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In The News

The Remineralisation of the Soils is Vital for the Future of Mankind

"The Sustainable Ecological Earth Regeneration (SEER) Center, which undertook the first scientifically controlled field trials of soil remineralisation in Scotland, says that unless vital nutrients and elements are placed back into the soil, then the quality of food - and the well-being of people - will deteriorate"

(FROM: NutraIngredients. com/Europe )

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NEWSLETTER 16 :

Our Food is Deprived of minerals. The Proof

(edited March 01. Updated: December 06)

Crops are deprived of the minerals human need to stay healthy ( Dr. Joel D. Wallach )
The soil contains all the minerals plant need to grow healthy ( The agriculture and soil experts )

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Page Map

Introduction
Challenge
Preliminary
Demonstration
Conclusion

Introduction

The experts in Crop and Soil Science state that 19 elements are required by plants, that plants will generally die if a soil can not supply any of those elements, that soils may or may not contain all the elements plants need, and that some elements have to be added to the soil to maintain plant health.
The Longevity Institute is pleased to notice that the experts in Crop and Soil Science apply for plants what Dr. Joel D. Wallach recommends for animals and human : the supplementation of the deficient elements.
However, there are some differences between plants on one side, and animals and humans on the other side. A first difference is that plants thrive on soil and that animals and humans do not eat soil, they eat plants. A second difference is that plants need only 19 elements, while animals and humans need 90 elements.

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Challenge

The Longevity Institute challenges the experts in Crops Soils Science, where they assume :

..There is no evidence that the nutrient content of crops has changed significantly over time..

In total opposition of this opinion, Dr. Joel D. Wallach claims that our food is deprived of minerals by intensive farming and by food processing and that mineral supplementation of the diet is vital for health maintenance.

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Preliminary

Saturday, January 29, 2000, the Omaha World-Herald published an article entitled: "Veggie Nutrients Dip in Tests. Some Blame Environment; USDA Says Better Tests a Factor"

Washington - No one is sure why, but government records of vitamins and minerals in a sampling of vegetables show the level of nutrients has gone down over two decades, some dramatically. The little publicized changes in broccoli, cauliflower and other vegetables are prompting suspicion by some in organic gardening and vegetarian circles that a changing environment could be affecting the produce Americans eat. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture, while acknowledging that its own data indicate a decline, says it is just as likely that testing techniques for measuring vitamins A and C, and calcium and iron, among other nutrients, have simply become more accurate, making the old data wrong. " It's rather difficult to attribute the change to any one factor." says David Haytowitz, the USDA nutritionist whose job is to keep information on vegetable vitamins and minerals. " I'm not saying it's one or the other." says Joanne Holden, the research leader of the USDA's Nutrition Data Laboratory in Beltsville, MD. " I'm just saying that we can't avoid looking at all of these things." Haytowitz says there is no way to be certain because it is impossible to retest the onions, collards and other vegetables that show changes in nutrients over the last 25 years. Those vegetables or ones from the same crop, have long since been destroyed or eaten. But testing methods have improved substantially, he said, so the laboratory's goal is to focus on better analyses. The governments approach does not satisfy Alex Jack, a Massachusetts author, editor and advocate of natural food diets. Jack was updating a book: " Healing Food." With the latest USDA nutrition information when he first noticed changes between figures published by the government in 1973 and 1997. " My best guess is that this was environmental, part of the large environmental crisis - Food quality, air quality, water quality, sea quality," Jack said. " I don't have definite proof, but I think that government and our representatives should be looking into this." Jack published his findings in "One Peaceful World." his newsletter advocating a macrobiotic diet, in the spring of 1998. Anne Marie Mayer, a British nutritionist now working on a doctorate at Cornell University, had found similar decline in England during research that began in 1995. No one else appear to have done such an analysis. Jack randomly selected 12 vegetables to check nutrients: broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, daikon, kale, mustard greens, onions, parsley, turnip greens and watercress. Comparing data published in a nutrition handbook in 1975 with data on the Internet in 1997, he found that the amount of calcium reported for raw broccoli - the kind sold at supermarkets - had declined by 53 percent. Broccoli also had 38 percent less vitamin A, 48 percent less riboflavin, 35 percent less thiamine and 29 percent less niacin. Similar declines were found for the other vegetables. The measurements were for 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of each uncooked vegetable, the equivalent of one-third to one-half a cup.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), while acknowledging that its own data indicate a decline, rightfully responded that :

...it is just as likely that testing techniques for measuring vitamins A and C, and calcium and iron, among other nutrients, have simply become more accurate, making the old data wrong

and :

It's rather difficult to attribute the change to any one factor

and :

.there is no way to be certain because it is impossible today to test the onions, collards and other vegetables harvested 25 years ago. Those vegetables have long since been destroyed or eaten.

