you’re analyzing your product, for example for humic acid, and the CDFA method said well, it contains 5%. And the Humic Trade Association method says, well, it contains 6%. Then the state of California, when you register that product is only going to allow you to use the 4% number. But you might use another method, like an international method in another country, and it comes out at 15%. And so the problem is, is that there’s no standardization in how we analyze and look for the so-called humic acid or fullvc acid. In the state of California, fulvic acid is not even allowed. They don’t accept it, and…

MARTIN: It doesn’t exist, yeah?

MICHAEL: Yeah. It’s not an accepted term at all. And in the world of professional chemistry, fulvic is not accepted either. So what is fulvic? I mean, I can take oxidized lignite, also known as humate or leonardite or peat moss, and I can run hot water through it and collect off a yellow liquid. And the word fulvic comes from the Greek word “folvate”, which means yellow. And so I’m going to get this yellow extract by rinsing it through those materials. And if I stick a pH meter in there, the pH is going to be really low, acidic. Therefore, I could say, well it’s an acidic yellow water. Yes.<affirmative> Therefore, it’s fulvic acid.

MARTIN: Because you started by washing through some old leonardite deposit. Okay.

MICHAEL: Yeah. So that’s how we got that term. But is there a molecule in that yellow water that we can actually describe and publish in the cast registry, which is the compendium database of professional chemistry? The answer is no. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing in that yellow water that could be providing you a health benefit if you were to use it as a nutraceutical. I would be dead wrong if I said that.

MARTIN: Yeah, I hear you. And that’s an interesting sidebar. So let’s get back to what Soil Secrets is really up to. Like the way I understand you, is you stand for helping people create independence, create food security, create health security. Right?

MICHAEL: That’s absolutely correct. A lot of us like to talk about a lot of things going wrong in this world. And some people might talk about climate change and other people talk about violence, some talk politics, etc. In my thoughts, what we are really facing, which is the more eminent danger is food security. And you look at third world countries, African nations that are trying to grow food in order to feed millions and millions of people. And if we were to interfere with the old fashioned technique of growing food by introducing modern agriculture like we’ve done here in the United States, I think that’ll be a disaster because modern agriculture here in the United States has destroyed our soils.

MARTIN: Yeah. I actually would like to butt in here. My favorite saying is, we’re running this industrial food production experiment, and it’s going exceedingly badly. We have…


MICHAEL: Yeah. The analysis work I did 38 years ago, or 39 years ago, or whatever it was. Proving that, we are losing nutrition in our food exemplifies that point. How bad is it now? I haven’t tested food recently, but I’ll betcha it’s worse than it was in 1981, or 82 or 83. So we certainly don’t want to be introducing genetically modified crops to Africa. High yield acid based fertilizers and great big giant tractors and all the stuff that we did here in the United States, because we’ve ruined our soils in the United States.

MARTIN: Yeah. This is a big deal, right? Like we are losing top soil because of erosion, and we’re also murdering the microbes using glyphosate and other chemicals.

MICHAEL: Just crushing the soils with big machinery and sub-soiling, and plowing, and laser leveling, and all the things that we do has been very destructive to our soils. My father explained it to me in a way that made a lot of sense to me when I was only 13 years old back in 1968. My father was a farmer and a brilliant man. I admired him tremendously and followed him as much as I could to learn all I could. And in 1968, I was wanting to compete in the four H soil judging contest here in New Mexico. And my dad agreed to teach me how to judge soil and being a farmer, and also being the John Deere implement guy, he understood soils. So we were out digging holes in the ground and he was showing me how to manipulate the texture of the soil to your fingertips and discriminate between sand, silt, clay, loam, etc. And to estimate the percentages of each of those different particle sizes.

MICHAEL: And while we were doing this, he scooped up a handful of soil and was looking at it, and he said to me: “You know Michael, everything we do in farming is wrong, and it destroys this. We need to do a better job of taking care of our soil.” That had a very profound effect on me. And I don’t know why I didn’t from the very beginning make it my life’s ambition, my life’s work to fix that problem. So I kind of went in a roundabout way, studying science and studying human health and wellness. And behind me here is a chart of all the metabolic pathways in the human body, very complex. I had to learn all of that while I was in college. But as a result of learning that, and also learning a little bit about soils, it gave me a greater appreciation for how significant the life of the soil really is and how this plays a role in our own physiology. So, thank goodness I had the dad I had.

