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Soil Science Society of America
5585 Guilford Road • Madison, WI 53711-5801 • 608-273-8080 • Fax 608-273-2021
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Contact: Susan V. Fisk, Public Relations Director, 608-273-8091,

Soils and the products we use

Most of our food, many everyday objects that we use, depend on soil

September 29, 2015 — In celebration of the International Year of Soil 2015 (IYS), the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout the year to educate the public about the importance of soil.  October’s theme is “Soils and the Products We Use.”

Here are some facts about soils and products we use:

  • Some growers and restaurants have started a movement, called Farm to Table, to help educate the public about the importance of soils—and farms—to our nutrition. This helps reconnect society to the source of their food.
  • The clay used in making pottery is a type of soil. Clay is a soil composed of very small particles. It’s very sticky, and holds together very well. That makes it a great material for producing plates, urns and building materials.
  • Adobe is a type of building material used for houses in many areas. It is made of clay, mixed with other organic materials, sometimes even sand, another type of soil. Adobe homes were very common among the early settlers to the United States, as well as Native Americans.
  • Mud or clay masks have been used for many centuries to detoxify, deeply cleanse, and soothe skin. These therapeutic types of treatments are still given in modern spas, including hot spring soaks and mud baths.

As part of their celebration of IYS, SSSA developed a series of twelve 2-minute educational videos. October’s “Soils and the Products We Use” video can be viewed at Educational materials can be viewed at by clicking on the October tab.

Follow SSSA on Facebook at, Twitter at SSSA Soils.  SSSA also has a blog, Soils Matter, at  Additional soils information is on, for teachers at, and for students through 12th grade,

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

SSSA supports its members by providing quality research-based publications, educational programs, certifications, and science policy initiatives via a Washington, DC, office. Founded in 1936, SSSA proudly celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2011. For more information, visit or follow @SSSA_soils on Twitter.