We understand that the method of analysis of the content of food may have changed over decades.

It is obvious that a change of the method of analysis of the mineral content invalidates any conclusion that one could draw from a comparison between the numbers given by the analysis performed decades ago and the numbers given by a recent analysis.

However, there is a way around.

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Demonstration

The data we analyze come from the USDA. We have compared the data published by the USDA in 1963 in the Composition of Food. Agriculture Handbook no 8, with the data published by the same agency in the Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 13 replacing SR12, issued in March 1998.

Part One

The Longevity Institute has verified the findings of Alex Jack cited in the above text from the Omaha World-Herald. The 1963 Composition of Food. Agriculture Handbook no 8 indicate that broccoli raw spears (article 483) contain 103 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams. The Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 13 replacing SR12, issued in March 1998, indicates for raw broccoli ( NDB N 11090) 48 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams. This accounts for an apparent calcium loss of 46.60%. Alex Jack is right.

Part Two

The demonstration that actual crops are deprived of calcium is based on the two data sets from the USDA cited above. To extract a valid conclusion from the comparison of the two data sets, we have to address the objection from the USDA (see above in preliminaries) that laboratory techniques have changed over time. It is obvious that we first have to quantify an Analysis Factor (AF) expressing the difference in laboratory technology over time. If we then introduce the AF in the calculations, we will have a more valid base to estimate the possible effect of Intensive Farming (IF) and of Food Processing (FP).

To estimate the AF, we first have compared the 1963 and the 1998 data from food harvested without intensive farming. Table 1 illustrates our demonstration.

The content of food listed under [1], Almonds, Apples, avocados, Coconuts, and figs most likely are not influenced by a possible IF factor.

Column [c] contains the results of the calcium analysis performed by the USDA in 1963. Column [d] contains the results of the calcium analysis performed by the USDA in 1998. The numbers indicate the content of calcium in milligrams per 100 grams edible portion. Column [f] indicates the difference between the data in [c] and in [d] expressed in percentile of the data in [c]. The average of the data in [f] gives us the AF reflecting the difference in the calcium dosage technology over time.

The technology of 1998 detects on average 6.27 percent more calcium in food than was detected 35 years ago.

There has been little if any change since 1963 in the culture and the harvesting of Almonds, Apples, Avocados, Coconuts, and Figs. On the contrary Beans, Cherries, Eggplants, Endives, and Lima Beans listed under [2] have become the products of increasingly intensive farming.

As for the food listed under [1], column [c] contains the results of the calcium analysis performed by the USDA in 1963. Column [d] contains the results of the calcium analysis performed by the USDA in 1998. The numbers indicate the content of calcium in milligrams per 100 grams edible portion. Column [f] indicates the difference between the data in [c] and in [d] expressed in percentile of the data in [c].

The numbers in column [g] integrate the AF with the corresponding numbers of column [c]. (One can say the numbers in column [g] represent the content of calcium of food harvested in 1963, were the analysis performed with the technology of 1998). Column [h] indicates the differences between the (corrected) data in [g] and in [d] expressed in percentile of [g].

calcium data

Figure 1 : Column [c] contains the results of the calcium analysis performed by the USDA in 1963. Column [d] contains the raw results of the calcium analysis performed by the USDA in 1998. The numbers indicate the content of calcium in milligrams per 100 grams edible portion. Column [f] indicates the difference between the data in [c] and in [d] expressed in percentile of the data in [c]. The average of the data in [f] is the Laboratory Analysis factor (LA)
The numbers in column [g] represent the content of calcium of food harvested in 1963, analyzed with the technology of 1998). Column [h] indicates the differences between the (corrected) data in [g] and in [d] expressed in percentile of [g]
The 1998 analysis of the calcium content of food listed under [3] gives on average results lower than in 1963. The difference is -35.57% [4] . If we introduce the LA factor in the calculation, the data of 1998 indicate an average loss of 39.37 % of calcium since 1963.

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Conclusion

Crops have lost on average 39.37 percent of their content in calcium.
Since calcium is of one of the main elements of the earth crust, elementary logic postulates that the concentration in our food of elements much less abundant in the earth crust has followed the same trend.
Soil and agriculture experts assure there is a sufficient mineral supply in soils for plants to thrive well. We have no reason to oppose their views. we are not concerned with the well being of plants. We are concerned with the health of the people eating the plants.
The drop of the calcium content in crops, as documented by the analysis of the data of the United States Department of Agriculture proves the pertinence of the message of Dr Joel D. Wallach :

Our food is deprived of minerals.
Mineral supplementation is mandatory for health maintenance.

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