Food Mineral Balance: Signs of Superior Nutrition Part 5 – Plant Sap pH

Plant sap pH reflects the mineral balance within a crop. What is  mineral balance? It is the idea that certain proportions of minerals within the plant reflect optimal plant health. For example, there may be too much of calcium or too little, too much of zinc and not enough copper, and so on. For example, If copper to zinc ratios are way out of balance in a human, serious consequences may likely follow if this imbalance persists [1].

Plants also may  get affected by minerals since the minerals affect their growth and overall development. Too much or too little of virtually anything can be bad. If society has been able to grasp this conceptually, then why has almost nobody paid attention to this in relation to plant nutrition?

For example, NPK farming approaches are a great recipe for growing plants very susceptible to disease. How do I know the NPK approach fails miserably when it comes to providing optimal nutrition? The pH meter measuring out the sap of such plants will demonstrate serious imbalances. It provides an answer the question of which proportions of mineral indicate balanced plant nutrition.

High nutrition farming consultant Graeme Sait states: “Bruce Tainio has discovered that the pH of plant sap is another indicator of plant health and associated pest and disease pressure. An ideal sap pH of 6.4 reflects the optimum vibratory frequency for that plant. If plant sap is acidic, then the vibratory profile of that plant attracts disease. Conversely, if plant sap is alkaline, insects are attracted. There is a beautiful synergy in Bruce’s concept, in that the measurable number (the vibration that represents the state of balance, also reflected as a sap pH of 6.4) comprises the sum of the vibrations of all of the elements that determine the sap pH. That is, each element vibrates in a unique manner, and these vibrations can now be categorised numerically. If there is a deficiency in a cation – calcium, potassium and magnesium being the key players – then there will be more hydrogen in the plant sap, the sap will be acidic and the plant will attract disease. At the other end of the pH-spectrum, the anions are shaping the scenario. If the acidic anions – nitrates, phosphates and sulfates – are deficient, then the balance is blown. The sap pH becomes alkaline and it’s ‘tucker time’ for the sap-suckers. There is no incongruity here” [2].

sap pH

Sait’s company Nutri-Tech is a big promoter of this tool of food quality. He adds “our research department has been working with the sap pH concept for the past twelve months and we’ve yet to find an exception to your rule that acidic sap creates a predisposition to ward dis ease. If a zucchini in the trial plots has powdery mildew, it’ll always have a sap pH be low 6.4″ [2]. The  insight from this quote is that the sap pH test also tells a grower what nutrition corrections they need to make if the number deviates from the ideal of 6.4.

Nutrition farming pioneer Bruce Tainio explains how he came up with plant sap pH as model of plant health:” What I concluded was that every element on the atomic chart has a Hertzian frequency – a natural vibratory frequency, and I have all of those frequencies, for each of the elements. Because all cells in all living organisms have an ideal level of each of these elements, there had to be a relationship between the vibratory frequency and the pH of the plant sap because the presence or absence of these elements determines pH. When we found the link, it covered my rear to a certain extent because I was able to get away from talking vibratory frequency and begin talking pH, which everyone was familiar with. It’s not a big step to move from soil pH to plant pH as a valid analysis tool. In essence, I discovered that there was a direct correlation between the hydrogen content in the cell and plant health. At the ideal of 6.4, the hydrogen content of plant fluids is approximately 12%. If you calculate out all of the frequencies attributed to each element – add up their individual frequencies – you’ll come to the ideal frequency of a living plant. If there is more than 12% hydrogen and the plant sap is acidic, it will mean that you have dis placed one of those elements and usually it turns out to be calcium or potassium. This displacement alters the vibratory frequency of that plant. So this is how I got into the pH concept in the first place” [3].

Sait is one of a growing number of consultants who look at both brix and sap pH as indicators of nutrition levels and mineral  balance. In practice, I have found that the plant sap pH gives a more accurate and specific indication of mineral imbalance than the refractometer. For example, I have one seasoned grower who has long since reached very high brix numbers on his crops but the plant sap pH had not been at 6.4. As he improved the sap pH, getting closer and closer to 6.4, he saw better and better results in the field.

Tainio has noted that plant sap pH also has a bearing on shelf life levels [4]. Thus, this measure can predict shelf life. How much it can do so still remains to be seen. Farmers who do a good job with the Tainio protocol, which included monitoring and making nutrition corrections based on sap pH, whether foliar or soil amendments. do see signficantly better shelf life.

