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Why Soil Depletion is a Serious Issue

I want to talk to you about dirt. Not the stuff you vacuum off your carpets or wash from your car. Maybe the word dirt is throwing you off—a better term might be soil, the medium that every plant and herb we eat grows in and draws nutrients from. Only a little over 10% of the land on Earth must feed all six and a half billion of us. According to a 1992 Earth Summit Report, when compared to 100 years ago, American soils are 85% depleted of the minerals and elements we need to assimilate for our wellbeing. Notice, that report was over 20 years ago, so by now our soil’s health account is nearly in bankruptcy.

vegetables_market_fresh_sell_healthy_food_picWhen I was a boy, Mom always said, “Eat your vegetables!” I trusted her, it made sense, and I was pretty obedient most of the time. My favorite TV program back then was the Popeye cartoon show. I ate my spinach to imitate my sailor hero. When I was young, a serving of spinach contained approximately 150 mg of iron. Today that same portion contains less than 5 mg.

You see, decades of over-farming, erosion, and now desertification of our soils have rendered our foods sadly deficient, almost empty calories, like the wax fruit on my mom’s dining room table centerpiece. As an example, a British Food Journal Study reported that in the last 50 years, the potato has suffered the following nutritive losses:

  • 100% of Vitamin A
  • 57% of Vitamin C and Iron
  • 28% of Calcium
  • 50% of Riboflavin
  • 18% of Thiamin

mud_dry_cracked_earth_sand_plants_picThere was a similar outcome for 25 other fruits and vegetables. These revelations make Mom’s, “Eat your broccoli,” seem almost hollow. Remember, plants can make many vitamins and enzymes, but not minerals; those must be absorbed from the soil. Much of the Earth’s soil is sick or dying, and in an attempt to put life back into the dirt, they put copious amounts of artificial fertilizers into the soil. These chemical supplements are definitely cheaper than organically grown, but they lack most of even the essential nutrients.

There’s an article I read called, “Soil Depletion is Going to Kill Us,” which basically concludes that fruits and vegetables are now almost nutritionally broke. You add to the reality of soil depletion additional degradation caused by premature harvesting, processing, additives, and cooking, and how much real nutrition is left?

I’m not trying to scare you or make you depressed, but knowledge is power. What’s the solution to this dilemma? When you can, grow your own garden, building living soil by mulching and composting. Shop at stores where you can get fresh, organic compliant produce. Supplement your diet and include superfoods from Sunwarrior. It’s worth it, because you are.

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