The alarming fact is that foods – fruits, vegetables and grains – now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain needed nutrients, are starving us – no matter how much we eat of them.
The above quote is alarming, more so because it was written in 1936 and still the general population is unaware of the facts. We are told time and time again that we must eat at least 2 serves of fruit and at least 5 serves of vegetables each day as part of a balanced diet. Why because research shows that if we get the correct amount of vitamins and minerals you have a lower risk of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and some forms of cancer.
However there is two concerns at present, one which is a well known concern and the other which relates to the above statement, which if known is rarely taken into consideration.
The first concern is that even though we all know we should be eating the above servings of fruit and vegetables, we in Australia still are not.
Secondly, the underlying problem is, even if you do consume the above amount of foods, chances are you still won’t be getting enough nutrients from the foods, due to the depleted level of nutrients in foods over the past 100 years. Which would explain one reason why people who eat healthy and are active are still not immune to sickness.
As this may be a new concept for some, allow me to explain.
The nutrient values of harvested food are linked to the soil organic matter, the biological activity of soil microbes, the mineral composition of the soil as well as the genetics of the plant, fertilization and irrigation practices. Minerals are an essential aspect of soil and without them the soil loses the ability to support the growth of nutritious food. Soils without minerals cannot produce plants with minerals.
In the 1992 Earth Summit Report, it stated the percentage of mineral depletion from soil in the past 100 years, by Continent. In Australia our soil has been depleted by 55%.
So, as a consumer what are our choices?
Both the quality and quantity of the foods we eat is a vital issue. However it is still only one aspect of good nutrition.