Dr. Isaac Zama – Amba Farmer’s Voice Part 3

To conclude the illustrious interview with Dr. Isaac Zama we begin our talk about “Humanure” and we receive our challenge for 2022!

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Thank you for listening to


Transcript (automated)

Dr. Isaac Zama 1:53:16
What is one question I wish asked me that could would I eat something that came out of poop?

MO 1:53:35
Okay, would you eat something that came out of poop?

Dr. Isaac Zama 1:53:38
Absolutely. Because you know what? Poop is very, very organic. Absolutely. Because poop comes from the human body. Except it is mixed with external organisms. That is when it becomes dangerous. But just coming out from you is not dangerous. I’ll give an example. When we’re growing up, when you go to the farm, and you’re bitten by a snake, your mom or your dad, they will force you, you pee. And do you drink that pee right there. And as soon as you drink that pee in neutralizes the venom of the snake. Yes, oh yes. Wow. Your mom though. I don’t know what to but you pee don’t mix up. mothers know how to do that.

Yeah, yeah. They will make you to pee and or force you or you drink it and in utilizes the venom in the snake. I really don’t know whether it is all kinds of snake, or all kinds of venom for that, I don’t know. But, you know, for those of us who grew up where I grew up, that was a common practice, it was passed down from generation to generation. So if you go to the farm and you’re bitten by a snake, the first thing that you will do is, you know, make up and, you know, you know, you’re an endo dog give you the pee, or you drink that before, before they’re trying to take you back home, you know, to either give you a secondary treatment or ticket ticket to the clinic or to the hospital. So that was the first aid. So, you know, asking me if, you know, what was question that you wish that I, they asked me, I think that maybe something about the valorization of our indigenous knowledge, Oh, hmm. That, that that can, you know, help us even within the domain of agriculture, or just, you know, us as humans living. So, you know, the, some of the some of the things that we as humans we, we, we produce, by by police, I mean, things like urine, things like poop, those are very, very useful in, in agriculture, especially, in, you know, in trying to improve upon soil. You know, I don’t know, when you went to Puerto Rico, I don’t know how Puerto Rico is. But if you if today, you go to Sierra Leone, you go to Liberia, you go to Nigeria, to Ghana, maybe in a row, you know, in rural areas, and you go to a bar, where people drink you know, the way bars are set up, you know, you go to the bar, you buy your drink and behind the bar, you know, you just go there and pee, you know, you you know up on top. So, if you look where people pee, you would see that the grass where people pee is green 365 days a year. So, what does that mean scientifically, it means that the pee that we pee is organic, that is why the grass that is very green, transpose it to now to your to your farm, all the kill, all the things that you grow are always very green. Why?

MO 1:58:25
Because they’re being fertilized.

Dr. Isaac Zama 1:58:27
So, so it’s the same thing about you know, the urine that is you know, that people pee on on that grass there and that grass is very green, which means that the pea contents phosphorus contains nitrogen and contains what was was a chemical I forgot it. Yeah potassium. So, P from a human being concern, I mean, has those three elements potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, that is what chemical fertilizer NPK NPK is that we buy from store that is what they contain, it is just that those are money, but that from P is natural. So, you know, if you look at, if you watch nature, you can see that some of the things which we despise, or which we throw away or which we don’t like, essentially, the things that we need to, you know, to, you know, to survive or to come into this symbiotic relationship between us and an earth and you know, what we eat

MO 1:59:58
I need to make this into a an entire episode or a series of episodes, but for the talk that I gave at the blink sustainability summit this year, I talked about how the entirety of Korean Natural Farming as this whole agricultural discipline came out of the observation of how they traditionally did agriculture in or how, how one guy’s grandfather did it, meaning at the end of the year, whoa, so sorry, they make kimchi, right, traditional food, and then they tossed the kimchi broth, out into this out into the garden and all that fermented, you know, the fermented cabbage that makes it kimchi, that stuff there would grow very well, right. But another thing that they used to do was because they didn’t have outhouses, or whatever, they just had pots, where they would collect all of the night soil or our our poop. And at the end of the, at the end of a given timeframe that would put that out into the, into, into the stuff in and have it grow. And so then, so that was the grandfather doing that, then the father said, what if I combine the kimchi juice with the manure? Right. And that was, that was the beginning of that particular thing. And then the grandson young thing showed develop this and he replaced the manure with sugar, brown sugar, especially, um, and it took off from there. And it’s this thing that everybody, you know, especially in the West, so many people do this sort of thing, just from that one observation, you know, um, but I think, um, when one of the things that like we were talking about, as it relates to John V’s future fertility, and the, the calculations that, that are provided, I did an episode on that in the past, I think I’m pretty sure I did. But, uh, but that’s because, for example, one of one of I can’t remember if it’s total or benign, but one of their, I think it’s togo has a whole lot of rock phosphates. And that’s one of their primary exports, which is, you know, I mean, it, whatever, that’s a lot, because that is one of the resources that is that we need to roll these plans, and it is an ever shrinking capacities everywhere else except for. And, obviously, we can’t completely just use our stuff, because we have to get the food that we eat from somewhere, right? Right. But it is an aspect of being able to recycle that stuff that eventually would just go into the wastewater treatment facility right here in the United States, or in other developed parts of the world. But it is a very interesting thing to have, you know, to, you know, looking at this resource that you have, I don’t know how many times people say you go use the bathroom, eight times a day, you know, the 30 milliliters or whatever, that you may, you know, put into the toilet that’ll add up considerably, you know, that’s 500 milliliters at the end of the day, and it only takes in a gallon is what 3.7785 liters. So it’ll take not that long to fill that up and five days, six days, you’ll

