In 1832 Charles Darwin returned from a 5 year worldwide tour and informed the London Royal Society of Geology that soil was not present on Earth until some time after the earthworms had evolved. Over the next 40 years Darwin ran experiments that led him to publish his last book, "Formation of Vegetable Mould, (soil) through the Action of Worms". In this book he made a profound statement, "It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a role in human history as have these lowly organized creatures."
There are over 4,500 species of worms but no worm is more important for Vermistabilization than the Redworm. Commonly employed for vermicomposting, the redworm has a voracious appetitie and the ability to produce offspring resulting in one worm creating up to 8,000 worms over a 6 month period. Redworms are also the most adaptable to changes in their surroundings. Worms eat the microbial matter from any kind of decaying organic (carbon-containing) substances and convert them into soil. This includes microbes produced from decaying kitchen and yard waste, manures derived from horses, cows, pigs, poultry and yes, even human waste that is sent to the 23,000 Wastewater Treatment Facilities throughout America.
Worms ingest three classes of microbial matter: 1.) Microorganisms, their mainstay of nutrients, which includes bacteria, protozoa, mircrofungi, yeast, nematodes, eggs from flies and other invertebrates; 2.) Crystalline Mineral Matter consisting of sand, silt, clay—the bulk matter of soil. 3.) Detritus consisting of small fragments of dead animals and plants. All of these comprise compost. Once ingested, a complex number of actions take place including: digestive enzymes consisting of colemic fluids with anti-bacterial properties destroy all pathogens in the waste biomass; They also devour protozoa, bacteria, and fungi as food and then separate and process these, yielding both absorbable materials used by the earthworm-- carbohydrates, fatty acids and amino acids and un-absorbable active ingredients--fulvic acids, humic acids, and humins which makes up Humus (soil). The worms have a microscopically thin sac that lines the entire surface of the intestine and protects them from the toxins of microbes like salmonella, fecal coliform, enteric viruses, and other harmful pathogens. The earthworms’ digestive process is an incubator for microorganisms. Research by Edward & Fletcher (1988) showed that the number of bacteria and Actinomycetes contained in the ingested material increased up to 1000-fold while passing through the earthworms gut. The resulting aerobic bacteria found in worm's vermicasts (soil) is responsible for crowding out more harmful anaerobic bacteria that would otherwise cause diseases and kill newly forming roots.