Effective Microorganisms - Invisible Microhelps

Effective microorganisms

White beer, sauerkraut, cheese, salami and buttermilk. In these foods, little, invisible helpers have done a great job to feed us. Selected lactic acid and acetic acid bacteria, yeasts and molds not only make many foods more durable, they also enhance their taste.
The upgrading of food by fermentation is only one of many jobs of microorganisms. Her vocation is the maintenance of life on our planet. In short, there is no life without microorganisms.

After the death of animals, humans and plants, microorganisms begin to decompose the organic matter. Usefully used by human hands, they provide service in sewage and composting plants according to this principle.
And even in our body, bacteria and the like work around the clock. Among other things, it is important to keep the digestion going and to fight intruders on mucous membranes. Because there are not only those who mean well with us.

Effective microorganisms: concept from Japan

The idea to "domesticate" such invisible helpers and use them purposefully is not entirely new. But previous preparations were always limited to individual applications. A comprehensive, almost universally applicable cocktail of microorganisms developed for the first time in the 80 years some Japanese companies.
Coincidentally, these discovered the growth-promoting and healing effects of high-concentration microorganisms in melons. Subsequent experiments showed that certain mixtures of these organisms specifically cause a healthy, fertile environment in the soil. On the one hand, they can positively influence plant growth, on the other hand ward off pathogens and putrefaction.

Microorganisms in use

Such a mix consists of around 80 different types of microorganisms that occur in nature. Predominantly there are lactic acid and photosynthesis bacteria as well as yeasts. From this, a concept was developed, which is now increasingly known under the name "Effective Microorganisms" (EM). Several manufacturers today produce a large number of effective microorganism products of varying quality.
The concentrated microorganisms do not act like conventional fertilizers or pesticides, they are only to be understood as a trailblazer. "They steer the environment in one direction so that fermentation of organic material can take place as well as possible," explains Lukas Hader, head of the company Multikraft, an Upper Austrian Effective Microorganism Producer.
In fruit and arable farming, this means: "beneficial animals, such as earthworms, can then do their job optimally". As with salami or cheese, fermentation is also a positive process in the wild, releasing substances such as amino acids or vitamins. The bottom line is that it means less use of fertilizer and pesticides for the farmer.

Effective Microorganisms: Versatile Application

EM products are available for a wide variety of applications. They are very popular in fruit and vegetable cultivation, both in agriculture, but also in the private garden, as eco-cleaning products and organic certified natural cosmetics - the latter incidentally from the domestic company Multikraft developed. In pools, biotopes and fish farms, Effective Microorganisms help improve water quality and reduce digested sludge.
In the household, Effective Microorganisms are used, among other things, for the rapid composting of kitchen waste and the reduction of bad odors in organic waste containers. The spectrum is enormous.
At the flood in Thailand 2011, effective microorganism preparations were used to disinfect contaminated water. There are also reports from people who drink EM and thus allegedly live healthier lives.
In a nutshell, Effective Microorganisms can be regenerative, boost vitality and health, and prevent degenerative processes and diseases wherever they are used.


But what are Effective Microorganisms? Effective microorganisms - also called EM - are a special blend of microorganisms that support regenerative processes and suppress rot processes. This blend was developed about 30 years ago on Okinawa (Japan).

The most important microorganisms in Effective Microorganisms are lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and photosynthetic bacteria. All microorganisms are collected on site in nature and specially bred - GMO-free.

Effective microorganisms can be used in all areas of life in which organic materials are processed or improved, eg in the home and garden, in biotopes and bathing ponds, in fish farming, in livestock (eg calves) and in agriculture, in manure pits, in Waste plants, composting sites, sewage treatment plants and sewage sludge landfills, industry, etc. - the functions of effective microorganisms are manifold. Further areas of use are natural cosmetics, household products, etc.

Polarizing "miracle cure"

Effective microorganisms are still a very controversial topic. There are ardent supporters, but naturally also critics. The reasons for this are - as is the case with many innovations - that their effects can only be scientifically proven to a limited extent and that research in this area is still little interested. “The products work as a whole. You cannot look at individual parameters in isolation, ”Hader points out. “Even if the positive effect is obvious, there is still a lack of XNUMX% verifiability.” Although numerous studies have now existed, Effective Microorganisms are still ranked as a polarizing “wonder drug”. And: So far, the scientific focus has been on fruit and agriculture. EM is viewed critically by a study from Switzerland - even if a generally positive effect due to effective microorganisms is not refuted. But the Swiss have to put up with criticism themselves: They do not allow themselves to be looked at in their raw data.

Another study commissioned by the manufacturer was carried out at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna.
In a three-year field trial on apple trees, the scientists found that infestation by the disease apple scab was significantly reduced by the treatment of trees. Similarly, the fertilized and sprayed with EM trees showed a larger trunk cross-section and larger fruits. Andreas Spornberger, Boku Professor of Viticulture and Fruit Growing, and co-author of this study, says, "Effective microorganisms invigorate the soil and help the plant to better metabolise nutrients." But he points out, "When the soil of House is healthy, then you will achieve with EM only minor effects. "But 100 percent healthy soils are not there in nature anyway.
Conclusion of the study: Effective microorganisms are suitable where greater growth is beneficial, such as in tree nurseries. A similar study on paradigms revealed higher germination rates and earlier plant emergence through EM use.

Effective microorganisms in the test

For some months now, Option-Redaktion has been testing products related to effective microorganisms - in particular cleaners, horticultural products and natural cosmetics Multikraft, Of course, these products are purely in terms of their user-friendliness and effectiveness on the test bench and can not be scientifically scrutinized. But what matters is the effect anyway.

The option editors are especially enthusiastic about the cleaning agents such as window cleaners. They are in no way inferior to conventional chemical cleaners. And they are also completely environmentally friendly.

The same applies to natural cosmetic products, which, of course, work differently, as do all natural cosmetics in their application - for example, in terms of foaming. This is where the toothpaste from bioemsan was particularly enthralling.

The editors are also testing effective microorganisms in the garden area - especially with regard to pest and disease control on shrubs. Among other things, it is here to combat scrap shot on the leaves of cherry berries. Subjectively, the treatment starts, but the observation period is still too short to report.

Photo / Video: Shutterstock.

Written by Stefan Tesch

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