Notes

1. http://www.westonaprice.org/metabolic-disorders/copper-zinc-imbalance

2.  Nutrition Rules, p.vi-vii

3. Nutrition Rules, p.107

4. Tainio Technology and Technique Biological Farm Management System, Products and Procedures Guide, p. 49.

Relationships Between Soil Fertility and Dental Health: Review of “Our Teeth and Our Soils” Part 2

Do you like getting your teeth drilled to “maintain” your dental health? How much do you enjoy going to the dentist? Albrecht’s article indicates that the better the soil fertility where your food is grown, the better your chances of your dentist giving you a clean bill of health.

Navy Data of Tooth Problems as an Indicator of How Soil Fertility Affects Dental Health

Are you living in a locale which has exceptional soil fertility? The answer is no, in all likelihood. This article was written at a time when most of the food people ate was local and not trucked thousands of miles from another part of the country, let alone a different continent. The data presented gives some idea of  how variations in soil fertility equate to variations in human health. If you eat local as much as possible, is that working against you or helping you keep in good health?  ”Our Teeth and Our Soils” argues very few of us currently are getting truly health promoting nutrition by eating local.

Albrecht explains that the soils on the east coast have had the calcium stripped out of them by natural processes. Much of that calcium has gone into the sea. Since then, the west coast has seen calcium declines due to over farming and other problems which suck out the nutrition from our foods. High nutrition farmers have noted that you will find poor quality all over the country.

Albrecht did some surveys to back up his claims. He found that slightly farmed soil had 5% of their dry matter in the form of calcium and phosphorus. This figure drops to 4% at moderately farmed soils and 3% highly farmed soils. “As the soils are more highly developed … they can provide us …. less and less with the minerals essential for bone growth and less of those associated with the protein synthesis of plants.”

Albrecht gives us a background of how soil fertility conceptually affects human health based on his knowledge of agronomy and allied sciences. See Part 1 for more information. He then takes these principles and uses them to analyze data of caries in the navy, searching for causes behind the variations in the data. He writes:

“Very recently Comdr. C. A. Schlack and Lt. Birren of the Navy Medical Research Institute  presented some data by regions of the United States which represented the condition of the teeth of 69,584 men coming on active duty in the Navy in 1941-42 [1]. These represented 93 percent of a lot from which 7 percent had already been eliminated for dental reasons. This screening reduced the regional differences, but even in spite of this, those regional differences show a decidedly interesting relation to the development of the soil.

“From the report of these naval officers, one is almost astounded at the poor dental condition in this sample of our people. It is especially serious when these naval inductees represented the mean, youthful age of 24 years with 82 percent of them below the age of 30 years. For the group as a whole the report reads as follows: ‘The mean number of simple and compound cavities was found to be about ten per person … and five fillings per person. Few teeth required extraction, despite the large number of carious teeth, the mean number per person being about 0.2. In contrast, the mean number of missing teeth was 41 at the time of the examination.’

“This is a sad commentary on the dental condition of our young men when the statistics list them for an average of 15 carious areas each, in spite of the regular encouragement by the radio to use the tooth-brush daily. and to “see your dentist twice a year.” But.when the chemical composition of our teeth tells us that they consist mainly of calcium phosphate, and when the foremost fertilizer treatments needed to grow vegetation on our soils are lime (calcium) and superphosphate (phosphorus), there is good reason that the poor dental condition of these naval inductees should be connected with the low fertility of these soils.

dental caries map

“When soils need lime and phosphate to grow agricultural vegetation much more will they need these fertilizer additions of calcium and phosphorus in order to pass these nutrient elements on to the animals and the humans in the chain of decreasing chances to get these soil-borne requisites for good sound teeth. By recalculating the dental data of these naval inductees so as to make them.”

Voisin cited similar data in his book Soil Grass and Cancer. A study indicated that the soil where food is grown has a statistically significant impact on human health (p. 234).  The only difference was there was more rigor quantitatively speaking and no focus on the teeth per se. However, pioneer dentists Weston Price and Melvin Page have noted that dental health accurately reflects overall health.

It seems worthwhile mentioning that the American diet at that time was hardly great. People were already eating lots junk, including white bread, sugar, etc.  In spite of this onslaught of nutritionally worthless food, soil fertility still seemed to play a major role in determining the dental health of people in general.

