ISSUE 20 E-NEWSLETTER
Up to 40 Percent Decrease of Nutrients in Our Food
-Generations of farming reliant on the use of chemicals has rendered American farm ground sterile and literally lifeless, unable to hold either nutrients or water, a problem the U.N. says is a grave threat to human health.
-Soil experts are realizing that bare ground between rows of crops increases not just topsoil erosion, but fertilizer and other chemical runoff into water supplies, while others are examining the implications of C02’s role in declining nutrition.
-Researchers have begun fighting harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, by spreading bacteria on crops as a way to prevent regular outbreaks of food poisoning from tomatoes grown on the East Coast.
-Three recent historical food composition data studies found that as much as 40 percent and even more of minerals in plant-based foods have been depleted by substandard soil.
Politico tells about a young generational farmer, Jonathan Cobb, who’d made the difficult decision to quit farming. Using increasing amounts of chemical herbicides and fertilizers, “planting row upon row of corn on 3,000 acres … was becoming rote and joyless.”1
While job hunting one day, he happened to stop at the local U.S. Department of Agriculture office in his Texas town to pick up paperwork. The staff there happened to be conducting a training session and doing a demonstration on healthy and unhealthy soils. The side-by-side comparison contrasted the startling difference:
“A clump of soil from a heavily tilled and cropped field was dropped into a wire mesh basket at the top of a glass cylinder filled with water. At the same time, a clump of soil from a pasture that grew a variety of plants and grasses and hadn’t been disturbed for years was dropped into another wire mesh basket in an identical glass cylinder.
The tilled soil – similar to the dry, brown soil on Cobb’s farm – dissolved in water like dust. The soil from the pasture stayed together in a clump, keeping its structure and soaking up the water like a sponge.”
Cobb realized he was seeing not just an exhibit on soil types, but the potential for a new farming philosophy and made the instant decision to stay on his farm “and be part of that paradigm shift.” Trending in agriculture today is a new viewpoint that may be turning from a push for productivity to one that emphasizes the environment and human health. (read more)