“Most diseases can be traced back to a mineral deficiency.” Linus Pauling, PhD, only person with two unshared Nobel prizes
If you went to the bank every week and withdrew funds from your account, but never added to your account, then you would eventually be bankrupt. And that is what we have done to our soils. We add nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to the soil in commercial agriculture. We ignore the need for dozens of other minerals in the human body.
There are 118 elements on the periodic table. These are the building blocks of the planet earth. 90 of those elements are found in the ocean. 65 of those elements are found in the human body. 15 of those elements are considered essential in human nutrition. But only three of them are added to the soil. You do the math. Western civilization is clinically deficient in many minerals because of our inappropriate farming techniques.
Soil is the foundation of farming and food production. It physically supports crops and is the medium through which crops receive nutrition and hydration. To ensure that crops continue to get the required nutrients, soil must be continuously fertilized. However, when depletion of minerals in soil is not addressed, it becomes increasingly difficult for crops to thrive, and if they do, they will be deficient of the nutrients and minerals traditionally associated with them. This is the condition of most of the soil under commercial farming today. But how did we get to this point, and what can be done to rectify the situation?
Mineral Deficiency and Trace Minerals
The planet earth evolved as a swirling cauldron of sea, land, earthquakes, volcanos and more. While the land around the earth has wildly variable amounts of minerals in the soil, the ocean has a constant recipe of trace minerals needed for our health. Which is how Maynard Murray, MD developed his brilliant techniques for using ocean solids to grow healthier plants and animals. As a young doctor, Murray crewed aboard a commercial fishing vessel for an 8 month around the world tour. After doing numerous autopsies of ocean creatures that were caught in the fishing nets but unusable for commercial fishing, Dr. Murray concluded that salt water creatures were healthier than their fresh water counterparts. From this observation, Murray shipped tons of ocean solids gathered at the banks of the Gulf of California to farms around the country. His findings were astonishing. Using up to one ton of ocean solids per acre, Murray found dramatic improvements in the health of the plants and the animals who ate the plants. The ocean has a uniform distribution of trace minerals while land throughout the earth is spotty for mineral content and getting worse with each harvest. Companies like Sea Agri (seaagri.com) sell ocean solids for commercial and home farming.
For instance, the Navy has a strong motivation to keep their sailors healthy and spend less on dental work. The Navy found that sailors from a region of Ohio had uncommonly low incidence of dental caries. The researchers traced the therapeutic factor to strontium in the local water supply. Indeed, strontium helps to fortify teeth and bones to prevent caries and osteoporosis.
Minerals Upregulate Genetic Traits
Charles Walters has written a brilliant book MINERALS AND THE GENETIC CODE in which he explains how minerals upregulate and down regulate many genetic traits. It is blatantly clear that an iodine deficiency during pregnancy and early childhood leads to irreparable mental and physical defects. When present in the right quantity and ratio, minerals keep our potential diseases at bay. Chromium and vanadium help to prevent and even reverse diabetes. Selenium helps to slow aging and prevent cancer. Magnesium deficiencies are widespread throughout humanity and lead to early problems of pain and depression, later followed by heart disease and cancer. Potassium deficiencies can trigger hypertension.
Overcome Mineral Deficiency with Ocean Solids
In a more perfect setting, ocean solids are used to nourish the soil with the perfect mix of minerals, which further propagates the essential fungus in the soil to encourage roots to absorb these minerals. In FERTILITY FROM THE OCEAN DEEP the author Charles Walters shows the history of nourishing plants and animals with ocean solids. The plants resist disease and become a more robust harvest. The animals fed on these plants have a similar resistance to disease. Mother Nature has a perfect plan and mankind is ignoring this plan, which is partly responsible for our deteriorating health. A recent study showed that 88% of Americans have some metabolic disease: heart disease, hypertension, cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, etc. The great mineral robbery is partly responsible for this pandemic of metabolic diseases.
Mineral Deficiency and Commercial Farming
Studies have documented depletion of different minerals in soil. One such study compared mineral content differences in fruits and vegetables between 1940 and 1991:
Percent Change in average mineral content between 1940 and 1991
In another study by Dr. August Dunning, a scientist at Eco Organics it was found that one apple contained 4.3 mg of iron in 1950, and 0.18 mg in 1998. This means that in 1998, you would need to eat 25 more apples to get the same amount of iron contained in one apple in 1950.
