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Connections; farm, food, health  RSS feed

 
Bryant RedHawk
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I thought this presentation series I am doing might be of interest.

It is about how interconnected we are to the earth mother and how this interconnection has gotten off the path of human health both physical and mental sides are effected by how the foods we eat are now being grown.
how the modern farm methods put into practice in the late 1800's and escalated in the 1900's have created foods that actually make the human body sickly and unable to repair itself as it was designed to do.
It will take me a while to get it all transcribed from my lectures and put up here, so it will be ongoing.


     The elders of my nation always talk about how everything is connected.
It was only when I started my journey into soil building back in the early months of 1970 that I started to see what they probably meant.
As I recorded my data, along with making microscopic drawings, I watched bacteria interacting with strands of fungi and some nematodes.
At first I thought I was watching a feeding frenzy but the longer I watched the more I realized these different organisms were not being eaten or eating but touching each other for some other purpose.
I had made several slides and each one showed a lot of this type of activity.  I began to wonder what they were saying to each other or was it that one organism was passing something the microscope wasn’t powerful enough to see or was it indeed a type of communication.
I noticed they didn’t touch and react in a defensive manner, but some touches were fast while other times the touching seemed to linger.
In the microscopic world, a full second is like an hour, to the organisms that live there. Such an expenditure of time usually being needed for consumption of another organism.
I showed my professor and he too was puzzled, mostly by my interpretation of what was happening on the slides.
Ever since that day, I have been trying to find out just what goes on in soil between the hundreds of organisms that live there.
During my investigations I came to realize that much of the scope of our connections, the very act of being alive, has been eroded, so much so, that it has created most of the sicknesses we suffer today. 

     There are also many indicators that something is terribly wrong with our food.
It seems that ever since the first world war, people have been getting sicker, foods have become virtually tasteless at least those foods that you buy in grocery stores.
We have, in the past 30 years seen dramatic increases in instances of cancers, especially among children.
There are many people who say that the disease has always been present, we just find more of it now because the tests are better.
While this might be part of it, it seems to me that many of the new cases are more likely caused by poor nutritional value of foods and pollution of our environment more than because we have better tests available and so find it more often.
If what I think is valid, that means that the lack of nutrients in our foods is connected to sicker people and that also means that the soil is lacking what plants need to furnish the nutrients they used to contain when our ancestors were alive.
It is something that is worth investigating so we can come up with some answers. Our very lives most likely depend on finding the answers.

     As the world grows in population, several countries have become the predominant providers of food for the whole world.
This has come about from the feed the world point of view put forth by several chemical companies that make most of their money by creating the supply of fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides these same companies tell everyone are needed to produce bumper crops of produce.
One needs to know just how these companies came to be so entrenched in producing these items that will allow a few countries to “feed the world”.
3M, Dow Chemical, Bayer chemical, BASF and the rest got their start in WW1 by producing the gasses that were used in combat, things like phosgene, mustard gas, ammonia gas, all were chemical warfare items produced in mass quantities by these companies.
Once the war was over, they needed to be able to merchandise these things in other ways. Phosgene became a fumigant for stored grain and it is still used for this today.
It will literally kill everything that happens to breathe it in. Mustard gas was converted so it could kill insects along with ammonia becoming Nitrogen fertilizer.
It was discovered that Nitrogen was what plants need to grow big and soon it was being touted as the miraculous chemical that would help farmers produce larger crops and thus make those farmers more money.
Somewhere along the way we found out there was a “big three” and that if plants had lots of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus available the plants would produce like no one had seen before.
Soil was not the reason that plants grew big and produced well, these three chemicals were responsible for all plant growth and production.
Around this same time tilling was made easier by tractors and since we didn’t need soil, only dirt and some chemicals, it was easier to harvest if fields were huge and barren of everything except the single crop plant.
Modern agriculture took off in advertisements and even the government jumped on board and pushed farmers to get on this bandwagon.
That is how we have ended up where we are today, all the lack of nutrition in foods can be traced back to this invention of modern agriculture methods.