If the Albrecht analysis is correct, then today’s poor soils are a major cause of poor dental health. The farmer has a huge value proposition. He or she can take big business from the dentist by producing high nutrition crops. The farmer turns out to be a sort of preventative dental practitioner. People who eat a substantial amount  of such foods in their diet are bound to save tons of money on dental care costs, which are some of the highest among all medical costs.

Notes

1. C. A. Schlack and J. E. Birren. Influences on Dental Defects in Navy Personnel.Science 104:259-262, 1946.

6 Factors That May Explain the Super Shelf Life of High Nutrition Crops

1. Bacteria and  mycorrhiza.

Farmers who use bacteria products as part of a high nutrition farming protocol notice significantly enhanced shelf life. It seems this happens when some basic mineralization program is in place – something as simple as foliar sprays with all of the basic minerals. Thomas of T&J Enterprises did an interesting experiment with his system to examine the role of bacteria and  mycorrhiza . He took his product Biovam and coated vegetables with it. This coating significantly increased the shelf of everyday mediocre produce. Tainio notes on their mineral and bacteria products that fertigation and foliars improve shelf life.

2. Calcium.

A number of growers have done experiments which indicate that calcium increases shelf life. Calcium can be in the form of amendments or fertigation, foliars or all of the above.What type of calcium a grower uses can affect the extent that calcium affects shelf life. Thus, growers can test for many different factors, such as switching from anionic calcium (e.g., lime) to cationic calcium (gypsum) for foliars and fertigation or using the proper calcium based on soil pH models.

3. Trace elements.

Ocean based trace mineral fertilizers tend to improve shelf life. I have seen different companies makes these claims. See http://www.sea-crop.com/testimonials.html http://www.seaagri.com/murray.htm. Just as with calcium, if the availability is very poor, this may not happen in  individual cases.

4. Antioxidant content.

I recall reading that Arden Andersen mentioned certain antioxidants affect shelf life. Thus, the super shelf life reflects high levels of these compounds.  Information completely independent of Dr. Andersen confirms the idea. High vitamin E presence affects shelf life [1]. It would be interesting to examine the antioxidant profile of high nutrition foods that have the super shelf factor working for them.

5. Sugar content.

“Top quality produce will have a higher sugar content. The higher sugar content means that the produce will dry with a higher moisture content and yet be as dry overall as inferior quality produce with dry moisture level. This is because the carbon content is much higher. The sugar is more concentrated, which means organisms - usually a part of the spoilage process – are unable to proliferate in the produce” (Nourishment Home Grown, p.120).

6. Nitrogen content.

International Ag Labs Co-Owner Jon Frank has noted that the amount of free nitrates can affect the shelf life of produce. I am testing this to see how well free nitrate levels can predict shelf life. Free nitrate levels reflect imbalances of nitrogen in the crop. Overuse of nitrogen is all too common in both mainstream organically and conventionally grown foods. One way to keep track of this is to use nutrition farming principles to watch for signs of nitrogen excesses. Soil tests and signs in the field will indicate excessive nitrogen levels.

Alexander Beddoe has noted that excess nitrogen cause lower mineral sugar. ” Two ears of corn were put into separate jars and sealed. One ear was from a field that had grown a good sugar content into it. While the other was from a field that had used high nitrogen with low calcium availability. Over a period of several weeks the ear of corn that was grown on high nitrogen low calcium just turned liquid and almost exploded the jar. The other just shrivelled somewhat but did not deteriorate” (Biological Ionization as Applied to Farming and Soil management, p. 45).

Notes

1. Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, North Wyke. experimental results presented at Associates day 2006.

Yttrium: The Ignored Longevity Trace Element That Has the Capacity to Triple Lifespans

In our what-is-in-it-for-me culture, you likely want to know why you should you care about yttrium. If you care one iota about your health, the following data will compel you to put the nutrient yttrium on your radar. (1) Yttrium enhances normal cell growth and doubles the life span of laboratory species [1]. (2) Injections of yttrium into mice led to an extreme conservation of trace minerals and a three-fold increase in the lifespan of test animals [2].

How in the world have people been ignoring these studies? I did a Google search for yttrium nutrient levels and found the data to be hard to come by. Finding it seemed to require the enlisting of help of a research librarian in the science department of one of the more prominent universities.