In addition, data presented at the 1992 Rio Summit, showed that mineral levels in farmed soils had depleted by 85 percent in North America, 76 percent in Asia, and 72 percent in Europe. Similar figures can be expected in the rest of the world.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, by destroying our soil, we destroy ourselves. This truth is now haunting us as commercial agriculture has been given free reign for too long to do what serves its commercial interests. Of course there is nothing wrong with minding your commercial interests, but it is unacceptable to do this at the expense of others, including the consumers of your products.
But how does commercial farming rob the soil of its minerals? This happens in a number of ways which include:
Soil Erosion Causes Mineral Deficiency
Commercial farming focuses on maximizing production from the soil. To achieve this, commercial farmers over plow the soil; making it more liable to erosion by wind and water. According to Grace Communications Foundation; in the US, an average of 7 tons per acre of cropland soil is lost through erosion every year. It is estimated that globally, 30 percent of arable land has been lost through erosion over the last five decades. Erosion takes away the soil, nutrients, minerals, and organic material contained in it. It is worth to note that top soil contains the bulk of the nutrients compared to the soil underneath which remains after erosion.
Removal of Organic Material
Undisturbed land such as forests is rich in minerals and other nutrients. The reason for this is that when plants grow, they get minerals and other nutrients from the soil, and when they shed organic materials or they die, the nutrients get back into the soil after plant breakdown. This cycle has been going on through the years and is the reason virgin land is so fertile. By contrast, land under commercial farming is continuously robbed of minerals and other nutrients when crops are harvested for the market or as feed for animals. And because the amount of nutrients removed is not returned through fertilization, farmed land steadily loses its capacity to support healthy crops.
It is also worth noting that traditional farming involved fertilizing the soil using farmyard and animal manure. This practice returned a good portion of the nutrients removed through harvesting and feeding animals back into the soil.
However, commercial farming is specialized and involves growing the same type of crops for many years, while commercial animal production involves raising factory-style animals. These animals produce large amounts of manure. However, commercial farmers consider transportation and application of manure to be more expensive than using synthetic fertilizers. And while commercial fertilizers may contain nutrients to maximize production of specific crops, they don’t replenish the soils adequately for the long term.
Irrigation and Mineral Deficiency
While irrigation helps to increase crop yield, it can cause mineral depletion by leaching. This is more likely to happen when irrigation is done by methods that involve use of large amounts of water over a short period. The leached minerals end up in waterways and ultimately in lakes and oceans where they interfere with life in the waters.
Deforestation and Overuse
To carry out commercial farming, large tracts of land are required. This may mean that forests and pasturelands are cleared to make way for commercial crops. When this happens, forests and pastures are cut down, removed and sometimes burned. The resultant soil is then put through use and overuse without replenishment of the lost minerals and nutrients.
Demineralization of our Soil
Various studies published by different organizations, among them NIH, CDC, and the American Heart Association, suggest that increase in diseases like cancer, asthma, tinnitus, bone deformities and cardiovascular conditions is partly due to demineralization and nutrient depletion of the soil. Research also shows that a few hundred years ago, our ancestors would die from injury or infections but not degenerative or non-communicable diseases.
But the effect of the great mineral robbery is not limited to the crop deficiency of the specific minerals to the crops, and subsequently the consumer. Demineralization and the application of synthetic fertilizers affect soil pH. This interferes with the microorganisms in soil and ultimately the soil structure and its ability to support crops and other plants effectively.
In addition, application of synthetic fertilizers like ammonium nitrate renders soil impotent to some extent by interfering with the bioavailability of some minerals such as calcium. Therefore, while yields may initially become abundant, in the long term, the soil becomes less effective in supporting healthy growth of plants.
Solution to Mineral Deficiency?
Remineralization is the ultimate solution to the problem. To achieve this, commercial farmers will need to make major changes in their farming methods. This includes reducing their dependence on man made fertilizers and instead fertilizing soil with compost and animal manure.
But it is a big challenge for commercial farmers to carry out remineralization without action by policymakers. For this reason consumers need to lobby their governments to take action. Meanwhile, consumers need to play their part by opting for organically farmed foods so that they create a growing demand for organic crops. This will reduce demand for conventionally farmed foods and ultimately force commercial farmers to change their farming methods.
Reverse Mineral Deficiency?
We need to properly nourish the soil with minerals. There are simple solutions that gardeners use, like Azomite (rock dust with a rich mixture of minerals) and epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). We need to recognize that no drug or surgery can substitute for a mineral deficiency. Modern medicine must embrace nutrition as a front line therapy. You can eat a nourishing plant based diet while supplementing your diet with a rich mixture of minerals to bring your health to a whole new level.