     But that is only how we got to this point, where a store bought apple, orange, vegetables, tomatoes all taste like nothing or are mere shadows of what they should taste like.
The real problem is that good nutrition starts with good old soil, the kind your great grandpa knew, rich and black, smelling sweet and holding all the moisture needed to grow a great, healthy plant that didn’t need help to survive because the pests and diseases couldn’t get a foot hold on those healthy plants.
The further we get from growing and nurturing soil, the sicker humans will get.
Our immune systems have nutritional needs that can’t be met by the chemical approach, just like soil, we need things that are living so we can be healthy.

to be continued

 
Maureen Atsali
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Looking forward to the next installments.  This is a subject near and dear to my heart.  As always, I appreciate your willingness to share your wisdom and experience.
 
James Freyr
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Well put Redhawk! I have had similar thoughts and beliefs for a few years now which are reinforced the more I read and learn about proper nutrition and diet from nutrient dense foods both raw and minimally processed (steamed broccoli is processed right?) grown in healthy soil. This thread makes me think of another area I've learned about that is iniquitously interconnected which is the revolving door or powerful people running the FDA, pharmaceutical and chemical companies. Former monsanto execs now work at the FDA and the same for former pharmaceutical execs, and some former FDA execs now work for pharmaceutical giants and monsanto, syngenta, dow, the list goes on. They're all friends and do favors for each other to prop up the house of cards to make sure the respective companies products are approved and on the market to ensure the one singularity they are concerned with: profits. I believe there is a nefarious agenda to keep GMO food and it's necessary chemicals for growing on the market (as one example) so people eat toxic food and stay sick so they go to the doctor and get the prescription drugs to treat the symptoms without ever realizing the underlying cause of their ailments: poor food quality/toxic residue. Healthy food is the answer for a healthy body. Granted there are still viral and bacterial pathogens we get exposed to that can make us sick, but unfortunately the masses just don't get it, and think eating twinkies and fast food while gulping down mountain dew is food, and it's not food.

Looking forward to the next installment!
 
Libbie Hawker
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This is great so far! I appreciate the thought you've put into clarifying what is your opinion and what is not--that's important in this type of presentation.

Have you read Eating On the Wild Side by Jo Robinson? I learned so much from that book. It's all about the original, undomesticated versions of most of the plants we currently farm for food in a Western diet, and how those original versions differ from what we can buy in grocery stores today. (And how you can select the most nutritional versions of each food from grocery store offerings.) A very useful and interesting book! It's one of the things that started me toward permaculture. It might be useful for adding some bits and pieces to your presentation.
 
David Livingston
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Hi Bryant
I am not sure that ammonia gas was ever used directly as a weapon in WWII the Germans had far " better " weapons at their disposal . Why it was important was that before WWI most of the nitrogen compounds used in explosives were derived from verious natural products such as bird droppings . The Allies stopped the German trade in these products so the Germans  were forced to look else where . Had they not discovered this process the war would have finished years earlier as the Germans would have run out of bullets .

David
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau David, I was referring to WWI, not WWII. Ammonia gas was created and used in the manufacture of several of the gasses as well as many of the explosives that were used in "The Great War" they were banned for the "War to End All Wars".

Even today ammonia derivatives are used as explosives, ammonium nitrate is commonly used in most mining operations, it was the explosive used in the Oklahoma bombing. It's easy to acquire, even today since it is also a fertilizer.

Usable nitrogen in soil is also derived from ammonium because that is broken down by bacteria and made useable as nitrite and nitrate which are then used by fungi and further broken down so plants can draw it into their roots and make use of it.

Chemist are the ones who came up with the idea that since plants need nitrogen to grow big, let us give them an overdose of nitrogen and thus grow giant plants. Sadly, it doesn't really work that way if you want plants that are worth eating by humans or other animals.