you’ll, you know,

you’ll you’ll fill that stuff up very quickly. may not, I’m not really all that together with math. But um, but like you said, the urea is something especially a lot of farmers in the Midwest are struggling right now, because urea prices have shot through the roof. And

urea is in urine

Dr. Isaac Zama 2:04:17
nature has given it to us

MO 2:04:19
free. Right. Right. And, and, and like you talked about, and I’ll and I’ll put this video in the in the, in the show notes, what I was listening to, oops, I don’t want to make sure I play it. But you have a two part video series here, how to make your own organic fertilizer with urine parts one and two. And it’s a hour and a half of excellent information for people to just utilize that because once you have immune and just like with anything once you apply a new technique and have success with that technique, you’re going to keep going further with that right Being able to collect the wastes, or the resources of your entire household was a way to really improve that I mean, you know, tested yourself,

you know, on a small plot, you know, on a on, you know, like, I have to say this, obviously, I have to do all this stuff at night because I don’t want my neighbors seeing me use the bathroom all the time. But,

you know, I have one of the things because we have like these magnolia trees in our backyard, I want to be very fragrant, I want to smell, you know, the magnolia tree, how do I do that? Through fertilization? Yep. And,

Dr. Isaac Zama 2:05:42
you know, I’m going to give it small example, but you know, I do it personally, oh, um, you know, I have a bottle in my car, when I’m going to work, you know, if I, if I need to pee, I just pull up, pull up on, you know, a sort of a pee in the bottle, I close it, and, and I’ll put my car and I drive I drive back to work. And that, you know, when I come back home, I have, you know, this two liter gallon of juice, juice bottle, you know, you go to Walmart, or you buy juice. And so, you know, when you drink the juice, when I come home from work, I pour the pee in it, and I close it, and I put it on the stair, you know, another stairway behind, you know, you know, behind my apartment. And, you know, during harvesting season, you know, I can I can I can store that for six months, it will still be good to use as long as, you know, oxygen or air doesn’t get into it. Because, you know, if it you know, if you don’t close it? Well, the the urea would evaporate. Now what do you have who does water and salt because that’s what urine urine contains because then salt and, and water and, and then all the other trace elements like potassium, urea and nitrogen and potassium. So, you know, during the, during, during the summer, you know, I use you know, my own urine and mix it 5050 I take a liter of water or take a liter of urine, I mix it and I pour it on my tomatoes on my you know, my cocoa yam leaves on my, my garlic or whatever I want to grow. And, and, you know, it does extremely well, extremely well. It is extremely, extremely safe, you know, to use it. You know, I did remember once when I was giving a talk somewhere. And you know, some people were asking me, What if somebody has syphilis, or has you know, gonorrhea and you know, they you know, the collect their urine, and they have to use it in agriculture. You know, the answer to that is very simple. every living organism needs oxygen to grow, or to stay alive, otherwise they’ll die. So, if you collect the urine, and you put it in, in a juice gallon, you know, I’m talking about for enough for people who have smaller partners that don’t have learned to, you know, buy huge containers and collect the right. If you have your tool to gallon of, you know, juice, orange juice, and you pour your inside, once to close it really tight. After two weeks, any living organism whether it was syphilis, or was gonorrhea, or whatever, will die. Right? And so then it becomes safe to use it. You know, the next question would be What if I use it? When do I stop using it you wouldn’t have if you didn’t care, for example, if you know that you’re going to have a shoe kill, you know, next week, stop using it one week before one or two weeks before, you know you’re going to have this then or you know if if if there was any chance of any part of the pathogen in it. It would have killed it. If it was in if it’s in the summer. Once the rain falls on whatever you’re growing as soon as you’re growing outside. One of the rain falls on it, whatever it washes away in if pathogens that under plant and it will become safe to eat. If you harvest your kale, and you boil it, or if if you want to, you know, solo dry it, the temperatures in the solar dress are extremely, very high.

