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PUTTING NUTRITION INTO FOOD CROPS

A couple of weeks back, I mentioned that researchers had determined that two factors in our conventional food chain are having adverse effects on our health, namely;

The amount of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicide and fertilisers that are in our food chain, many of which affect our health over a period of time. Some of these are known to cause cancer and other health problems.


The other factor is that our food lacks the nutritional values that it once had. The general consensus was that if our food had more nutritional value then the chemical poisons would be of less significance to our health.


My conclusion to this, as with any common sense thinking person, would be that our conventional food chain, (fruit, vegetables, dairy produce and meats) has a double whammy; lacking in good nutrition and consisting of a number of harmful substances.

When we look at the dedicated Organic food producers, we can rest assured that they have done their best to eliminate the chemical poisons from their produce. That is great but have they really obtained the nutritional values that their produce should contain?


In some cases likely so but in the tough requirements of being organically certified they are prevented in using many natural sources of minerals as the source may contain heavy metals and other pollutants.
This always amuses me as there is two factors that they seem to sweep under the rug.

Previous use of poisons in the soil, in the past, that have long term toxic effects such as DDT.
The requirement I believe is 3 years without further chemicals being used on land that will become certified. Lack of soil tests to determine what harmful substances will be taken up by organically certified produce and no real requirements to remove these past harmful substances.
The other one is even more difficult and that is the rain or water, that is used to irrigate the organic produce, which can contain all manner of pollutants.

These aspects would fade into less importance if the food produced contained as much nutritional value as possible. The following are examples from the USDA (America) which are likely to be similar to our own country as we tend to follow similar agriculture practices; USDA figures show a decline in nutrient content of 43 crops it has tracked since the 1950’s.

A recent analysis shows vitamin C declined by 20%, iron by 15%, riboflavin by 38%, calcium by 16%.
Figures from England show similar results and put another way, you would now have to eat 3 apples to get the same amount of iron you would have got from a 1940’s apple.

Why has our food crops and the grasses (or crops) that are feed to animals declined in nutritional value?

A good question and one that is puzzling researchers that are so locked into our modern conventional agriculture methods that they cannot think outside of the square.

The reasons are simply: The introduction of NPK chemical fertilisers into agriculture reduced or killed off the soil life which naturally assisted plants in obtaining nutrients and even created more nutrients in the soil.
Modern fertilisers directly feed plants (like hydroponics) with between 3 to 16 elements that are contained in the fertiliser used. Most fertilisers only have half a dozen elements yet we know that there are 92 natural elements. What we don’t know is how many and which ones, each plant needs to be very healthy.
(We know that wheat and barley will take all the 92 elements but these two grasses are exceptions rather than the rule) The old saying you only get out what you put in is a logical fact.

If a plant such as a lettuce required say 35 elements and we only supply 16 man made fertiliser elements, we are about half the nutritional value of that lettuce potential.
Plants and grasses grown with the aid of man made fertilisers have more shallow root systems than normal.
The fertilisers are applied to the top area of the soil so the roots do not have to penetrate deep to gain the basic nutrients to grow. On the other hand deep rooting plants get their roots into sub soils which contain more minerals.

Man made fertilisers make plants grow faster and reach maturity quicker than plants grown naturally.
This could mean that a fast grown plant does not have the same time to gain the nutritional value of its naturally grown counterpart.

Another problem arises with man made fertilisers is that they lock up in the soil causing deficiencies in the elements that have been supplied.
Man has also created a further problem in breeding hybrid crop and grass seeds that produce quantity rather than quality. Experiments have been conducted which prove these modern variations of plants when grown in a natural or good soil, do not take up the natural goodness available as their older original fore bearers do.

In fact I am told that some of these modern hybrid seed/plants will only grow successfully in the man made chemical fertiliser conditions they are designed for and will be poor or fail in natural soil conditions.
The answer to the home gardener in this aspect is to grow the older open pollinated types and keep their own seed for future plantings. (Old varieties are constantly disappearing)

A lot of you readers are already aware of the health problems which are a direct result of modern agriculture, processed foods and dietary information which is so far out of touch with our daily body needs for good health. So what can you do to obtain some real nutritional food value?
Grow your own vegetables and fruit. Grow them naturally using natural manures and products.

Ensure that the produce has all the possible minerals by applying Ocean Solids, Simalith rock dust and Magic Botanic Liquid to the soil and plants. Stop using the chemical solutions that will contaminate the soil and your health. Don’t water the soil with chlorinated water.

Grow your soil life and the soil food web with the use of natural products and Mycorrcin.(Mycorrcin is a special food for the soil life)
A recent book called, In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan is well worth reading in regards to how our diets have altered over the last 100 odd years and the health problems that have resulted.

For instance the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s used to be 3 to 1. Now it is 10 to 1 in favour of omega-6s. This big unnatural change to our bodies leads to obesity, diabetics and heart disease (as well as other problems) The Western diet shifted from eating leaves (vegetables; leaves contain omega-3s as do fish oils. Fish obtain their omega-3s from eating plants; plankton and seaweeds) to seeds (grains which contain omega-6s)


As Michael Pollan points out in the book, this switch, such as from butter (omega-3s) to margarine (omega-6s) in regards to heart attacks showed that fewer people died from heart attacks. It also showed that just as many if not more people had heart attacks but due to modern medical intervention few attacks result in death.

You may come to the conclusion that we are part of a giant experiment between the food producers and the pharmaceutical companies and it has the appearance of a mad hatter’s tea party.

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