MARTIN: Yeah, that’s wonderful. My dad was a veterinarian. So I had some exposure to that sort of thing too, and I followed him around. And so the other statement that I was thinking of is that we have food that’s cheaper than it’s ever been, and we’re getting exactly what we’re paying for.


MARTIN: Not much, right?


MARTIN: Yeah. Nutrient poor, calorie rich, we have all kinds of calories coming with the corn, soy, wheat, whatever. We are growing at these gigantic farms with really high yields, but all it’s giving us is a bit of starch. Right?

MICHAEL: Well, when I was in college a long long time ago, we called that empty calories. Of course, we were referring to donuts and twinkies and you know, bad stuff like that when we talk about empty calories. But in truth, all of our food is empty calories because it’s not nutrient dense. And as a result of that, we don’t satisfy ourselves when we’re eating, our body is craving nutrition. It’s craving amino acids, it’s craving vitamins, it’s craving minerals. And the craving doesn’t stop until you satisfy that need. So you keep eating until you satisfy the need. But the problem is that if you’re eating food of empty calories, you don’t satisfy the need and what happens to us?

MARTIN: Yeah. How much broccoli do I have to eat? Never mind how many donuts, the number of donuts is infinity. Right?

MICHAEL: Right. <Laugh>

MARTIN: The number of broccoli is still too high, because I will have too much roughage relative to the nutrients. Correct?


MARTIN: I guess the…

MICHAEL: So we have an obesity problem.

MARTIN: Yeah. So my line would be the quality of your life, your health will reflect the quality of your electrolytes.


MARTIN: Like we ourselves, is the water with minerals in it, right? Like sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, whatever, all of that soup that the doctor will check when they test your blood, that has to come from someplace, right?

MICHAEL: Yeah. Electrolytes are very important. And without electrolytes, water is not a conduit for electricity. You got to have electricity. You have to. And we’re just a great big bag of water.

MARTIN: Right. And so life itself is expressing itself through, well amino acids and the minerals and all the other stuff. So going back to the food security then. Soil secrets, right? Like, that’s where you stand. You will help me and my family grow food that is worth growing, right?

MICHAEL: Yeah. We work with homeowners all over the United States. And we give them the tools that they need in their toolbox to be able to take their garden soil and turn it into a healthy living soil, so that they can grow their own food. And now we also use the same science, the same molecular biology to repair soils that have been damaged by perhaps hurricanes, that caused an ocean surge of salty water that comes on the land. And all the salts destroy the vegetation. And until you get rid of those salts in that soil, you’re going to have trouble growing healthy vegetation. Well, we use the same molecular biology to repair that kind of land as we would repairing the victory garden that you have in your backyard. Or repairing a brownfield site, maybe an old factory site that they’ve contaminated the ground with diesel fuel and other types of oils, etc. And we can correct that as well.

MARTIN: So what’s that look like? Okay, let’s just define it. So you have either the gardener who’s growing their own little plot, or you have a single owner, small farmer, or you can probably do business with a big scale farmer if they want to get ecological, right?

MICHAEL: That’s right. We do all the above.

MARTIN: All right. So what does it look like? Do I send you a bag of my dirt?

MICHAEL: No, I don’t even need that. It’s going to work no matter what the dirt is. If it’s a clay based dirt or sand based dirt, or a silky loam or, it’s going to work. It’s always going to have a positive benefit.

MARTIN: So what’s that look like? Do I buy a bag of your stuff?

MICHAEL: We basically have what we call a Healthy Soil Gardening kit. And the Healthy Soil Gardening kit is composed of two major items, within the two major items we’ve included ingredients. For example, we’ve included beneficial bacteria, that your soils need to have the bacteria that associate with the roots of your plant, and make it easier for that plant to grow there. So we’ve added those bacteria in there. We’ve added that carbon molecular substance that I talked about earlier, that is super molecular that’s in there. We’ve added trace minerals, they’re in there. And so we have that particular product is called, for lack of a better term, and probably an overused term, a soil activator. And then we have the second part of this gardening kit is the soil food. This is an amino acid based product that is going to provide the building blocks of life that the microbiology is going to need in order to grow more microbiology and turn that dirt into a healthy soil. So it’s two things, soil activator, soil food put together. They’re granular, you can spread it by hand. It’s not toxic to you. There’s nothing harmful in it. And by just simply scattering it on the ground, where you’re going to plant your garden and watering it in, you’ve done it.