So, if your kale or your Apple or whatever, you’re sort of dry, it had any pathogen, you know, the temperatures in it will kill it. And so it becomes safe to eat. So, you know, using, you know, collecting and using urine, you know, at a small scale, it’s very safe. Even for people, you know, the more established farmers who have two hectares or three hectares or five acres of land, you know, assuming you have three people live in your house, you serve your wife and your kid or, you know, if just if they’re just two of you, you know, you can collect that urine for one year. And you’re, you wouldn’t believe how much you collect. Especially if if you are disciplined, this being collecting it in the sense that because you know, you drive long distances, you don’t want to go waste the urine, when you when you when you when you get to the stop where you know, you know, when you get to the stop, or the color sets and stop. Yeah, the rest of the rest stop, because when you stop at the rest stop, you go to the toilet, you know, you’re wasting it. So how about you have, you know, your juice gallon in your car, your you know, your peanut closing, you put in the back of your, you know, put it back in the car you drive off, you know, you are actually saving money and getting organic fertilizer, right? Because urine is organic fertilizer. And if I may add, you know, for people who may who may think we are crazy, we absolutely not. You know, there are lots of risk of universities University of Michigan in Ann Arbor did a wonderful research on the use of urine as organic fertilizer. And their farmers from the in the Midwest, who are actually growing crops and selling these crops that not only growing for themselves. They’re growing it and selling. So using urine as well as there is there is the National Science Foundation, which is a top top US government research funder that has you know, provided funds for organizations to do research on the use of organic fertilizer, I mean, you using urine as organic fertilizer you know, if I want to be silica what I may say here is that one of the reasons why urine has not picked up as a resource for farmers to use particularly here in the US is because of the fertilizer lobby, no doubt because you know, they make money out of making chemical fertilizer, they will definitely will not want the knowledge of getting free urine and using it as fertilizer because it’s going to kill your business. Right. So you know, people can do the research on their own, you know, you and I don’t have to convince everybody because the information is out there. But you know, we are speaking from personal experience, you know, personally, I’ve been eating vegetables that are for less with urine and I’m not dead so so, you know, I’m going to suggest that you we know we are going to do a follow up podcast, okay. After next summer, okay, after you must have collected your own urine. And you know, fertilize, you know, a bed of kale or cabbage or whatever. And then you eat it and then we’ll come back and do a follow up interview.

MO 2:14:53
Okay. All right. I will do that you know I am. Now what I will have to say is that What I will do, I’m gonna have to do it a little bit differently, right, because here at our house, I can’t grow anything edible, because of these deer that are out here. But what I will grow, I am planning to grow some, like ornamental flowers. So my test will be, you know, putting them in the same soil, right, and I’ll try and do it with however many I have. If I think I have like six plants, so I have six, I’ll do three and three grand. So I’ll do three plants in the normal soil that I’ll treat the normal way. And then I’ll have three plants with a normal soil with my urine collected urine, and then I’ll see I’ll do my very, very subjective smell test to see which ones are more fragrant. But then it also should show up in a number of blooms, like the bloom life height, the resilience to nature, and all that and all those different things. So that’ll be something that uh, that that will be my test. Yeah. Yep. Very nice. Yeah, I just while you were talking, I pulled it up $3 million, awarded to the Regents of the University of Michigan for from the NSF for the advancing technologies and improving communication of urine derived fertilizers for food production within a risk based framework. That’s right. 3 million dollars. That’s right. For that, for that experiment. And they just published last year, that was that award was given in 2016. Last year, University of Michigan published and courtesy of Science Daily, the headline is urine fertilizer colon aging effectively protects against transfer of antibiotic resistance. Recycled in age, human urine can be used as a fertilizer with low risks of transferring and antibiotic resistant DNA to the environment, according to new research. Yep. So yeah, I mean, uh, my wife and I have talked about this a lot about, especially within utilizing, I mean, that’s another thing that I’m really excited about is biogas. Alright, and an anaerobic fermentation, digestion and stuff. Right. Um, and there’s this one company, um, I don’t remember the name of the company, but they sell like a digester. And then they sell a toilet for the digester. And, and it will, you know, and you can hook it up to your, whatever graywater system, but it’ll immediately transfer it in just one, you know, with the flesh directly into the digester. And as you put that in there, fertilizer comes out, you know, right. Um, and, because, like you said, and especially, you know, a lot of people worried about streptococcus staphylococcus in tear intero, disease, whatever, whatever. Um, but it is the case, preventing oxygen from entering into the system will prevent them from being able to live. Yeah. And so in that way, you know, fermentation or fermentation and or anaerobic digestion is the way to be able to really extract even more of the nutrients especially out of our, our, our manure, especially if you are eating a lot of plants anyway, there’s going to be a lot of cellulose in there that you can’t do anything with. And, and then that anaerobic digestion will further break those bonds on those of those cellulose fibers, and other starches, and really give that you know, bring those carbon carbohydrates, either into methane gas, or into other smaller peptides and stuff like that for your plants. And so I will definitely be able to do the urine test, no problem just got to get some more buckets, um, to be able to, to to collect everything. So, I will definitely, I’ll definitely do that. And, and then yeah, I guess in the wintertime, we’ll excuse of everything and keeping everybody together. For that, I’m excited. I’m excited for

