It has been known since the 1930's that our farm and garden soils have been depleted of most of the nutrients necessary to produce healthy foods.
Most of the blame lies with artificial chemical fertilizers that contain only nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash. (N-P-P) We now know that plants absorb 70 to 80 different minerals from the soil, while the number returned to it by plants grown with commercial fertilizers can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Every crop that is cut or animal that is sent to market marks a further depletion in the mineral status of the soil on which it was raised. Then we add herbicides and pesticides which further complicate things. Organic wastes that in former times would have been composted and returned to the land are today mostly sent to landfill sites or incineration.
Two time Nobel Prize winner, Dr Linus Pauling once said, “You can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency”.
Enter a new era of organic gardening and diet supplementation. Organic farming/gardening puts back some of the lost nutrients in the soil. Diet supplementation is still necessary. Try to set up a diet for yourself from product labels and daily nutrient recommendations. You can't eat that much!!!
Reprint from Readers Digest 1936
1936 Report on Mineral Depletion
In 1936, the US Senate was presented with the results of a
scientific study it had commissioned on minerals in our food by
a Mr. Fletcher. The nutritional pioneers and geniuses of
nutrition in this era demonstrated that countless human ills
stem from the fact that impoverished soil in America no longer
provided plant foods with the mineral elements essential to
human nourishment and health! What follows are pertinent
excerpts from this report.
Senate Document 264
74th Congress, 2nd Session 1936
Excerpts pertaining to Soil Mineral Depletion
"Do you know that most of us today are suffering from certain
dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until the
depleted soils from which our foods come are brought into proper
"The alarming fact is that foods - fruits, vegetables and grains
- now 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 of them!"
"This talk of minerals is novel and quite startling. In fact, a
realization of the importance of minerals in food is so new that
the textbooks on nutritional dietetics contain very little about
it. Nevertheless it is something that concerns all of us, and
the further we delve into it the more startling it becomes."
"Laboratory tests prove that the fruits, vegetables, grains,
eggs and even the milk and meats of today are not what they were
a few generations ago. No man of today can eat enough fruits and
vegetables to supply his system with the mineral salts he
requires for perfect health...."
"No longer does a balanced and fully nourishing diet consist
merely of so many calories or certain vitamins or a fixed
proportion of starches, proteins, and carbohydrates. We now know
that it must contain, in addition, something like a score of
trace mineral salts."
"It is bad news to learn from our leading authorities that 99
percent of the American people are deficient in these minerals,
and that a marked deficiency in any one of the more important
minerals actually results in disease. Any upset of the balance,
any considerable lack of one or another element, however
microscopic the body requirement may be, and we sicken, suffer,
and shorten our lives."
"This discovery is one of the latest and most important
contributions of science to the problem of human health."
"Dr. Northern asked himself how foods can be used intelligently
in the treatment of disease, when they differed so widely in
content. The answer seemed to be that they could not be used
intelligently. In establishing the fact that serious
deficiencies existed and in searching out the reasons therefor,
he made an extensive study of the soil. It was he who first
voiced the surprising fact that we must make soil building the
basis of food building in order to accomplish human building.
Bear in mind, says Dr. Northern, that minerals are vital to
human metabolism and health - and that no plant or animal can
appropriate to itself any mineral which is not present in the
soil upon which it feeds."
"We know that vitamins are complex chemical substances which are
indispensable to nutrition, and that each of them is important
for the normal function of some special structure of the body.
Disorder and disease result from any vitamin deficiency. It is
not commonly realized, however, that vitamins control the body's
appropriation of minerals, and that in the absence of minerals
they have no function to perform. Lacking vitamins, the system
can make some use of minerals, but lacking minerals, vitamins
"Certainly 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."
"So it goes. Each mineral element playing a definite role in
nutrition. A characteristic set of symptoms, just as specific as
any vitamin deficiency disease, follows a deficiency in any one
of them. It is alarming, therefore, to face the fact that we are
starving for these precious health-giving substances."
"The minerals in fruit and vegetables are colloidal; i.e., they
are in a state of such extremely fine suspension that they can
be assimilated by the human system. Therein lies the short cut
to better health and longer life."
"Sick soils mean sick plants, sick animals, and sick people.
Physical, mental and moral fitness depends largely upon an ample
supply and a proper proportion of minerals in our foods. Nerve
function, nerve stability and nerve cell-building likewise
depend upon trace minerals."
"Our soils which are seriously deficient in trace minerals,
cannot produce plant life competent to maintain our needs, and
with the continuous cropping and shipping away of those trace
minerals and concentrates, the condition becomes worse".
"One sure way to end the American people's susceptibility to
infection is to supply through food, a balanced ration of trace
minerals. An organism supplied with a diet adequate to, or
preferably in excess of, all mineral requirements may so utilize
these elements as to produce immunity from infection quite
beyond anything we are able to produce artificially by our
present method of immunization. You can't make up the deficiency
by using a patent medicine or drug."
"Prevention of disease is easier, more practical, and more
economical than cure. Disease preys most surely and most
viciously on the undernourished and unfit plants, animals and
human beings alike, and when the importance of these obscure
mineral elements is fully realized, the chemistry of life will
have to be rewritten. No man knows his mental or bodily
capacity, how well he can feel or how long he can live, for we
are all cripples and weaklings."
"It is a disgrace to science. Happily, that chemistry is being
rewritten and we are on our way to better health by returning to
our bodies the things (trace minerals) we have stolen from it."
Editor's Note: No longer are our crops rotated, soils
re-mineralized and flooded with life-giving rain and floods
which bring forth the minerals, starting the chain of life.
Now-a-days, crops are grown season after season on the same
soil, polluting our natural resources with excess phosphorus and
nitrites from useless fertilizer and the farmer tries to get as
much use from that same soil to maximize his profits. Dams are
built and canals, locks and pump stations are manufactured all
in the name of progress, flood control and big government, when
in actuality, they all promote the loss of the re-mineralization
of the very life-giving substances we consume in the quest for
Reprint from READER'S DIGEST - March 1936
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