MARTIN: Alright.

MICHAEL: Very, very simple.

MARTIN: So compare this to, me going into the local garden center and buying a bag of maybe humic and back of rock dust, that sort of stuff, right?

MICHAEL: That will not be a soil activator.

MARTIN: Right. Well, I’m wanting you to explain it to the beginner gardener, to the why.

MICHAEL: Because the Humic is not going to contain the molecular essence of what the soil needs. What the soil needs are these carbon molecules that are generating electricity called through a process called an induced magnetic field. And so the humate or humic product does not have that characteristic. It might have minerals, but it doesn’t have the mechanism of action that is going to change that soil in the way that I’m describing it. So this is a unique and exclusive science of soil secrets. We’re the only ones in the world to actually do this type of work. And we did it through a contract with national nuclear labs in New Mexico, a contract called a Commercial Proprietary Information contract, which means I own the information. The national labs do not own this. We simply just hire them to let us use their machinery, their analysis machinery, to do this research.

MARTIN: All right.

MICHAEL: Yeah. And so I have the knowledge, I have the formula, the recipe, if you will. To replicate these molecules in a manufacturing process so that they are bioidentical to what you find in nature.

MARTIN: Right.

MICHAEL: And that’s not what you’re going to find in Humic.

MARTIN: Right. So, for a typical family garden setting, how is it reflected in it’s cost effectiveness?

MICHAEL: Very cost effective. You’re talking pennies a square foot.


MICHAEL: Not expensive at all.

MARTIN: All right. Awesome. And so is this applied every year, or how do you do that?

MICHAEL: Yeah, we generally recommend that it be applied at the beginning of each growing season. And unless you have really, really lousy soil. Where I live in New Mexico, and in the desert southwestern states, Arizona, New Mexico, Western Texas, Southern Utah, Nevada, you run into a lot of very alkaline soils that are high in sodium and high in salinity. And those might take some extra effort and a little bit more material than a better soil that you might find in Nebraska or Pennsylvania or someplace like that.

MARTIN: Yeah. Places that used to be a prairie. Right?

MICHAEL: Yes. Right.

MARTIN: Yeah. Okay. And so for a farmer, what’s that look like?

MICHAEL: Well, farming is different. With farming, we actually separate out the microbiology from the chemistry, and so we can actually sell a farmer, depending on what they need. We might sell them just the microrhisal fungi. Microrhisal are beneficial fungi that associate with the roots of plants, and that make the plant healthier and better able to sequester the minerals from the soil. So a lot of the minerals of the soil are not in a form the plant can utilize. They’re chemically bound up. Well, microrhisal fungi can unbound those minerals and make it accessible for the plant. So it might be what the farmer wants to use is the spores of the microrisal fungi, which they would dust on the seed before they plant that seed. And that’s going to cost the farmer roughly $27, $28 an acre to do that.

MICHAEL: And that might be the only thing that they do. But the farmer might also have some serious spots in their fields that have become very compacted from machinery or compacted from the soil collapsing on itself because of sodium. Sodium that came from the irrigation water, or maybe it was just native to that spot. And so we can put the carbon matrix molecules on that spot in the field, and it will open up the structure of the soil. And make it more porous so that the water can percolate through it and oxygen can penetrate down. And then we can grow something there. So we have to look at the needs of the farmer to make a decision as to which tool in the toolbox are we going to use.

MARTIN: Right. And of course, what they will see back from there is phenomenal yields. Right.

MICHAEL: Improved yields. Absolutely. For example, one of our clients is a large wine grower in Baja Mexico. And if you are not familiar with Baja Mexico, it’s desert. It’s extremely hot in the summer. It does not rain in the summer, and there’s no surface water. There’s no rivers to be able to harvest water from to be able to irrigate. So this means they have to pump water out of the ground in order to irrigate. And that water quality is not the best water. It’s generally high in salinity and sodium. So the longer that you irrigate with that type of water, the more salinity and sodium will accumulate in your soil until eventually you reach a point of cascading failure and you’re going to have to stop farming on that spot. So what we did with this wine grower is we put down the carbon matrix, which can correct those things.

