Many of the degenerative diseases that plague people today would be better described as deficiency diseases, that is to say, diseases caused by a chronic lack of certain minerals, vitamins and trace minerals in their daily diet.
Nutritionist Dr David Thomas M.Sc, D.I.C. in his research into the amount of depletion of elements in fruit and vegetables between 1940 and 1991 produced this table.
Vegetables were depleted of: Fruits were depleated of:
76% of their copper 19% of their copper
49% of their sodium 29% of their sodium
46% of their calcium 16% of their calcium
27% of their iron 24% of their iron
24% of their magnesium 15% of their magnesium
16% of their potassium 22% of their potassium
Dr. Thomas argued that the most likely explanation for this erosion of trace element status is the intensification of agriculture with its reliance on the use of nitrogen-phosphate-potash fertilizers (NPK). These force plants to grow but contain no trace elements with the result that our food no longer has the same nutritional value that it once had; the importance of trace elements to the human body has largely been ignored. In fact, they are vital for our internal defence against oxidative cell damage (copper, manganese, zinc, iron and selenium), the maintenance of energy metabolism and the brain (iodine) and the translation of the genetic code (zinc). Deficiencies in the food we eat put these systems at risk. Loss of trace elements have been linked to obesity, insulin resistance, heart disease and mental illness.
SEVERE PROBLEMS CAUSED BY SOIL DEPLETION
Food grown on unhealthy or depleted soil can cause severe problems in both animals and man. In his book ‘Soil, Grass and Cancer’ André Voisin, the distinguished French veterinarian wrote, “… if our farming methods are injurious to the soil, we injure, as well, the animal and human organism because we create therein proteins of a pathological character …. and permit the cell to be attacked by bacterial or virus infections. Thus it is necessary to heal the soil so as not to have to heal the animal or Man, We concentrate our effort on the results and neglect the causes." Voisin went on to say, “In upsetting the equilibrium of the mineral elements in the soil we upset the equilibrium of the mineral elements in the blood. …. this latter disequilibrium, so far as magnesium is concerned, apparently aids the development of cancer and thrombosis”. Likewise, over a period of time, through a slow cumulative effect, the application of nitrogen fertilisers to the soil causes copper deficiency. Copper deficiency results in poor bone formation and sterility. In addition, copper must be present in sufficient quantity if iron is to be utilised by the body.
While Chromium deficiency (See article on Diabetes) is known to be a prime cause of diabetes, Zinc also plays an important part. In the diabetic patient the secretion of insulin by the pancreas is insufficient. Insulin is produced by the Islets of Langerhans in which Zinc is found in large amounts. Zinc is also found in high quantities in the healthy prostate gland and a cancerous prostate gland always shows zinc impoverishment in the tissues of the gland. This disorder may have its origin in zinc not being present in the soil in optimum quantity.
DISEASES RELATED TO MINERAL DEFICIENCIES
Dr. Joel Wallach, author of ‘Dead Doctors Don’t Lie’, claims that “degenerative diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, bone spurs, kidney stones, muscular dystrophy, carpal tunnel syndrome, cataracts, and Alzheimer’s disease… are either directly or indirectly related to mineral deficiencies.”
Wallach believes that taking supplements of minerals and vitamins is the only solution if we wish to avoid the diseases to which many of us will inevitably fall victim as we grow old. He observes that for optimum health, humans need a total of more than 90 different vitamins, minerals and trace elements every day. This could normally be achieved by eating a wide variety of different foods that have been grown in good, naturally composted soil but, as has been shown, modern soils are so depleted that it has become increasingly difficult to do so.
A proper balance of soil nutrients is essential, as excessive and unbalanced applications of mineral fertilisers are just as harmful for both animal and man as insufficient applications of these fertilizers.
THE WHOLEMEAL LOAF
The 100% organic wholemeal loaf, which has largely been abandoned in our modern society in favour of the white loaf, can contain comparatively:
8 times more magnesium
3 times more copper
3 times more iron
3 times more zinc
Twice as much calcium
The wholemeal loaf referred to is the one baked in the home using 100% wholemeal flour, yeast, salt and water, NOT a commercially baked “wholemeal loaf” which is often a travesty of the real thing and where the vital equilibrium of the vitamins and minerals in the flour may have been interfered with, especially the ratio between potassium and sodium which plays a fundamental part in cardiac and vascular disease. Small wonder that our ancestors, despite the serious infectious diseases that were rife at that time, did not suffer from the degenerative diseases in the huge numbers that tragically fill our hospitals today.
Sir Albert Howard’s observation, that the smallholdings in China maintained a steady output with no loss of fertility after 40 centuries of management, is well known. 4,000 years! And yet “the agriculture of ancient Rome failed because it was unable to maintain the soil in a fertile condition. The farmers of the West are repeating the mistakes made by Imperial Rome. ………..The Roman Empire lasted for 11 centuries. How long will the supremacy of the West endure?... Can mankind regulate its affairs so that its chief possession – the fertility of the soil – is preserved? On the answer to this question the future of civilization depends”.
SO WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HEAL THE SOIL?
Adding rock dust to soils would remineralize the earth to greatest advantage. Farmers should be encouraged to use rock dust on a large scale. Not only would it improve production but crops would be more resistant to disease thus saving the considerable amount spent annually on fertilizers and poison sprays. Even the smallest vegetable plot would benefit from rock dust.
John D. Hamaker (1914–1994), was an American mechanical engineer, ecologist, agronomist and science writer in the field of soil remineralisation. In the book ‘The Survival of Civilisation’, he suggests adding finely-ground glacial gravel to the land mimicking the process used by Nature for millennia to create the Earth’s most fertile soils. Glacial gravel, which is a natural mixture of rocks, will produce a broad spectrum of minerals in the soil in a natural balance. Ideally it should be mixed with compost. Compost and gravel dust are a symbiotic combination: the compost provides an excellent medium for the micro-organism population explosion promoted by the dust and the gravel dust will not only help create more organic matter, but will also help hold it in place and conserve it. The rock dust is digested by earthworms that deposit mineral-rich worm casts, thus increasing mineral availability, microbial activity and natural fertility of soil and compost. The product remineralises soil and compost to boost soil fertility.
The SEER centre, in Scotland has proved the miraculous results of following this advice. Founding director Moira Thomson is convinced that if rock dust were put back into the soil on a global basis, then many problems connected to malnutrition, disease and the poor nutritional quality of food would virtually disappear.
A local gravel pit can usually supply crushed gravel screenings made from mixed rocks; the kind that comes out of river beds. Prepared Rock Dust is obtainable in most Garden Centres.
‘An Agricultural Testament’ Sir Albert Howard
‘Soil, Grass and Cancer’. André Voisin
‘Dead Doctors Don’t Lie’ Dr. Joel Wallach
Wikipaedia. Rock Dust: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockdust
SEER Centre for Rock Dust www.seercentre.org.uk/