And yet few foods have any meaningful amount of yttrium, as you will learn in the following paragraphs. Currently nobody has created a recommended dosage range for yttrium. Whatever that range is, today’s mainstream produced real foods have nowhere near the optimal levels of yttrium. That included organics.

Surely, such studies warrant somebody in the supplement industry to cash in on the opportunity? Or what about doing more studies to gather more data? It may be happening right now, but hasn’t been for so many years. These studies don’t take decades to do.

I question the need to create a yttrium supplement when you can eat yttrium rich foods. High nutrition crops are loaded with this little known trace element. Massively increasing yttrium content turns out to be very simple, even though Richard Olree makes it sound like one hell of an undertaking in Minerals for the Genetic Code: “Yttrium is so rare that not one person in 100  seems to have heard about it. It appears near the bottom of a list of ocean minerals, and is found only rarely in mines and plants. Yet some plants pick it up even though this rare earth is usually absent in soils. Whether or not plants inhale it from particulate matter in the air is open to question.”

Although the idea of plants attracting yttrium from the atmosphere may be doable from the standpoint of Biological Ionization (Reams’ farming approach), adding Azomite will dramatically increase yttrium content of food. All the growers in my pipeline put it in into the soil, do foliars, or fertigation. And if a new one doesn’t  for whatever reason, I will gently bark an order for them to do so – or else. I certainly don’t mind exploring the idea of tripling my lifespan. Do you?

 

Incidentally, if you cannot get your hands on high nutrition crops grown with Azomite, you have another option. You can try consuming Azomite as a supplement. The company that sells it found animal consumption of Azomite improved animal health significantly enough for customers to buy it for their animals – not as soil amendments. Sally Fallon recommends it in her book Nourishing Traditions. And yet, as I wrote before in  The Limitations of Supplements, supplements at best partly make up for mediocre food.

azomite

You can find yttrium in igneous rocks at 33 ppm and 4.3 ppm in limestone [3]. Azomite is a source of the former: “An estimated thirty million years ago, the intense pressure from volcanic gasses created by bubbling magna caused the side of a mountain to rupture. A thick cloud of ash spewed out of the blowhole for days and formed a thick bed of highly mineralized volcanic ash. Saturated by rains, the volcanic ash and mineral dust bound together naturally to create a hard rock formation encapsulating the minerals. As the rains continued, the mineral reserve became a seabed. The seas receded and intense tectonic activity followed, forcing the earth’s crust to facture and heave; lifting the previously level rock bed into a hill formation geologists refer to as a “hogback” – rich with minerals”[4].

So how do high nutrition foods compare with mainstream organically grown foods in yttrium content? I compared lab tests data of several high nutrition products with the data Jim Duke’s phytochemical database at www.ars-grin.gov/duke, which is currently down at the time of this writing. The food highest in yttrium is cabbage at 29 ppm, followed by lettuce at 8.7.

yttrium

almond trace elementsAmount of yttrium applies to almonds and grains.

Pignut hickory shoot has 55 ppm, the highest content of yttrium in this database. Good luck finding that on your dinner table.

Many of the plants on the list of best sources of yttrium are not meant to be eaten like foods.  This list does not include nuts and grains, which indicates their levels are very low. The very same database includes Brazil nuts as the best source of selenium, which means what whoever complied this database had been keeping track of foods. Also, this data has not taken into account variations of soils.

All of this indicates  that high nutrition heirloom wheat, rye, and almonds have at least 50 times more yttrium than the average organically grown almonds, wheat, or rye. Radiesthesia testing indicates the obvious, with high nutrition almonds having on average 100-200 times more yttrium than the rest of the almonds produced in America.

Notes

1. Zhang, W.E., et al : Effects of Traces of Rare Earth Elements on the protozoan Blephermisma and on Mice. Biological Trace Element Research 17:81-90. 1988

2. Chaim T. HorovitzBiochemistry of Scandium and Yttrium: Biochemistry and Applications

3. Joel Wallach, D.VM., Rare Earths Forbidden Cures p.413

4. http://azomite.com/history.html

Dogs Mowing Down High Nutrition Cucumber Crops And Other Crazy Tales: Biological Assay as an Indicator of Better Than Organic Nutrition

Picture yourself in hot weather in southern Washington in the summer. The weather fluctuates between 80-100 degrees. You have hit august. You produce outstanding quality high nutrition cucumbers. The only problem is you cannot seem to get any. They seem to disappear.