Redhawk
 
David Livingston
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My bad I mistyped I was referring to WWI
Yes the connections are interesting if Born and Haber had not developed the process their method of extracting nitrogen from the air ,the war would have been over much quicker with out USA involvement nor would the Brits have developed the tank .
The chemical industry would not have developed as it did millions of men would not have died a corporal might have developed different attitudes and the world would be a different place

David
 
Bryant RedHawk
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part 2

From the time that humans began changing from hunter / gather to grower, soil has been disturbed one way or another to plant seeds.
At the start this was poking a hole in the soil, dropping in a seed or two, covering the hole and adding water.
Next came digging a hole, placing a fish or other animal item adding soil back to cover that fertilizer then dropping the seeds and covering and watering.
This is how the First peoples planted their crops such as maize, beans, squashes and the other staple items they grew so they were not totally dependent upon hunting and gathering.
Farming gave them some food security.
There are still some rare places where this sort of agriculture lives on such as the Amazon basin and parts of Africa.
In these places, people are dependent upon basic agriculture because they are remote enough that modern machines can’t get to them and even if they did, they would not be suited to the terrain or weather patterns.

When farming took off in populations during the Rise of the Greeks, plows became used and plots as large as an acre were usually tilled up then planted.
This plowing was not really deep, more along the surface down to around 6 inches, which left enough of the soil intact that it could repopulate the tilled up surface during the growing season.
But, this is when planting crops over and over, the same way started to take its toll on the soil health. There are records from that time mentioning crops doing poorer over the years of tilling and planting.

As you can see, humans have been doing the wrong things almost from the start of creating permanent villages.
At first it was to provide enough food for the people of the village, then it was to provide a surplus of food for the feudal lord, then larger populations arose as being stationary allowed for population growth like never before.
More land was put under the plow to feed these growing populations and we have not stopped, nor have we ever taken a time out to think about what is being done and what doing that is creating.
From those first missteps we have never thought about consequences, to the health of the people or the health of the land being used to grow the food crops to feed the people.
There is a snowball effect, like if you make a small, well packed snowball and roll it down a steep hill. The problem grows and grows until it is large enough to crush the house at the bottom of the steep hill.
We are currently sitting in that house and that snowball is pressing on the uphill wall, it won’t be much longer before the house is crushed.
The house here is human nutrition or more precisely, the lack of human nutrition.
When you look at the progression of Civilization (as we know it) it seems that every time something more convenient is either discovered or invented, the very people that discovery / invention was supposed to help have a better life, somehow ends up more of a detriment.
The Romans were a great civilization for example, but they ended up giving themselves lead poisoning by using lead, a wonderful metal that was easy to shape and cheap to acquire, in piping for water and plates to eat off of.
Pewter, an alloy of tin and lead, was one of the materials still being used for dinner ware during the Revolution by the US and England, something born out in stories of people melting down their pewter wares to make bullets.
All through history we can find items that were great but also deadly. Agriculture has been and still is perhaps one of the greatest culprits, along with “modern medicine”, it is not coincidence that when we look back, we find “science” at the root of most of the “great discoveries” ever since it was brought into popularity.

You might point out that science has been a boon for humankind and I would not disagree.
However, science also has fallen into the human trap of taking the easy path of late.
If we were to look at scientific methods we would find that the longer science has persisted as the way of discovery, the more convoluted the methodology has become.
It is like the Fresnel lense of the beacon of a light house, it must always be polished or the light will not shine out as far as it is supposed to.
Science and scientific methods are not perfect, they are a good way to study tiny bits of a whole.
The theory of scientific method is that the narrower your focus, the clearer you can see the results.
It sounds good, and for certain things it is good, but when you start adding up the little bits, and think that it will give you the whole, the math doesn’t always add up.
One of the biggest problems is the scientist and their experiments, they (the experiments) are subject to corruption by those practicing science and using scientific methods.
This isn’t a problem if the scientist resist temptation to adjust the method to produce the desired results.
Unfortunately that does happen all the time, quite often, because most scientist have to live by “publish or perish” which is a nice way of saying produce some results we want to see on paper or you will lose the funding for your research, or lose your job.
It has become one of the great conundrums in the academic world and it has leaked into those corporations that depend on science for products to sell, such as pharmaceutical companies and chemical companies.
The scientist, no matter their conviction of heart, will be expected to produce what the company needs to be produced.

