In line with his moniker, Dr. Earth has not only desired to produce a line of products for health-conscious individuals, he also seeks to make lasting changes for future generations. Milo Shammas has exhibited an ongoing concern with industry practices that are not only archaic but also harmful, unsustainable, and wide-spread.

Although home growing food gives the consumer the biggest capacity of control, it’s not realistic for everyone to become a gardener due to time, space, and location constraints. However, anyone interested in maximizing their health, well-being, and longevity should be concerned as to where their food comes from and how it is grown.

As the food industry has scaled, technology has enabled numerous shortcuts to be deployed, streamlining the production processes, increasing crop yields, and expediting distribution. However, much of this comes at a cost – many of the business and agricultural practices that have become mainstream can do lasting damage to the soil, produce excess amounts of waste, and contribute to an ever-growing carbon footprint.

Out of the tens of thousands of chemicals used in the agricultural industry each year, only a few hundred are tested for safety. A good example of this is the pesticide DDT, which was banned in the United States in 1972—but only after considerable damage had already been done. DDT is still produced and exported for use in foreign agriculture. This is just one of the many extremely negative farming and business practices that could be avoided. Milo has voiced the fact that most consumers are completely unaware of the industry’s downfalls, and are also subject to misleading labeling, ambiguous certifications, and confusing price differentials.

Time and time again, Dr. Earth has encouraged consumers to ‘vote with their dollar’, meaning choosing to spend their money to directly support companies who value transparency and have the right intentions. By nature, this approach makes the industry—and the world—a better place. Even business is subject to the Darwinian model, only the best survive – and as consumers, we can choose to support those that we believe have the best quality product, along with largest positive impact on the market—and our environment as a whole.

This is why Dr. Earth believes that ‘organic’ should no longer be a niche. Organic should be everyday, it should be a basic standard for farming. However, it is up to the consumers to create the demand for this industry reform. If this were to happen, organic practices could be standardized and celebrated as becoming mainstream, not the exception to the rule. The result of this movement could actually lower the prices of organic foods, as it would force industry practices in the right direction, should the customers demand it.

Fair trade practices follow the same ideas. If the average consumer was aware of how fair trade practices stop exploitation and positively affect the market and the quality of life for those engaged in it, they’d insist on it to become a reasonable expectation for the industry.

Milo Shammas believes commodifying these terms beyond buzzwords is absolutely necessary. We live in a world where the gift of easily available information is everywhere, and consumers want to educate themselves, provided there is enough transparency available from the producers. He believes we can all make a real change if consumers are empowered to make better, more educated decisions about how to spend their dollar.

The educated consumer should be able to recognize brands that want to create a legacy, one that will compel the industry to continue to innovate. Those unethical companies only interested in the bottom line—sometimes at the expense of the environment and humanity’s livelihood—should be avoided to support those who value true ideals that support our planet and the life that exists on it.

“Organic growing follows nature’s perfection and beauty. While people are clever and inventive, Mother Nature outwits us with her experience and perfection. I love life and seek to work within the guidelines nature has provided. In trying to push nature to its limits, more is not necessarily better. I want organic farms and my garden to promote human and animal health by producing nutrient rich foods while doing no harm.

I advocate leaving our food pure and simple as the most important choice we make several times a day. Avoid additives such as preservatives and colorings. Food processors use tons of synthesized chemicals to fabricate the taste and appearance of what we eat. Read the label, buy from a trusted source, or grow it yourself!”

Whether you eat produce that is commercially grown organic or homegrown, you can better support environmental conservation if you understand which practices create and maintain soil health and fertility. Feeding the soil feeds everything that comes out of it: plants, animals, and ultimately—humans. Organic gardening is all about creating and maintaining the natural circle of life existing between growing plants, soil and living organisms. By applying nutrient packed organic matter (compost, organic fertilizers, soil amendments and seaweeds) and eliminating synthetic chemicals, you enable microorganisms to do what they do best: break down organic matter to enrich the soil that surrounds the roots of our food plants.

The heart of organic practice is feeding the soil without using artificial fertilizers or pesticides. It is also the first step in preventing the loss of microbes and minerals, crop contamination and water pollution. We can grow plants that are highly resistant to diseases and pests without using modern chemical treatments. While organic control is more labor-intensive, the long-term health of the environment and people is worth it.