The plants grow disease free. They look healthier than anything you have ever seen. You see blossoms and cucumbers forming. What keeps on happening? The cucumbers form but then disappear.

You do some investigating. Check in the morning, then in the afternoon, and finally the evening as you see the cucumber fruits forming.  You check if any animals around possibly consume some of the cukes, only to discover that your pooch keeps moving them down to the point where you don’t get any!

The above happened to a mentor of mine, an experienced high nutrition farmer who has been around the block for 20+ years. Others have reported similar findings. Thomas Giannou, who developed a high nutrition farming system with remarkable results, has a similar story with wheat grass.

Thomas one day decided to grow some wheat grass on the lawn. He grew some wheat grass without any nutrition farming inputs. His dog treated this grass just like the lawn – no interest whatsoever.

Then came the high nutrition version of wheat grass. His dog went nuts. It started eating this grass sort of like a cow. Next, Thomas wondered what would happen if he made some wheat grass juice. The dog lapped up up this juice like a child consuming ice cream.

wheat grass

My experience indicates the above stories don’t exactly fall into the categories of everyday commonplace experiences. These animals have had access to mediocre food and somehow woke up when they found something quite a bit better. The hypothesis goes something along the lines of animals having a keener and uninhibited sense of instinct that allows them make food choices conducive to optimal health. Assuming, of course, they have access to this food.

William Albrecht rain tests using biological assays of animals. In English, this means he did tests to determine how animals respond to crops grown in different ways. For example, ”in using the experimental rabbits to confirm the cow’s testimony about unbalanced fertilizers as the cause of ‘unbalanced nutrition’ in her feeds, increasing amounts of nitrogen were applied as top-dressings on a pasture with a mixed grass-legume flora. When only more nitrogen was applied, and the resulting tall, luscious, green grass was made into hay for feeding trials with the rabbits, they were increasingly reluctant to take it as more nitrogen fertilizer was used, except under an approach to starvation. Their loss of weight and their increased discard of hay from the feedrack–to use it only for bedding–were ample suggestions from the rabbits’ behavior that the report from the art of agriculture, via the cow’s refusal, was just as telling about unbalanced soil treatment giving unbalanced nutrition in the forages grown thereby as was the report by the science of agriculture via the test rabbits’ refusal. The rabbits as chemists merely gave the same vote as the cow on the simple matter of balanced fertility being a requirement for growing balanced nutrition.

“‘Too much nitrogen,’ is what both the cow as farm livestock and the rabbit as a living kind of scientific laboratory equipment were saying. The one was referring to the cow’s urine dropped on the spot in the pasture, and the other was referring to commercially fabricated fertilizer nitrogen. Both were capable as biochemists and as chemists. But with our attention fixed on quantity yield, we had not recognized the simple fact that they were making an unfavorable report on the quality of the feeds according to the unbalanced fertility of the soil growing them. Here was a case where we as researchers–who are merely trying to learn more–discovered that the cow was a better soil chemist and biochemist than we are” [1].

Notes

1. http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010141.soil.fertility.animal.health/010106ch08.html

Relationships Between Soil Fertility and Dental Health: Review of “Our Teeth and Our Soils” Part 1

Ever wonder why so many people have poor teeth? We have all these “procedures” to “maintain” dental “health.” These include filling root canals, braces and so forth.

Once I got into studying about health, I began to tackle this question head on. I put an end to tooth decay in 2007 by using a  cavity remineralization protocol of  a dentist by the name of Weston Price. Never again was I going to have a filling, never mind a root canal, I decided.

Several years afterwards, I reread Dr. Price’s work and realized that, even though my teeth had never been better, I had missed an additional factor that plays a role in promoting dental health that Price commented upon but never actually had a chance to apply. I am talking about kicking things up a notch or so by consuming highly mineralized whole foods from well-managed soils, currently not available on a mass level and certainly not available  in Price’s time.

In a previous post, I summarized the findings of Reams as pertaining to dental health and high nutrition farming. I focused on electrochemical compound colloids as a major factor that affects the teeth. Now, I am going to look at other connections between high nutrition food consumption and oral health.

William Albrecht, emeritus Professor and Chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri,  started his article off my making some important observations about soil, nutrition and the teeth. “The first fact that may well be considered is the observation that under moderate temperatures the increase in annual rainfall from zero to 60 inches, for example—as is the range in going across the United States from near the CoastRange eastward—gives first an increased weathering of the rocks. That change represents increased soil construction. Going east from zero rainfall means increasingly more productive soils until one reaches about the mid-continental area. Then with still more rainfall, there comes excessive soil development under the higher rainfall which means increased soil destruction in terms of soil fertility considered both in quantity and in quality.”