MICHAEL: And this is what happened. Now, we put down a thousand pounds of this carbon per mile of drip irrigation line, or per mile of row grapes. And the irrigation frequency required to grow those grapes changed. From instead of the farmer or rancher, it was a ranch. Instead of them needing to irrigate once every five days, if they tried to go six days, the vines would begin to wilt and drop leaves. And so they had to irrigate every five days during the heat of the summer. And so instead of having to irrigate once every five days, they were able to stretch the irrigation out to once every 21 days. A huge change in the amount of water.

MARTIN: That’s gigantically different…

MICHAEL: Gigantic difference. And the yield, the tonnage production of grapes went up 59%.

MARTIN: Okay. So you get one and a half times the yield, and you get to use a quarter of the water.

MICHAEL: Yeah. Right.<affirmative> And the quality of the grapes improved also. So this really changed the economics of that particular ranch, making that ranch much more profitable.

MARTIN: So he’s practically kissing your feet, right?

MICHAEL: Yes. He treated the entire ranch. And so it works. And this is something that we are going to see happen everywhere in the western part of the United States where water is becoming an issue, where there’s a limited amount of water where the soil quality is changing because of salinization. And this by the way, salinization problem. The salting of the earth is worldwide.

MARTIN: Yeah. The word Carthage comes to mind. Romans carthage soil, they salted their soil. And that was the end of the empire.

MICHAEL: That was the end of the empire. Exactly. So we’re seeing a salinization of agriculture soils everywhere. We’re seeing it in India, China, Africa, South America, North America, Canada, everywhere. It’s happening everywhere. And the worse it gets, the closer we are to the end. And this is why I say food security, that is our imminent and immediate problem that we’re facing as a human race. And we better change our direction.

MARTIN: Yeah. So how do you relate to regenerative farming?

MICHAEL: Regenerative farming? We’re just more aggressive. And regenerative farming takes a slower pace attitude, that by doing common sense things, such as no till farming and using cover crops and compost, etc. That you’re going to get on the journey to better soil health. And that’s all well and good, we should be doing that. But we have an immediate need right now that requires a more immediate action. We got to be much more aggressive. The Soil Conservation Service what we now call the NRCS, the Natural Resource and Conservation Service, they changed the name a few years back. Very expensive process changing all the letterhead. But the Soil Conservation Service, which goes way back to the 1940s, even 1930s, basically was teaching and preaching regenerative farming.


MICHAEL: How successful has that been?

MARTIN: Well..

MICHAEL: Not very.

MARTIN: Well, the chemical industry has a lobby power, and unfortunately the subsidies are stacked in the wrong way. Right? It’s completely a congress fault, which is the money fault. Right? Money in politics will tilt the playing field and cause these, what shall we call them? Strategically failing decisions to be made. Right?

MICHAEL: Yeah. I mean, Soil Secrets is not a multiple billion dollar company. I can’t fund a large agriculture college at a university and build buildings for them. And so a large chemical company, and I’m not going to name any names, but you know what I’m talking about.

MARTIN: Yeah well, we know seven of them, right? Starts with Bayer and goes on down from there.

MICHAEL: And those are big companies that have lots of money, and they can build a large agriculture building for a university. They can fund research for, and there’s an expression that we use in science when you’re reading research, and the expression is consider the source.



MARTIN: And in the old times, it was follow the money.

MICHAEL: And follow the money. So if I were to go to a university and say, study my science, and let me convince you that this is the right way to go and turn your back on that big agriculture, they’re never going to do it.

MARTIN: Of course not because the president of the university and the teaching staff, and half of the tuition is salted by this influence. Right?

MICHAEL: The endowments, the you know, who’s paying for that football program? And…

MARTIN: So, but here’s the funny part. We all are going to go hungry because of that.

MICHAEL: Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.

MARTIN: So we are going to be without water, right? Like we already are watching the entire Colorado River basin going practically to nothing. Like the way I saw it is the farmland prices are dropping dramatically, right?

MICHAEL: Yeah. The Colorado River, the Rio Grande, which flows through New Mexico and provides water to Texas and Mexico. It’s compromised. They were over adjudicated in the first place, when they did the compacts, to divide up how much water is Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, and New Mexico going to get out of that rinky dink little river. They overestimated the capacity of that river. By a lot.

