Get Real Alliance

“Environmental care should be our way of life”
– David Munson Jr

Episode 5. The Riches of Rock Dust

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Munson Intro:

Quite simply, finely ground rock dust from many available sources has a

broad spectrum of minerals and trace elements that are essential for life on

Earth. The lack of minerals in the soil is a real existential threat to man that

far exceeds any threat from CO2 by any order of magnitude. Without


remineralization with rock dust to create a better environment and clean up

our food supply chain, we will not live in a world of abundance. Plants

without adequate nutrition become hosts for disease and insects. Sick

plants attract microbes and various parasitic organisms. Plants that are

unhealthy cannot maximize their potential for carbon sequestration and

serve a unhealthy food continuum towards a negative existence. Unhealthy

plants make for sick animals and people who eat them, both lacking the

nutrients they need. It is all a cycle that needs to be healthy in order to

have healthy outputs, which translates to a better environment and higher

quality of life. We’re in a dark situation with our soils and must take action

now! The future can be full of life with just a little sprinkle of rock dust.

So Let’s Rock & Get Real!

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Did you know the largest desert fuels the lungs of our earth?

That’s right, NASA’s satellite CALYPSO revealed that every year an

enormous amount of dust takes a transAtlantic journey over 1,600 miles

from the Saharan desert to the Amazon Rainforest? 132 million tons of dust

to be precise. Another 43 million tons settles to mineralize the rich marine

life of the Caribbean Sea. An ancient African lakebed in Chad provides

much of the 22,000 tons of phosphorus minerals that annually take this

long trip over the ocean to nourish Amazonian plants and trees. So dust

from the world’s largest desert actually feeds the world's largest rainforest.

Wow, that is a trip!

Now back to David.

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Munson Breakdown:

We are going take a little more time in this episode to break this rock dust

down, because without rock minerals, life cannot exist. Not all rocks are

created equal, though. They vary widely in mineral composition, with many


rocks largely lacking in vital nutrients required for a rich soil and nourished

plant life. Some of the best soils originate from silicate rock, which is deep

within the Earth. Volcanic activity is spewed out as lava hardening at or

near the surface. This process is continuous, constantly establishing new

surface rock from molten rock stores below the crust. Weathering by wind

and water breaks the silicate into small pieces, which microorganisms then

attack, extracting nutrients. These microorganisms leave behind clay

particles so small that they flow like water. Gritless and smooth, clay has a

cation-exchange capacity, meaning it can hold nutrient ions. Organisms

break down the rocks to extract nutrients and make other compounds,

often using CO2 through photosynthesis. In fact, some of the world’s most

fertile soils exist where nature has already broken-down rock matter for the

life forms that feed on it. For example, glaciers that have crushed rock into

powder and where volcanoes have scattered ash and rock particles. For

glacial rock dust, this process began thousands of years ago during the

Last Glacial Maximum, as vast ice sheets at least a half-mile thick cut deep

into the bedrock, erasing what topsoil preceded it. So we can really learn

from the glacial past to help solve the present deficiencies in our soil today.

Earth has an abundance of rocks, but the best type of rock for

remineralizing the earth is basalt. Basalt has a unique, wide array of

nutrients, and it’s shown to deliver significant improvement agriculturally. It

is one of the most common rocks on Earth, but it’s not distributed uniformly

across the Earth. It’s a volcanic rock so there’s an abundance of it in areas

where there’s been volcanic activity. The role magnetism plays in the world

of soil and plants, as in chemistry generally, is important and can be quite

mysterious. Basalt has unusual characteristics, including a property called

paramagnetism, which is having a set of physical characteristics including:

(i) a slight reaction to a magnetic field, and (ii) no permanent magnetism or

independent generation of a magnetic field. Broad-spectrum rock dust with

high paramagnetic qualities, like basalt, builds soil’s ability to sequester

carbon long-term.

It is one treatment that is not in the conventional soil science library, as it is

not a proprietary product that can be sold for a high profit. Compared with

the lush, richer soils of mountainous volcanic islands, islands formed from


limestone have lower soil fertility. Limestone and dolomite can also be

great for our soils, because they contain concentrations of calcium and

magnesium. If the soil is deficient in magnesium, it needs dolomite. For

calcium deficiencies, limestone is the answer. A combination of nutrients in

our rock provides the greatest foundation for Earth’s ecosystem. Measuring

the hydrogen (pH) of soil or water is easy, and for many years, scientists

considered it the most relevant thing to measure in soil. However, William

Albrecht, acclaimed soil scientist, determined that although near-neutral pH

is preferable, it is also important that basic elements are in the right

proportion as well, for optimal soil chemistry. Soil becomes increasingly

acidic as rock nutrients leach out with rainfall. Soil that is either too acidic or

too basic does not allow plants to grow well. As important as biology might

be for healthy soil, chemistry is also key. The so-called cation-exchange

capacity of soil measures the soil’s ability to hold positive nutrient ions such

as calcium and magnesium to clay particles and humus. Albrecht was a

pioneer in determining the ideal amounts of nutrients in the soil, observing

that a mix of about 68 percent calcium ions and 12 percent magnesium

(with lesser amounts of phosphate, potassium, and other) allows for

optimal growth of many types of crops. Sadly, most of the world’s soils are

so demineralized, like in the American Southwest, soils simply don’t have

adequate mineral composition to revive without regenerative intervention.

Soils are part of our planet’s carbon cycle, which limits the amount of CO2

in the air and regulates the climate. The take home here is that CO2 in the

soil reacts with rock dust to form bicarbonate and calcium carbonate.

Bicarbonate is soluble in water and will eventually make its way into the

oceans where it counteracts ocean acidification. Calcium carbonate is a

solid mineral that can store carbon for millions of years. Eighty percent of

all the carbon on Earth is stored in rocks as calcium carbonate. So rock

dust remineralization of soils takes advantage of bio enhancing the most

abundant carbon sink on the planet to passively remove CO2 from the

atmosphere, while also improving soil fertility! Fertility that makes plants

and trees grow taller, with thicker trunks and stems, bigger, more abundant

leaves, and improved nutritional status. There’s so much impact we can

have on our environment with just the right sprinkle of rock dust, which is

why I’m thrilled to introduce you to Joanna Campe, founder of the non-profit


organization Remineralize the Earth. She has devoted her life to the

powerful work these minerals can do and is a co-editor of the go-to book on

rock dust called Geotherapy. Joanna thanks for joining us and for sharing

your passion on rock dust remineralization.

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(Joanna’s bit to be filmed later, approx 2 min)

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