In essence, this means not all soils are mineral rich by default. Some places need certain additions to make up for the natural demineralization cycles which have been happening for  hundreds and thousands of years. Nature will not necessarily provide all that you need to thrive, a key a concept in nutrition farming.

“The second important fact in connection with this climatic pattern of soil development is the observation that at the maximum of soil construction (anti in the approach to it), which is near the 100th meridian of longitude, there is a wide ratio of the exchangeable calcium to the exchangeable potassium on the colloidal clay of the soil. There is a similar ratio of these two in the chemical composition of the crops and other vegetation grown thereon.”

How many dentists out there have paid attention to cation ratios of the soils of the crops their clients get their food from? Other than somebody familiar with Albrecht’s work such  Alexander Beddoe, almost nobody has. And yet Albrecht’s data shows that these factors matter when it comes to human and animal nutrition.

“The fourth significant truth that brings the soil fertility into control of the composition of our food, and therefore of our health, comes out of the facts (a)that in soils under construction by the limited climatic forces, or those with a wide calcium-potassium ratio, proteinaceous and mineral-rich crops and foods as well as carbonaceous ones are possible, and (b) that in soils under destruction by excessive climatic forces, or those with a narrow calcium-potassium ratio, protein production is not so common while production mainly of carbohydrates by the crops is almost universal.”

How is any of this relevant to the dental profession? “We have in the regions of higher rainfall the excessive carbohydrates in Nature and therefore may expect them in the human diet. Where rainfall is high enough to encourage vegetation in abundance there we have a hindrance to sound teeth from Nature herself, because of too much carbohydrate, or conversely, insufficient proteins and minerals, a fact — all too familiar to those in the dental profession—that militates against sound teeth.”

Albrecht  makes a conceptual case for nutrition farming from a broader perspective. “In considering soil fertility as it provokes excessive carbohydrates but deficiencies of proteins and minerals, we need only to look at the chemical composition of the human body in comparison with that of plants (Table 1). From these analytical data we can see that potassium is taken into the plants in largest amounts of all the mineral elements from the soil, while calcium and phosphorus are next in that order. In the human body, these same elements are the major three, but calcium is first, phosphorus second, and potassium third. Of amounts still higher than any of these in the human body is nitrogen. This is the key element distinguishing protein synthesized as amino acids from the elements only by plants.”

table 1

Simply put, this reasoning implies that if we want exceptional health we cannot rely on mineral balances in nature. If we want plants and animals to deliver to us foods that have mineral proportions conducive to optimal health, we have to change the mineral balance of the soil where the plants grow. This explains the heavy emphasis on calcium and phosphorus in high nutrition farming, along with a very different view on potassium versus all other approaches in agriculture today.

How do we know how much calcium, phosphorus, etc. to put into the soil? The last quoted paragraph  also provides some intuition of how Reams and Albrecht came up with their mineral ratios from  the standpoint of human nutrition. No wonder nutrition farming underscores the need avoid the overuse of potassium, since our bodies don’t need as much of it as calcium, among other reasons.

 

High Nutrition Foods and Shelf Life: 3 Reasons Behind Our Minimum Shelf Life Standard

Why did I create 3 times longer shelf life as a minimum threshold as part of a number of factors that determine whether food passes my minimum standards that define a high nutrition crop? I could have chosen 2 times or 4 times. I have several reasons for choosing the magic number of 3.

First of all, I noticed one farmer, a student of Dr. Arden Andersen, had been getting his crops to be somewhere in the 3+ times longer shelf life ballpark. I also learned that his nutrition levels exceed the 1940 nutrition levels. More to the point, they went quite a bit past them. With brix figures in the good and excellent range, I figured this mid-sized commercial farmer dealing with hundreds of acres demonstrated that the Andersen system produces food with this better shelf life as a reflection of better nutrition. That said, I do wonder, if one can find cases of better nutrition without a better shelf life.

This leads me to the second factor behind my reasoning, the matter of choosing an arbitrary figure. The above reasoning will simply not pass muster from a  scientific standpoint. Thus, for now, until research can show that better nutrition comes with better shelf life, I figured that my shelf life number demonstrates in a quantifiable way the idea of “significantly longer shelf life.” This shelf life can be measured by refrigeration or in a room temperature environment.