Science decided to study farming in all of its parts.
They studied soil, breaking it down into each chemical component.
They did this by chemical analysis of crops, what chemicals are in the crops?
They did it by defining what minerals were needed in the soil for use by those crops, which was determined by quantitative analysis.
They then used qualitative analysis to come up with a “profile” of the minerals needed by plants so these plants would grow the fastest and produce the most crop possible.
What they forgot or ignored, was that plants don’t necessarily use those chemicals in the forms that can be put into the soil easily.
They also forgot that real soil is alive.
It was easier to look at soil as if it were dirt, dirt is devoid of living organisms, only minerals are present in dirt.
This was all coming together over a period that spans from the late 1800’s thru the 1930’s. it culminated with the Dust Bowl era, which saw most of the really productive top soil of the growing belt swept away by windstorms.
Things changed finally with the soil conservation act, but it was just another short term treatment.
They used the term soil, but what they were talking about was dirt.
Even today those agencies that deal with farm soil use the term soil, but what they talk about is dirt.
In the areas where they do talk about nutrition, it is once again in chemistry’s point of view, not the human bodies point of view.


to be continued
 
Bryant RedHawk
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In the last session we talked a little about the science that has been used to come up with the current thinking for commercial farming.
Science demands, through the use of scientific method (question becomes hypothesis which becomes theory which is tested through experimentation and replication and when successfully replicated several times the theory can end up becoming a law) the investigation of minute parts of whatever is being investigated.
Very rarely will an experiment be set up to cover a wide scope of variables because it is impossible to do so with the necessary replication demanded.
So what we end up with is a lot of parts being tested and trialed which does tell us a lot but in tiny bits of information that are extremely specific.
Ideally, if we took for instance the growth of a wheat plant and we want to grow the absolute best wheat plant that can be grown, we need to know every part of the process from seed sprouting through seed heading and plant death accompanied by seed head drying.
Now it would seem that if you did this you would be able to always grow that best ever plant.
This has actually been done over the last 80 or so years.
The problem is that even though we know every part of this process, the seeds grown by using this knowledge, by applying the exact minerals and other plant needs,
in the exact right proportions, at the exact right time, we don’t get a seed with the exact same nutrient values of a same species wheat seed that was just thrown out on some soil and allowed to grow all on its own.
While it might be thought that “well of course, our science grown seed will produce better nutritional value”, what happens most often is that the “let nature do it for us” grown seed will have better nutritional value when tested by chemistry.
How can that be?
Well, the problem comes from how plants eat and what they eat.
It can be compared to a person who eats home grown foods and drinks only water to a person who eats only fast foods and drinks only soda pop.
Which one will have the best chance of becoming obese?
I would put my money on the junk foodie being the winner in that contest.

Commercial fertilizers are like junk food for plants.
Soil Science uses the base of pH level for testing and recommendations of amendments.
Plants have the ability to make pH adjustments to the soil they grow in.
So, when we use lime or sulfur to adjust the soil pH, which our soil test results tell us to do to have things right for growing things, we have become McDonalds so to speak.
Fertilizers provide needed nutrients but usually at highly elevated quantities, far above what plants require.
We in effect create a glut of those basic nutrients which, because of the different “nutrient pumps” plants have, creates obese plants.
This is why application of too high a nitrogen content will burn the leaves of plants, but it can also do similar damage if there is too much of any of those “primary” nutrients.
If you have ever had your soil tested you most likely got advice to add lime and were given the levels of the major nutrients N, P, K along with a few of the 95 different micro nutrients plants use as drivers for nutrient uptake.
If your plant needs K, you should also have Na available since a plant will trade Na ions (sodium) for K ions (potassium), if your plant needs calcium per your soil test, if you don’t have boron in your soil then the plant won’t be able to pick up the calcium you add to the soil.
Iron is another ion that needs a companion ion for proper uptake.
This is true for every one of the main nutrients, even though your soil test says add this much of this mineral, if you don’t have or add the companion mineral, what you added will just sit there in the soil.
This is why the application of sea water or sea minerals works, most sea water contains at least 80 of these micro-nutrient minerals.
Using sea minerals will be dependent upon where on the planet they come from since different portions of the oceans contain different concentrations and different minerals.
In the Gulf of Mexico, the water running along the border of South American countries has some different mineral content than the water that runs along Mississippi, or California, or Florida.
What happens in this well- known ocean current is temperature variances, which create places where some minerals drop lower in the water column and other minerals rise through the water column.
Along with that, the Sea of Cortez has different mineral contents than the Pacific, Indian, and all other named bodies of the seas.

