Tom is a founder and Executive Director of the Food & Environment Reporting Network and a Contributing Writer at Grist covering food and agricultural policy. He is on record as believing that wrecking the planet is a bad idea. Follow him on Twitter.

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How to Get High on Soil - Pagan Kennedy - Health - The Atlantic

Well, that’s interesting.

I’m holding a bowl of dirt up to my nose, in hopes of getting high on the fumes of my backyard compost pile. The microbe that I’m after today is M. vaccae, a living creature that acts like a mind-altering drug once it enters the human body. It has been shown to boost the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine circulating in the systems of both humans and mice. In other words, it works in much the same manner as antidepressant pills. And yes, it is possible to dose yourself by simply breathing in the smell of good dirt.