MARTIN: Well, like by factor of three. Yeah?

MICHAEL: Yes. And so they, now that we’ve seen this prolonged drought in the Colorado Rockies, we’re beginning to see the problem is going to be a serious problem. And the Colorado River can simply never has been able to meet the total adjudication of that river. They’ve never met it, but now there’s certainly not going to meet it. And the Rio Grande, same problem, the major reservoir of the Rio Grande that provides the water to Mexico and Texas is Elephant Butte Reservoir located in the center of New Mexico. And that poor thing is a puddle. It’s sitting at 5% of its capacity.

MARTIN: Oh my God.

MICHAEL: I may never live long enough to see it full again.

MARTIN: Right. Yeah. And then I of course, I get reminded of Central Valley in California, which has been pumping water from the aquifer and have seen soil subsidence of 20, 30 feet in places. Right. Which is, once you collapse it, the aquifer will not ever refill because it’s collapsed. Right?

MICHAEL: That’s right. Yeah. It’s a serious problem. And uh..

MARTIN: So we’re looking down at going hungry soon, what’s your timeline on that?

MICHAEL: Well, we’ve already lost approximately 60 million acres of agricultural land in the United States, since the middle 1950’s.

MARTIN: And 60 million…

MICHAEL: Well, the entire state of California, which is the largest agriculture state in the United States, has 27 million acres of agriculture.

MARTIN: So we’ve lost two Californias.

MICHAEL: We’ve lost two Californias in my lifetime.


MICHAEL: And so I think we’re going to see some some major problems in our ability to provide quality nutrition. Well, we’re not providing quality nutrition now anyway.

MARTIN: That ship has sailed already.

MICHAEL: That ship has sailed. And now it’s just going to get really really bad.

MARTIN: So I want to come back, circle back to this food security for, you know, our business is called Life Enthusiast. We try to tell people that supplementation is no longer optional. But now it’s time to start thinking, well what am I going to eat really? Because the only thing that’s going to be left is calories. Right. The wheat, soy, corn, potato, those will still be available.


MARTIN: But the water hungry crops like almonds are going away. Right?

MICHAEL: Well, this is why you have to encourage your audience, and I have to encourage my audience that we cannot depend on the grocery store for our food. We need to begin growing our own food in our own yard, grow as much of it as you can. Because only then can you control the quality of that food. So that’s going to become an essential part of our life.

MARTIN: Yeah, we have the climate shift happening. There’s, I mean, poor northern Mexico is already in serious trouble with water. The rest we just mentioned, it’s in trouble with water. I don’t know how many years we have before significant food shifts, shortages start happening. Right?

MICHAEL: Yeah. It’s happening. It’s happening already. We’re starving to death. Our generation, I just buried an aunt yesterday who lived to 96, and her husband lived to 100. And my generation, her nephew, I’m her nephew, my brothers and sisters people of my generation, your generation, the baby boomers are probably not going to live as long as our parents.

MARTIN: Yeah. Because the nutrition’s just not as good.

MICHAEL: That’s right. And our children are probably not going to live as long as us, same problem.

MARTIN: Unless they change their ways.

MICHAEL: Unless they change their way. And so this is why I made a decision way back in early 1980s to change my career away from that company that is working with corporations trying to get their employees healthy. I changed my focus away from that and moved over to the bigger picture, which is soil health. You know, I have to work on giving an opportunity to farmers to fix the problem and provide them with good science. Good inputs, that are going to fix that problem. And that’s why Soil Secrets exist.

MARTIN: Mhmm. So the money that’s normally sent over to fertilizer or herbicide or pesticide or heavy machinery, because you need a bigger, stronger tractor because your soil’s so compacted, you can’t pull it with your 25 horsepower anymore. Right?

MICHAEL: That’s right.

MARTIN: All that money can be put back in the soil, just like you described one and a half times the yield and quarter the expense.

MICHAEL: That’s right.


MICHAEL: Yeah. We can do it. We just have to be able to.. if you don’t know that a certain product exists, then you don’t have the opportunity to buy it.


MICHAEL: Right. So you need to know that that substance, that product, that material, that service or whatever, you got to know that it exists. And that requires marketing.