The shelf life needs to be assessed by using the same variety of a crop. Some apples and other fruits and vegetables have been known traditionally to be “keepers.” Does this mean these varieties have a more high nutrition profile than the shorter life counterparts? Comparing a Golden Delicious apple to  a Granny Smith makes no sense, as one keeps much longer than the other.

The whole point is to see observable differences. For example, one grower of mine in the past has periodically gotten cherries grown using high nutrition farming methods. After over 2 1/2 months in the refrigerator, these monster-sized cherries were still good – very tasty without any of the signs of them starting to spoil or have some off taste. For the reader who likes to experiment, I suggest buying some cherries and refrigerating them. On average, they won’t even last a month before they start going bad.

I spoke to several people within the scientific community on this topic. Measuring the shelf can be as simple and commonsensical as checking when something molds or not and/or starts to have an off taste of spoiled food. Or it can be as complex as measuring mold levels within a food and other parameters which a researcher can use to tackle this question of storage length, perhaps including changes in cell structure.

I have seen one high nutrition farming system that produces food that if cut up, e.g., peeling a pear, still remains  resistant to rotting. I have even seen resistant to browning. Why this occurs I still don’t know. But I do know it does. Farmers who have grown high nutrition crops have independently confirmed this level of shelf life.

Third, everyone has to start somewhere. As one veteran high nutrition farmed has pointed out , you can start looking for food in the medium to average brix range and work your way up to excellent. In the same vein, some can start consuming food with 3 times longer shelf life, then plan on consuming 10 times longer, and ultimately reach  mold resistant food which dries out.

tomatoHigh nutrition tomatoes grown using the T&J Enterprises system.

One of my mentors over 20 years ago grew high nutrition Walla Walla onions that had over 12 times better shelf life her first year. Since then she has greatly improved her results to the point where food starts to dehydrate. If I used 12 times shelf life figure, it would discourage many growers who have been getting improved shelf life. Rewarding growers who reach minimum levels will provide the impetus to take high nutrition farming mainstream all over the world, to give growers an opportunity to get paid for investing time and extra capital to do high nutrition farming.

Taking Grass Fed Beef to the Next Level: High Nutrition Grass Fed Beef in the Works

Over a year ago I got connected with a farmer raising heritage grass-fed beef using the Albrecht system. Or to be more precise, I would classify the system he has been using as something along the lines of Albrecht 2.0 for the last number of years and this year Albrecht 3.0 (I will explain why the 3.0 below). I have conveniently borrowed this phrase from Tim Wightman, a former high nutrition farming consultant and currently president of the Farm to Consumer Foundation. Tim dubbed one approach of a high-profile consultant as Albrecht 6.0, which in essence means a greatly improved version of Albrecht.

Who is Dr. William Albrecht? People within the high nutrition farming community consider him to be one of the pioneers of the movement. A number of different high nutrition farming approaches integrate his principles within their systems. In his time, prominent men of science regarded this late agronomist, Chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri, as one of the foremost experts when it came to knowing how to grow food with health benefits above and beyond the mainstream food supply. Weston Price, D.D.S., in his landmark book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, basically went to Albrecht as the go-to expert when it came to discussing the connection between soil depletion and physical degeneration [1].

In spite of the implicitly high regard Dr. Price had for the professor, people who have gone far beyond the basic system of Albrecht have other thoughts, especially those who have incorporated the Reams style of agronomy into their farming approach [2]. Although I cannot deny this grower using the Albrecht system has made major strides relative to when he started, after around 7 years of applying the Albrecht model his pasture brixes at around 13. He had to deal with restoring the worn out soils of the South, in an area where nobody had been doing 100% grass-fed beef.

On top of using the consulting services of Kinsey, a company who uses the Albrecht style of agronomy, he started adding foliar  sprays of sea based trace element fertilizer. His motivation to keep going with high nutrition production of grass has been primarily fueled by the results he has seen with his own eyes. His animals got signficantly healthier, started to put on weight by becoming more dense in minerals and via better growth, and started to taste better on the table. Not extra weight by getting fatter but more muscular, something Albrecht pointed out countless times was a good sign overall [3]. And he has been getting sold out faster and faster each year.

