Our ancestors survived and thrived by simply eating the foods nature provided to nourish and sustain them. We would love to be the ones to reveal to you that a typical modern diet alone could provide your body with even the minimum RDI of each essential micronutrient. Instead, we must face the fact that for the large majority of people, the reality of achieving essential micronutrient sufficiency through food alone is all but impossible.
Why are over 90% of the people living on the planet suffering from deficiencies in their micronutrients, or essential vitamins and minerals?
When one starts to dig for the answers it is essential that they start digging were the story begins—the soil. If minerals are not available in the soil, then they won’t be available in the food we eat—and over the past 100 years the level of minerals in the soil throughout the world has been on the decline, which was revealed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. While Australia’s farms showed the least depletion, with a 55-percent reduction in mineral content, America’s farm and rangeland showed the greatest amount, with a startling average mineral depletion of 85 percent. Crops grown in soils stripped of essential minerals produce foods that are also stripped of essential micronutrients. Essentially, when our soil is naked, our food is naked. Which ultimately means the calories we consume are … naked calories.
We are not suggesting a conspiracy theory that farmers or government agencies are purposely depleting our soil in order to make us sick. This is not what we believe. What we do know is that farmers are being paid to produce maximum yield per acre, not maximum nutritional value. As an example, according to the measurements taken by the USDA back in 1914, an apple used to contain 13.5 mg of calcium, 28.9 mg of magnesium, and 4.6 mg of iron. However, according to the USDA’s 1992 measurements, our depleted soil only yielded apples containing 7 mg of calcium (48.15% less), 5 mg of magnesium (82.7% less) and .18 mg of iron (96% less). And that was back in 1992.
But the soil is just the beginning. On average, that already depleted apple must travel over 1,700 miles to your kitchen, and every minute or every mile that your food travels, it loses micronutrients due to exposure to heat, light (UVs) and air (oxidation).
As if that weren’t enough, there are other practices that further strip our food of its nutrition. Factory farming, for example, which raises animals with unnatural feed in unnatural environments, takes its toll as well:
- Wild fish have up to 380 percent more omega-3 than factory-farmed fish.
- Grass-fed beef is loaded with more than 400 percent more vitamin A and vitamin E, and higher levels of the B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin. It has greater amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is two to four times richer in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and 300 to 400 percent higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is a potential cancer fighter and fat metabolizer.
Pasteurization, irradiation, and food processing further deplete the amount of micronutrients delivered. From the farm to the fork, our food supply is not that of our ancestors.
Not only does our food supply us with inadequate micronutrients, but our modern lives work through them at faster rates than ever before. The water-soluble micronutrients, such as the B vitamins, vitamin C, and all of the minerals, are generally excreted more during periods of stress, and because they are not stored to any great extent, deficiencies can develop fast. According to a 2010 report by the CDC, one-half of Americans take at least one prescription drug that leaches micronutrients from the body. In the last twenty years, we have increased sugar consumption in the U.S. from 26 pounds to 135 pounds of sugar per person per year, unaware that the sugar itself can cause chromium and copper deficiencies and block the absorption of calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamin C. The world around us, unlike that of our ancestors, is filled with toxins, pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals, and to detoxify from these assailants your body must utilize micronutrients as well. Clearly, the human being living today begins with a malnourished diet that simply cannot supply the vitamins and minerals that its modern environment demands.