MARTIN: And here we are, this is a really interesting point where the media itself, you know the television channels, newspapers, Google, Facebook, the major ones, they all have been bought by the large corporations. And the same corporations that are promoting this death by chemistry are owning the medium. And so we are all stuck talking to one another here, trying to convince each other and the listeners as they come one at a time.


MARTIN: That they need to start thinking about their individual responsibility. And my own little pulpit is please people, remember that where you are voting with your wallet is really important. Because money is like oxygen in the economy. So wherever you put your money is, that’s what will expand. So if you push your money into chemical stuff, it will expand until it’ll collapse because it’s a death industry, not a life industry.


MARTIN: I dunno, how would you say it?

MICHAEL: I would say it the same way.

MARTIN: All right.

MICHAEL: You know, I’m on the same page as you are.


MICHAEL: So we just have to use the platforms that are still available to us to be able to spread the message.

MARTIN: Yeah, and dust off the old grandmother recipes and the ways of before the industrial revolution took off like a mad horse. I have the same situation in the nutritional supplement ways where we are trying to get the message across, and we’re hampered every step where we go because of the economic pressures that I just mentioned. But you the listener would want to realize nutritional density supports life. You can either supplement it or create it.

MICHAEL: Yes. Right. But yeah, there’s no getting around it.

MARTIN: Yep., go there.

MICHAEL: and visit us and contact us if you have questions, we’re very reachable. Been doing this a long time, longer than anyone else that I know of.

MARTIN: Yeah. The Victory Garden concept is going to be back, with vengeance. <laugh>

MICHAEL: Yeah. I hope so. I’m about 20 miles south of the city of Albuquerque City. Albuquerque’s a city roughly of 700,000 people. And there’s a lot of independent single dwelling homes or single unit homes in Albuquerque. And I imagine everybody having a garden, everybody. Can you imagine how much food we can produce if everyone had a garden?

MARTIN: Yeah. If every house had a quarter acre of productive soil. Yeah.

MICHAEL: Anybody who’s ever grown a tomato plant discovers that they have more tomatoes than they can eat. And they’re giving tomatoes away to their friends and neighbors off of a single plant. So let’s just grow an entire cornucopia of food.

MARTIN: Yeah. The biggest challenge I have is the time.

MICHAEL: Well yeah.

MARTIN: Yeah. Everything comes ripe at the same time. Like right now, for example in my area, there’s such abundance of fruit, you can’t possibly cope with it.

MICHAEL: You have to buy a dehydrator

MARTIN: I guess.

MICHAEL: So you have to do dehydration of your fruit. You have to can it. You have to get back to where we were a hundred years ago, or 200 years ago. It’s work. But you know, I go to the grocery store and I grab a single cart and go through and I pick up my essentials. The cart’s not even full, and I have a $300 bill.

MARTIN: Right.

MICHAEL: $300. I’m a single person, and I’m not feeding my children anymore, they’re grown. They’re adults and off on their own, and yet I have $300. And I’ll probably go back another three times a month at least.


MICHAEL: And so I’m looking at 900 to $1,200 a month in just essential groceries. Can you imagine a family, maybe the mother and a father are school teachers, and they’ve got three children. What kind of a grocery bill they have?

MARTIN: I know. I watch it.

MICHAEL: And now, you look at the cost of even driving to the grocery store. <Laugh> You know?

MARTIN: Yeah, that. Alright. I think we’ve made our point.

MICHAEL: Yeah. We made our point. So we got to simplify our lives.

MARTIN: Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. Slow down Work a little less out there, and work a little more in here. Yes. <affirmative> And creating your own security.

MICHAEL: That’s right.

MARTIN: It is a good thing.

MICHAEL: That’s right.

MARTIN: All right. And you can grow it even in pots on the balcony and, and you can create soil beds on top of a building. It’s possible. It’s doable.

MICHAEL: I have many customers that do it that way, they don’t have a yard. They live in a townhouse, but they do have a patio and they do it in containers. So yeah, it’s exciting.

MARTIN: Alright. Michael Melendez

MICHAEL: Thank you, Martin.

MARTIN: This is Life Enthusiast. Martin Pytela here, call me at (866)543-3388.

MICHAEL: Let’s do it again.

MARTIN: Thank you.


Author: Life Enthusiast
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