Plants are far more complex than most people think, since research is and has been going on for most of the period scientific method has existed, we are learning more and more, but quite often it seems to be at the expense of what we can observe.
Nature has been providing for plants ever since the first algae was washed up on land and managed to survive there.
Algae is the first form of plant life and from there all the other plants evolved over the last 150 million years or more.
Now if plants have managed to survive all those millions of years, without human help, why don’t we try to get out of their way more than trying to manipulate them?
Because we want the plants we grow to produce food at the highest rate possible.
What we should be trying to do is grow plants that will produce the highest nutrient density possible instead of quantity.
We humans seem to have a great tendency to go the wrong way when it comes to using plants for food production.
We have our focus on quantity instead of quality and that has, over the last 150 years become a larger and larger problem for humans.

Since the invention of the plow and domesticated farm animals started being used to pull those plows, which has been going on for at least 2000 plus years, the nutrient value of foods has been gradually declining.
Once the industrial revolution came along things got worse faster.
With the invention of the tractor the nutrient decline gained momentum again and then when artificial fertilizers came on the scene, there was a huge leap in production and a huge drop in nutritional value came along for the ride.
Where the major health issues previously were due to contamination of drinking water for the most part.
Around 1905 a new disease was recognized, influenza, and it would be the new plague following tuberculosis.
It’s hard to find reports of how many colds and other bacteria borne illnesses people were catching but the big killers are fairly well documented even back to the Black Death.
If we were to follow the nutrient trail, we would find that these diseases were most prominent in areas where people purchased more of their foods rather than growing their own foods.
Today, grocery stores sell tons of food every day and most if not all of it is nutrient poor when compared to those same items grown at home, without use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.
Unfortunately, even with the USDA Organic movement, nutrient density is still going downhill and instances of disease is still going up.
When I was young it was very rare to have children having cancers.
Today there are hospitals full of children with devastating cancers.
Cancers in Adult populations is increasing, diabetes occurs in far more people per capita than in previous decades.
Obesity is rampant among all age groups. Sugars are found in just about every food item you find for sale.
Sodium chloride, a poor substitute for real salt (that which was deposited by ancient oceans or currently evaporation of sea water) is almost always an ingredient of every food stuff sold.
NaCl by the way is not good for humans or any other creature, when the molecule is broken down in the body the sodium goes one way and the chlorine (a poison) runs through the body.
Real salt is not NaCl it is a sodium atom combined with any of a multitude of minerals such as Mn, Mg, Ca, Zn and on and on.
Chlorine is a gas in natural form and it will kill living organisms.
Yet there it is, in almost all salt shakers on every table and in every home, and a lot of the time atoms of iodine have been added to it at the plant that creates the “salt”.
The iodine is not bad, our bodies need it for the thyroid gland to function properly but why add it to a manufactured salt when all you need to do is buy a non-purified sea salt
that is cheaper to make because all you are doing is trapping sea water and letting the sun evaporate the water molecules, leaving the great tasting salts behind.
Most non-purified sea salt has iodine in it already.

To be continued
 
David Livingston
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Hi Bryant
How can we measure the nutrient density of our food and compare it with food from the past ?

