Very often when it comes to the subject of food, there is enormous misinformation. When it comes to the subject of nutrition, there are even more arguments on both sides of the fence. In order to resolve this debate, I would like to outline the profound ways that the world has changed from the time of our grandparents.
Our diets have changed considerably in the last 50 years and not necessarily for the better. In fact this information is so widely accepted that only a few still think this way by clinging to the misguided concept that we can get all the nutrition we need from a well balanced diet.
Despite the wide spread acceptance of the use of dietary supplements to augment the foods we eat, I feel that it is necessary to raise a few points so as to effectively make the issue clear!
There are several major reasons why we eat more lifeless, nutrient deficient foods than any other nation on earth. The first reason is forced production. For example America is the ‘bread basket’ of the world. Not only do they provide food for their 250 million residents but export food and food products to many countries around the world. This places a tremendous demand upon the growers to continually increase the yield per care of crops produced.
The NPK Philosophy
Back in the 1930’s there was a big controversy over soil conditioning (that which was to be put back into our farmlands after each growing season). A group of agricultural scientists were talking about the re-mineralisation of the soil by using full spectrum trace and major minerals. This idea met with considerable opposition by the food industry who only saw this proposal as a greatly added expense that they were not keen to accept. They therefore lobbied the US Department of Agriculture heavily against the re-mineralisation program and subsequently won their point. Because of that in the United States it is what has come to be referred to as the NPK philosophy – the initials which stand for the three major minerals found in all present-day fertilizers, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.
They argued that with these three nutrients, in varying ratios, the very highest yield per acre could be achieved thus increasing production and profit for the farmer. Since farmers have always lived with the difficulty of turning a profit, they too were excited by this ‘new NPK philosophy’. This turned out to be bad news!
It is true that yield per acre did increase measurably but after a few years of practising this limited re-fertilization, farmers began to notice that the health of their crops were becoming compromised. Pests would invade the fields at various stages of growth and destroyed far more of the crop than was increased by the new fertilizer program. Science responded by developing even stronger pesticides and other chemicals in an attempt to protect the crops to maturity. Long ago we have exceeded the savings from limited re-fertilization through the expense of adding chemicals to croplands which not only leave residues in the foods, but subsequently sink in to the ground and end up in the water table thus adversely affecting all animal life, including humans.
This de-mineralisation of our soils has created sick plants that cannot survive to maturity on their own. They are so mineral deficient that livestock of various species fed upon them must be supplemented with numerous ‘salt blocks’ containing various combinations of minerals in order to remain healthy.
Mineral Deficiencies and Chronic Disease
Humans are at the top of this vast food chain, and whatever benefits of deficiencies exist are magnified at the top. In the 1930’s Dr William Albrecht predicted that if we followed the concept of restricted fertilization using the NPK concept, we would see a rise in diseases of a chronic, degenerative nature such as we would compare with the infectious plagues of the past. His dire warning appears to have come true. Today the leading causes of death in Europe and the United States are not contagious, infectious diseases, which by the way are also again on the rise, but rather are the very chronic degenerative diseases predicted by Albrecht and other scientists more than 50 years ago. Heart disease, cancer, arthritis, adult onset diabetes and other such debilitating conditions are not contagious, they merely appear and are diagnosed with little or no hope of effective treatment or amelioration. The rest of Asia follows suit.
What else have we done to cause the destruction of our food supply? While there are undoubtedly many points that could be discussed, for the purpose of our illustration here we will address two other major factors. Soil erosion is the next potential problem – one that only gets worse. It is estimated that 85% of America’s topsoil is at the bottom of the ocean. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the problem is so widespread and so severe that it would be prohibitively expensive to correct. This means that they are feeding 250 million people and serve as the ‘bread basket to the world’, on 15% of their topsoil. Is it any wonder that the foods produced and subsequently eaten are mere shadows of those produced 50 or 100 years ago?
The third and perhaps the most devastating factor in the destruction of the American diet has been the food industry itself. Through over-processing of virtually every food we eat, dozen of nutrients are either destroyed or greatly decreased. This adulteration of foods by the industry that controls them not only robs us of the vital minerals but also the vitamins, making most of our food products nothing more than empty calories.
Unless we seriously embark upon a program of diet, nutrition and supplementation, we cannot expect our “three square meals” to be enough to keep us healthy and fit.