Dr. Isaac Zama 2:19:36
that. Yeah, I’m excited to you know, this, you know, this podcast is taking, you know, an exciting turn. Things that I’m really really excited about, you know, letting people know that you know, these are simple things that we can do you know, to stay healthy all the illnesses that, that we have, in large part due to the things that we eat. And chemical fertilizers are not good for the health, you know, for, you know, not good. You know, in growing food, or the chemical fertilizers, very bad for health, you know, that is proven scientifically, it’s not me we say. So, you know, if we can, if, if there’s, if there’s a way of reducing the amount, or the amount of food that we eat that is grown with chemical fertilizer, I think we should definitely as a people consider it. Absolutely.

MO 2:20:47
And I mean, especially with the increased amount of autoimmune diseases, that people are getting a lot of that stuff, when your immune system is gone haywire. A lot of that stuff can be fixed with the, with increasing the how do I say it organic foods? Well, yeah, absolutely. And I mean, just you having a better understanding of where your food is coming from this kind of kind of what I was trying to say, like, I mean, if you, a lot of people say a lot of different things, and ultimately, I think it’s knowing where your food is coming from, right. Because, um, because just because you buy, just because you buy organic vegetables at the grocery store doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the healthiest vegetables that you can get, you know, and sometime it will so, so there’s that, but ultimately, like with you said, with the exciting turn, talking about using our waste and stuff like that, we talked about it earlier, that it is a mindset shift that has to occur in the individual and or individuals, you know, I am extremely fortunate that I do not have to convince my wife to collect my urine haha

Dr. Isaac Zama 2:22:09
know, you can you can use her’s too!

MO 2:22:11
I will be we will be absolutely

it, but it is going to be something different to not automatically go to the toilet, that’s going to be the larger mindset shift, you know. But, uh, but I know that for some people, they may not be as fortunate as I am, and may have to operate in secret. And for those people, you just have to prove it, once you prove it, and say I didn’t spend any money on growing these things. How did you not spend any money? Well, let me show you. Yeah, what is one question others should ask you before working with plants and the soil?

Dr. Isaac Zama 2:22:56
Um, one question asked me for working, you know, believing what you’re doing. Trust that, you know, this, what you’re going to, you know, to plant is going to grow. There is no secret in growing anything. You don’t have to go to Harvard to be able to grow anything. You know, it is just an interest. And because we are in a society where people have gone to school, you know, just read up as much as you can, in what you want to, to grow. But don’t overdo it. Don’t overthink it, you know, everything has to this eye has to darkness is this to see and know. You know, just get if you happen to live in a city where when a county has a county garden, where they collect all the you know what chips and leaves that the grind them and go dump them someplace. And most things rot. If you’re in that kind of an environment, go you know, in the spring and collect some of that, you know, you know, if you have a space in your backyard, you know, you can start a small garden if you don’t have the space, put it in one or two buckets or even get a flower pot for people who live in an apartment where you know, they kind of put a bucket or something like that, get a small flower pot, get some of that soil and put it inside and you know, plant something that a bean see whatever seed you like, you know, you know just make sure that it is a seed that will grow you know, there are stores across the country that sell planting seeds get planting seed and if Want to nurse it, you know, you can nurse it in some of this, you know, small black things that have, you know, holes, I don’t know what to call, you know, a nursery or whatever. Yeah, and knows it knows it inside or just take it and put, you know, and they, you know, flowerpot and just grow it, make sure that you give you give it food. By food, I mean, water is just like, you know, places like anything else, you know, every day, or every two days, make sure you water it, it will grow and, and, and produce. So, you know, what I would say is, don’t overthink about it. Don’t go to facebook and join groups and read and read until you can read anymore, because you want to do it, right? No. You know, just, you know, be interested in whatever I wanted to grow. And, you know, just read a little bit about it, and just do it, and learn, you know, the, you can read a whole textbook, and if you don’t practice it, you will not know it, you know, the, there may be some challenges that you will learn from growing it, you know, the first time that you know, the second time you will correct those mistakes, and then, you know, you become good at it. So, um, you know, that is what I would suggest that, you know, people do

