Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30 2014: Twenty-six apples a day—will keep the doctor away! Yes, I did say twenty-six.

Man seeks to change the foods available in nature to suit his tastes, thereby putting an end to the very essence of life contained in them.

Sai Baba

Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive.

George Bernard Shaw

When I do research, I keep an eye out for the kind of key figures that really illustrate a point. They are less common than you might think because a great many issues are—quite rightly—nuanced. Conversely, some figures seem so extreme as to lack credibility. Still, here I am reminded of the Holocaust. Initially, few people believed in the sheer scale of it. Nonetheless, it turned out to be true.

Yes, after the discovery of the concentration camps, we knew there had been organized extermination of Jews and other minorities, but it took some time for people to come to terms with the fact that millions had been systematically killed. That scale of evil did not seem believable—and the Germans were—and are—correctly regarded as a highly cultured and civilized people. Surely they would never behave in such a monstrous way. After all, such barbarity would require the involvement of large numbers of people. In fact, it would seem highly probably that the population as a whole would have to be complicit—even if only tacitly accepting.

My feeling is that we are facing just that sort of problem with the food industry. Yes, we know that certain foods—such as Fast Food—are not good for us, but I am far from sure that we have come to terms with the debasement of much of the food we eat. Yet, the emerging evidence increasingly persuades me that we are experiencing a new Holocaust stemming from a gross misinterpretation of capitalism. We seem to be migrating from the notion of a fair profit to the idea that only the maximum profit is acceptable—and such an end justifies any and all behavior (up to, and including, killing large numbers of people).

An extreme statement? Consider the tobacco industry or Big Pharma, for that matter. How can it be acceptable for half the U.S. population to be on legal drugs? There is—sadly—a profound difference between legal and right.

Let me quote an extract from

The nutrient content of foods has dramatically declined across the board since the introduction of mechanized farming in 1925. For example, as explained by Dr. August Dunning, chief science officer and co-owner of Eco Organics, in order to receive the same amount of iron you used to get from one apple in 1950, by 1998 you had to eat 26 apples!

Were people prior to the 1950s eating foods that were “unnecessarily” nutrient-dense? Was most of their diet superfluous, in terms of the amount of nutrients a body can get by on?

The idea that your body wouldn’t put the extra nutrients to good use is just plain silly! You did not suddenly develop a new set of genetic instructions over the past 60+ years that allow your body to thrive on toxins and “not know what to do” with antioxidants! So please, do not fall for that kind of nonsense.

One of the primary reasons food doesn’t taste as good as it used to is also related to the deterioration of mineral content. The minerals actually form the compounds that give the fruit or vegetable its flavor. All of these issues go back to the health of the soil in which the food is grown.11

Healthy soils contain a huge diversity of microorganisms, and it is these organisms that are responsible for the plant’s nutrient uptake, health, and the stability of the entire ecosystem. The wide-scale adoption of industrial agriculture practices has decimated soil microbes responsible for transferring these minerals to the plants.

In 2009, the American Association for the Advancement of Science featured a presentation on soil health and its impact on food quality,12, 13 concluding that healthy soil indeed leads to higher levels of nutrients in crops.

Agricultural chemicals destroy the health of the soil by killing off its microbial inhabitants, which is one of the primary problems with modern farming, and the reason why the nutritional quality of conventionally-grown foods is deteriorating. As reported by Scientific American14 back in 2011:

“A landmark study on the topic by Donald Davis and his team of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was published in December 2004 in theJournal of the American College of Nutrition.

They studied U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, finding ‘reliable declines’ in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century.

Davis and his colleagues chalk up this declining nutritional content to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance) other than nutrition... The Organic Consumers Association cites several other studies with similar findings: A Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997 found that average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent; iron levels 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent.”

Americans live sicker and die sooner than the inhabitants of most other developed nations—yet we spend between 50 and 100 percent more on healthcare. Could all of this be connected? I tend to think so.



No comments:

Post a Comment