David
 
David Livingston
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Hi Bryant
You stated
"If we were to follow the nutrient trail, we would find that these diseases were most prominent in areas where people purchased more of their foods rather than growing their own foods. "
Could another way of looking at this be when we crowd people together the potential opportunity for the transmission of illnesses, propagation of new illnesses and the actual development of new illness becomes more likey .
I was reading about ideas that the Spanish flu started in France in the huge army camps .
Dawins ideas work for  the " bad " guys too
 
Bryant RedHawk
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While most people think that you would have to do chemical analysis of foods, bones keep a good record of nutrition that was consumed and several studies have been done by archeologist working on discovered tombs.
There have also been tests done on grains and other food items that have been found in tombs which give a profile of what sort of nutrition they were getting.

Crowding of peoples increases instances of disease transfer as well as current travel times, this has been shown with several diseases such as Ebola, Influenza, Zika and many others. That doesn't really alter the fact that the nutrient poor foods are at the root of the problem.
The human body is very capable of healing most of the issues that can arise, but this occurs only when the foods eaten are packed with the nutrition those foods are capable of producing.
Health issues we see today can be linked to the nutrient poor diets and abundance of sugars being eaten. All those "empty" calories are one of the big problems for human health.
This has been known for a fairly long time in the perspective of since our nutrient levels have been going down hill rapidly.

MARTHA F. TRULSON, D.SC., Associate Professor of Nutrition.
This is the abstract from a paper that was first published in 1959
Abstract

A characteristic of the American dietary that has persisted throughout years has been its abundance. Animal protein, animal fat, and total calories have been high on a per capita basis when compared to many other countries of the world. At any period of time, high fat and moderate fat intakes can be found in groups of the population. It is doubtful that segments of this population would be or have been eating diets low in fat for any period of time.

The change that has occurred in food consumption as judged by the food availability tables has been a marked reduction in the use of cereals and potatoes. Sugar consumption has increased since 1910, but has remained fairly stable since 1933. There has been some change in the amount of fat available and in the variety of fats. The consumption of margarine, oils, and hydrogenated shortenings has increased. Butter consumption has decreased, but that of butter fat has remained about the same.

Studies on waste have been inadequate. There has been much written about the waste of food in America; however, few careful studies of waste in the American home have been made. Whether the increased availability of 25 g of fat since 1910 means an appreciable increase in fat consumed has not been determined. The estimation of fat in meats from food tables will vary according to the table used.

Enrichment and fortification of staple products have been a development primarily of the past twenty years.

Perhaps the most noticeable change in the diet has been the increase in variety of foods and the lessening of seasonal differences in food availability. This has been due to improved transportation, advances in the technology of food preservation, and the influence of very effective advertising methods which persuade the housewife to try new products.

The interpretation of the food availability data and family consumption data as food eaten cannot be entirely justified, as both methods are reported in averages and conceal the variations of individuals. Care must be taken to avoid considering diet, or particular changes in diet, as the sole cause of change in disease rate. Diet should be considered in conjunction with other factors, which may be activity, stress, and genetic or other variables. More information is needed on food intake of specific groups in conjunction with these factors; in addition, more reliable methods should be devised for studying food intake and losses in food preparation and in cooking.
 
David Livingston
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I am not sure Bryant if looking at tombs provides a representative sample as these are usually seen as the preserve of the elite . Not the average person .
Whilst the idea that it is solely nutrition or lack of it that is the cause of illness has I admit some attraction who actually has succeeded in living for ever? ( I ' m being ironic here not asking for names ).
Yes I am with you on the importance of what we eat and also don't eat but not on itbeing the sole factor .
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Nutrition in foods is not the sole factor, it is an important part of the whole picture but not an end all, be all.
As for tomb food stuffs, while there are some differences in the overall diet of different casts, there were no special fields set aside just for the aristocracy, which means they ate the same grains as the poorest, just more of those grains.
In Egypt, it has been shown that even pharaoh had dental problems from the sand that was in the food. He probably had more meat in his diet than others but the grains and fruits would have been grown in the same fields and orchards.
He would have eaten more fats than the population most likely.