MO 2:26:22
the, like we talked about before, a lot of people think that they can’t grow stuff, because they say they’re too ambitious, when they get started, you know, they they just start they’re like, Okay, I got tomato seeds, a celery seeds, a carrot seeds, I got I got broccoli, I got all these different things, and they try and plant all of these different things at once. And it’s, you know, if I, if somebody asked me, I want to start growing, When should I start growing, I tell them to buy a sweet potato, put on their countertop, and forget about it, when it starts growing is when you then take it outside and put it in the ground. And then when before it gets cold dig them up. And you’ll have too many sweet potatoes, too many sweet potatoes, you know. And after you do that, then you can begin to learn, you know, but it’s it’s a and I’m i It’s been a while since I’ve interviewed somebody. And so when I looked at this question, I was like, hmm, but you restated it in a better way, which is what is the advice that you would give before working with plants in the soil? And that’s, that’s the question that I should have asked. So thank you for

reformatting my question.

And so our last question, Dr. Zama, is if you would like people to how can people contact you?

Dr. Isaac Zama 2:27:53
Well, I would say through you through through your podcast, for those who, you know, who, on Facebook, you know, they can always contact me through Amba farmers voice, and we have a phone number there or WhatsApp number, which is 202 735 1145 It’s there. We’re still working on building a website for Amba Farmer’s voice, which, you know, we have a skeleton out there. The work is still being done, it’s Ambafarmersvoice.org. You know, if people want to see some of the work that we’ve been doing, they can go to YouTube. And, you know, when they can just search for Amba Farmer’s Voice and you know, find out some of the work that we’ve been doing. So, that or by email and by Ambafarmersvoice[at]gmail[dot]com You know, I would definitely definitely be interested in communicating with people who may want to start something in you know, come this spring you know, out, you know, I would love to share my enthusiasm and what I know the little that I know, you know, with people so that, you know, they can start, you know, growing something, you know, for themselves. We absolutely as a people as you know, as you said, people we have to take care of our what we eat, and what we eat starts from you and I sharing this knowledge between you and I and you know, getting ourselves is challenged that by next spring, you have to have tested, you know, done this research. You know, I’d like to invite more of your listeners to join this club. Okay, of research. We are going To do empirical research or non university research, that we absolutely need to, you know, you know, amongst ourselves and you know, to, you know, to get things going, I think I really like this program, because it gives me an opportunity to share some of the things which I had in there and I didn’t have the opportunity to, you know, send it out to people who, who may learn one or two things and so I’m, I’m really thankful that you know, invited me to, to this program

MO 2:30:38
I’m in I’m immeasurably thankful that you’ve joined me on the program and, and that you shared your wisdom, experience. And, and, and, and all this time. I mean, I think we’ve been talking for like two hours or something like that. So, or even more than that.

I mean, we’ve been talking for a long time. I you know, you call me a busy man, I call you a busy man. So two hours for too busy man is a long amount of time and so, and yet it’s flown by.

And so I’m really, really thankful for you, so don’t go anywhere. I’m going to close up the show, stop the recording. But and then we’ll we’ll close out. I just want to again reiterate many, many things to Dr. Isaac Zama for sharing his wisdom and experience. Please visit africulturepodcast.com or jigijigi.org for the full show notes. Share Jigijigi with your friends, family and closely related siblings in the soil. Leave us a five star review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say, Now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa Modupe O. Thank you for listening

Dr. Isaac Zama 2:31:49
and I will add one, okay. Miaka

MO 2:31:53
Miaka. Yeah. Thank you, everybody. Yeah, so

Dr. Isaac Zama 2:32:01
Miyaka is thank you in gamba,

MO 2:32:03
and gamba. Okay, I was gonna ask you to give me some to give me

some gamba. So Miaka awesome.