November 6, 2019 - How Dead Soil and Toxins Reduce Food Nutrients



Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - While agrochemical companies work hard to convince you their toxic chemicals are necessary in order to grow enough food to feed the world, this is not the case. One of the greatest treasures we have is healthy soil, without which humanity will not survive.

Soil is the mother of nearly all plant life and, ultimately, all animal life. Soils that have taken hundreds and even thousands of years to fully develop are being destroyed at a disturbingly rapid pace. Monocultural farming systems based on genetically engineered foods are coated with toxins. Operations such as these are quickly destroying the soil microbiome responsible for the growth of nutritious food. 

It's estimated that healthy soil may contain between 100 million and 1 billion bacteria. However, chemical farming has rendered the soil susceptible to erosion, resulting in one-third of the world's arable land lost to erosion. In addition to this and the loss of soil biodiversity, modern farming practices have depleted food nutrients.

Food without the same nutrients as one generation ago

A recent article in Scientific American laments the sad state of nutrition in food, pointing to a lack of microbial soil diversity, likely an effect of genetically engineered plants bred to withstand multiple applications of insecticides and pesticides. However, the information is not new.

In 2011, the publication covered this topic and discussed the landmark study of Donald Davis from the University of Texas. It was published in 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Davis looked at 43 vegetables and fruits and found regular declines in nutritional value, which his team attributed to agricultural practices designed to improve yield as opposed to nutrition. Davis is quoted in Scientific American as saying:

“Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly, but their ability to uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.” 

Following his study in 2004, Davis continued to analyze nutrients in food, finding evidence of decline, including an inverse relationship between plant yield and mineral concentration, a decline in historical food composition and a reduction in nutrient density. This was based on studies in which side-by-side comparisons of high and low yield cultivars were conducted. Davis wrote:

“In fruits, vegetables, and grains, usually 80% to 90% of the dry weight yield is carbohydrate. Thus, when breeders select for high yield, they are, in effect, selecting mostly for high carbohydrate with no assurance that dozens of other nutrients and thousands of phytochemicals will all increase in proportion to yield. Thus, genetic dilution effects seem unsurprising.”

Yet another condition affecting plant growth and nutrient density was inadvertently discovered in a biology lab in 1998 when Irakli Loladze, Ph.D., learned zooplankton that fed on algae, struggled to survive when the algae grew faster than normal. 

After years of investigation and research, Loladze found nearly 130 varieties of plants experienced a reduction in minerals by 8%, likely for the same reason the algae had become junk food to the zooplankton — as the rate of growth increased, the food became less nutritious.

In other words, the decline in the nutrient content of food found in your grocery store is likely a complex issue related to a number of conditions. The majority of those conditions boil down to farming practices destroying soil health, polluting your environment and producing poor quality food grown from genetically modified seeds.

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