If you want an overall of what is creating the current demise of the human race it would include; poor nutrient values in foods, over abundance of poor nutrient value foods, greed for money which creates problems in product quality (all products), pollution from our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels (Natural gas),
Pollution from war weapons (including plutonium) and the list can be as long as one likes to make it. Since no one can survive without taking in nutrition by eating (at this point), the loss of topsoil, the use of chemical fertilizers, the use of "Cides" and the constant removal of forests are probably the largest causes for poor health in the world. Then would come pollution of the air and water followed by everything else. In the years I have been observing humans, I have come to the conclusion that humans are a self-destructive virus on mother earth. What other animal do you know of that thinks of killing the very planet that provides them life?
 
James Freyr
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Redhawk- I've read one way to measure food nutrient density in a very general way without expensive lab equipment is to use a refractometer to measure a samples brix. I learned about brix in brewing school and I understand brix is a measure of sugar content. In some literature I've read recently brix can apparently be used to get a fairly accurate read on a vegetables' general nutrient density. Articles have mentioned that the higher the natural sugar content the higher the density of other nutrients and these correlate. Do you have any understanding and thoughts on this? Thanks!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau James, yes the refractometer is a fairly good tool with many uses including coarse measurement of nutrient density in foods.

Brix is the measurement of sugars as you mentioned, I use it to test my mashes and worts.
There is indeed a correlation between total nutrient densities and sugar density in foods, The higher the brix value, the higher the nutrient value will be.
Keep in mind that we are talking about brix values above 12 for nutrient density, once you get above 12 brix you are in the range of complex sugars instead of simple sugars, complex sugars are related to higher nutrient density.
Most of the foods that come out of our gardens should measure in the 15+ range for good nutrient density.

Redhawk
 
Bryant RedHawk
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David Livingston wrote:Hi Bryant
How can we measure the nutrient density of our food and compare it with food from the past ?

David


In the USA, the USDA did publish studies of food stuffs nutrition back in the 1950's if you compare their current list to that one you will find things like 1 1950's apple is equivalent to 11 2015 apples nutritionally.
There are quite a few foods in these lists, mostly fruits and vegetables and when you look at them side by side it is very revealing as to how bad our current commercial farm techniques must be.

Redhawk
 
gary james
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Bryant Redhawk,

Thank you for spending your life doing what is needed to honor the Earth Mother. I have just joined this site and found your threads. I began learning much later in life, after becoming sickened by being separated from the soil I used to play in. I never learned the things you have been working with since a few months before my own birth. I am now seeking out a thriving permaculture community to join to bring what skills I do have to help do my part.

Thank you for this post. It is very helpful.

Broken Wing Nomad
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Ever since the end of the last World War, we have been bombarded by science, being told that if we have problems with soil nutrition or pests are eating our crops, we must pour chemicals into the soil and we then need to pour poisons on the plants to kill the pests that are eating our plants.
This chemical warfare worked, in the beginning, but it has always been the wrong way to approach the issues.
If your soil is missing nutrients then why not use organic materials to bring fertility of the soil back up?
Well, the main reason this is still not the main stream method, regardless of what we now know, is that it doesn’t fit into the “Instant gratification” mind set we have been taught by just about every business out there.
Fast food is a prime example, you are hungry?
Go to McDonalds or any other FFR, your hunger will be satisfied and that meal will sit in your stomach for hours because it is loaded with fats, it will satisfy you quickly because it is also loaded with sugars.
The combination is like chocolate to the brain, fat combined with sugar gives your brain a double hit of feel good, so of course we want it again and again, not unlike the drug addict who craves that next hit of drugs so they feel good again.

