Soil Mineral Depletion.


Since your body cannot produce minerals on its own, it is important that you obtain an adequate daily supply of essential minerals from the foods you eat and through the wise use of supplements.

Some health experts claim that eating a healthy diet is all that is required to obtain all the necessary nutrients our bodies need. Current peer review scientific literature does not support such a claim.

Certainly, eating wisely is a vitally important step in achieving and maintaining optimal health. However, with all of the health challenges in today's modern world, a healthy diet alone is not enough to ensure that your body's nutritional requirements are being met.

We no loner live in the pristine world of our ancestors, who breathed clean air, drank and bathed in fresh clean water, ate fresh whole foods that were nutrient dense, and lived without the physical and psychological stresses that are so common today.

Moreover, even if we are able to regularly eat a balanced diet of organic foods, it would still not be good enough.

Compared to what was grown only fifty years ago, today's foods contain far fewer vital nutrients, particularly minerals that our bodies need.

Due to commercial farming methods, which have greatly depleted the minerals and other nutrients from the soil, our fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains, are lacking the value they once had.

This practice of devitalizing soil through modern farming methods, as well as the widespread use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and other agents for boosting production yields and preserving harvested foods, began in the early 1900s. By 1936, the soil's loss of nutritional value was already so significant that the United States Senate warned against it in U.S. Senate Document No. 264. In part, this document reads:

The alarming fact is that foods (fruits, vegetables, and grains) not being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain minerals are starving us-no matter how much we eat. No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the minerals he requires for perfect health because his stomach isn't big enough to hold them. The truth is that our foods vary enormously in value, and some of them aren't worth eating as food... Our physical well-being is more directly dependent upon the minerals we take into our system than upon calories or vitamins or upon the precise proportions of starch, protein, or carbohydrates we consume.

Since that warning (and in spite of it), the situation has only worsened. Decade after decade, the nutrient value of commercially grown foods has continued a steady decline. This fact was confirmed in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in December 2004. The study, led by Dr. Donald Davis, a biochemist at the University of Texas at Austin, investigated the effects of modern farming methods on the nutrient content of forty-three garden crops (primarily vegetables, but also including melons and strawberries).

In the study, Dr. Davis and his associates compared the nutritional density of the crops grown in 1999 to the same crops grown in 1950 by examining recorded data from both years. The foods were analyzed individually and as a group. Of the thirteen nutrients evaluated, the results showed that the overall levels of six- protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin C- were present in noticeably higher amounts (as much as 38 percent) in the foods grown in 1950 compared to those grown in 1999.

Commenting on the findings, Dr. Davis said, “We conclude that the most likely explanation was changes in cultivated varieties used today compared to fifty years ago. During those fifty years, there have been intensive efforts to breed new varieties that have greater yield, or resistance to pests, or adaptability to different climates. But the dominant effort is for higher yields. Emerging evidence suggests that when you select for yield, crops grow bigger and faster, but they don't necessarily have the ability to make or uptake nutrients at the same, faster rate.

“Perhaps more worrisome,” Dr. Davis added, “would be declines in nutrients we could not study because they were not reported in 1950- magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and dietary fiber, not to mention phytochemicals.”

According to health journalist Larry Trivieri, Jr., author of The American Holistic Medical Association Guide to Holistic Health,overall “the mineral content of soil used to grow today's group is one sixth of what it was fifty years ago, due to commercial farming methods.... Additional commercial farm production methods, along with shipping and storage procedures, further deprive crops of their nutrient value.” Such facts clearly show that relying on healthy diet alone is no longer enough to provide the body with a plentiful supply of the minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients it needs each and every day.

Compounding the problem is the fact that millions of Americans rely on the standard American diet of convenience foods, which are far more deficient in minerals and other vital nutrients than fresh, whole foods. Many commercial products, such as breads, muffins, and pastas are typically made from refined white flour, which has been stripped of up to 90 percent of its minerals during the refinement process. Even modern food preparation methods add to the problem. Overcooking vegetables, for example, significantly reduces their nutrient content.

As a result of such practices, government surveys continue to show growing mineral deficiencies within the American populace. For example, an estimated 60 percent of all Americans are deficient in magnesium, while as many as 80 percent lack adequate chromium levels. Overall, recent analysis of the nutrient and supplement intake conducted by the National Institutes of Heath (NIH) shows that the vast majority of people, both in the United States and in other affluent Western nations, do not even meet 75 percent of the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for a daily mineral intake that is adequate for optimal health continues to be overlooked, not only by the general public, but by many health care professionals.

Here is some great information from: The Nutrition Security Institute - A non-profit organization dedicated to restore depleted agricultural soils, regenerate topsoil, assure that the nutritional quality of harvested food will sustain human health.

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