Chemical fertilizers work much the same way, but they do not provide good nutrition so the soil is sick,
the plants growing in that soil are sick and since sick plants send out different signals (both chemical and electrical) which plant pests, both insect and diseases,
pick up those “I’m sick” signals, guess where our unwanted friends go?
To our sick plants, that’s where the buffet line is out and yummy.
If we instead take the time to create healthy soil through the use of compost, compost teas and use sea minerals and other gentle minerals to correct the imbalances,
then not only does the soil become more healthy with a multitude of beneficial organisms growing there,
we have allowed that soil to come into balance, the equilibrium of such soil allows plants to suck up everything they need, in the right quantities, through the right mechanisms,
to be so healthy their signals don’t call out to the pests, attracting them to come for dinner.
This health will remain, year after year as long as we don’t jerk up the plant roots and let all the parts we don’t want to go back into the soil.
This is what is meant by “The Soil Food Web”.
It is a complete circle of life, created by healthy soil and those plants that like to grow together doing so.
Weeds, which are just plants growing where we don’t want that particular plant, are indicators of problems in the mineral content of the soil.
Dandelion for example only grows in soils that are low in Calcium, they have deep tap roots that pull Ca up to the surface so it becomes available for plant roots once the dandelion dies and decomposes that year.
This mechanism will continue until the Ca levels are brought up to where they should be in the surface soil.
Nature knows what to do and how to do it, so our mission should be to learn how to listen to Nature and follow the leads we are given on what is needed.

The one thing that most Scientist still seem to fail to understand is that we, our living bodies, minds, and everything else that occupies space on planet earth is dependent upon microbes for what we define as life.
Nothing exists as we know it without microbes being a large part of existence.
Dr. Olree, in a presentation to fellow scientists stated “There is no way to obtain longevity without the proper amount of any mineral needed for the process of DNA.
For example, if you get low on boron, the second most abundant mineral of the cerebral spinal fluid, aluminum levels rise, giving way to abnormal transportation of nutrition through the Tau transportation system.
The problem starts within the pancreas giving way to abnormal sugar levels that spread to the brain, contributing to the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Another problem is that testosterone starts to drop and estrogen goes up with low boron levels and is reversed with the addition of boron.
A third is that if we don’t have yttrium in our diets, the microbes of the gut do not work as they are supposed to so that our bodies can utilize selenium which is a main mineral that activates the immune system.” 
As you can see, the current lack of nutrition in our foods can and does lead to diseases and other problems with the workings of the human body.
In addition, if we can’t get proper nutrition, any plant or animal we use for food, can’t get proper nutrition either.
That means that what we are eating is allowing disease to get a foot hold in our bodies simply because of how those foods are being produced.

Every mineral has a complementary enzyme that is used by microbes to digest that mineral.
Nematodes are also a good example of the complex interactions of life.
99% of the known nematodes are good guys.
That leaves one percent of all known nematodes to be the bad guys.
Nematodes operate on multiple trophic levels, some feed on plants and algae, others on bacteria and fungi and others feed on other nematodes.
Predatory nematodes can control fleas, grubs, moles, flies and other “pests”, there are currently over 20,000 identified species of nematodes.
Without these microbes, life for humans can be uncomfortable at the least.
There are even nematodes that help control lice.

to be continued  (note, this post edited to remove unintentional miss information)

Redhawk
 
David Livingston
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Bryant
Are you saying that sea weeds transmute something else into Iodine?
Since iodine is an element ( it's in the same group as chlorine you mentioned earlier- the Halogens) I    find this idea very interesting and surprising . I would be interested in finding out how this is achieved .
David
 
Burra Maluca
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I'm pretty sure that there is iodine in seawater, according to links like this - https://web.stanford.edu/group/Urchin/mineral.html Which would mean that kelp could obtain its iodine simply by concentrating it, without having to invoke nuclear physics, which I'm pretty sure is beyond the reach of enzymatic reactions, which are chemical in nature, not nuclear.
 
Burra Maluca
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Sorry Burra, but I read that list and iodine is not in it.


Yes it is - it lists it as

Iodine - 126.9 molecular weight - 0.05 ppm in seawater - 0.00000039 molar concentration

You have to scroll down.  It's listed between Barium and N as nitrite.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I stand corrected, and with a concentration that high, it is most likely the source of the high concentrations in iodine kelp.

upon checking my notes, that was misinformation put out of the context I intended, due perhaps to my current state of mind (was operated on this morning so anesthesia might be in play there).

Redhawk
 
David Livingston
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Also Bryant you mentioned Iodine as an important component of sea salt earlier which I think contradicts yourself
 
Bryant RedHawk
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My brain was out to lunch, that's the only explanation I can come up with.
 
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