This year, he sent me a sample and I sent a good portion of it to 4 prospects in Los Angeles. All of these people happen to be savvy, discriminating, and highly informed consumers who look for the best when it comes to grass-fed beef and nutrition in general. Two of these people run or have run real foods business. Two said this beef is best they have had in their life and the other two put it at among the very best.

I explained to all of them that around 13 brix makes the grass better than the overwhelming majority of grasses fed to beef in the country. Few farmers out there growing grass-fed beef can even hit average brix on the grass. However, 13 does not qualify for my minimum level of 14 brix, the minimum level for a “good” reading on the brix chart. Never mind what will happen when the grass gets to 20+ brix.
suzzane
“This beef is so good I want to order a whole cow.”
Mary-Suzanne  Peters, founder of Enjoy Gluten Free

Thus, now that I am working with this grower, the brix and all the other indicators on nutrition levels will go much higher, I told them. In other words, there will be no telling how good this beef will get over the coming years. And the farmer himself has some awareness of the fact the he can get better. Kinsey told him it should take around 8 years to get his soil into good shape as far as Kinsey can help him. In addition to that, he discovered humates this year without me mentioning a word about them. Hence, he has moved from doing Albrecht 2.0 to 3.0. Proper use of humates will improve his brix levels and overall mineral balance, among other things. His progressive attitude will get him quite far as a high nutrition farmer.

Naturally, all of this means it will take some time to get some idea of the nutrient profile of a grass-fed beef on high nutrition pasture. Although the brix may hit 14 next year, it takes time to grow “slow food” like grass-fed beef. In the meantime, I have had to place an order for a whole beef since the farmer keeps on getting more and more orders faster and faster. I am looking forward to seeing the nutrition profile of grass-fed beef raised on high nutrition pasture from start to finish.

Notes

1. http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200251h.html#ch20

2. Go to http://www.aglabs.com/, sign up for the newsletter and get 30 Days 30 Emails written by Jon Frank and/or call them and ask to receive these. Then take a look at Day 21, which introduces the differences between the Reams and Albrecht approaches.

3. See, for example, Albrecht Papers Volume I, “Soil Construction Favours Proteinaceous, Soil Destruction Carbonaceous Quality of Vegetation.” This does not imply that the beef will be lean; rather it will have goon balance between muscle and fat.

“Top Quality Produce Does Not Rot, It Dehydrates”: Signs of Superior Nutrition Part 4 – Shelf Life

Carey Reams, one of the founding fathers of the high nutrition farming movement, has been quoted saying “top quality produce does not rot – it dehydrates.” This may sound outrageous to you. No way, you may react. or may think that high nutrition farming must grow some sort of Frankenfood using technology principles sort of like GMOs. Wrong. And I am going to prove it right now.

Google “modern miracle man” and you find the link http://art-bin.com/art/obeach_soils.html. High nutrition farming pioneer Charles Northern, M.D., had been achieving a super shelf life over 70-80+ years ago, the  days when organic farming was the norm. When article writer Rex Bleach tried Dr. Northern’s farming approaches he stated the following:

“I did try and I succeeded. I was planting a large acreage of celery and under Dr. Northen’s direction I fed minerals into certain blocks of the land in varying amounts. When the plants from this soil were mature I had them analyzed, along with celery from other parts of the State. It was the most careful and comprehensive study of the kind ever made, and it included over 250 separate chemical determinations. I was amazed to learn that my celery had more than twice the mineral content of the best grown elsewhere. Furthermore, it kept much better, with and without refrigeration, proving that the cell structure was sounder.”

Thus, the better the shelf life for a given crop, the better the quality. This better shelf life also happens to reflect better nutrition. Increasingly better shelf life points to better nutrition levels and mineral balance. If one can improve shelf life just as one can improve the brix, who said food that does not rot cannot be done? True, this seems to turn the cherished belief that things must rot upside down. No doubt what Dr. Reams has been able to accomplish illustrates his genius.

I once asked my grandmother if she heard about a such thing as food not spoiling but dehydrating over time. She replied yes, but a great rarity. Currently, in her late 80′s, she lived in various parts of Russia.  Why have people  traditionally  done canning and other approaches to preserve food, such as drying or fermenting? I know that fermentation increases enzyme content of food and makes it a natural probiotic, but there was also another powerfully compelling practical reason. The food did not last. I am talking about a major paradigm shift on many fronts. To my knowledge, mankind generally has not had access to this type of food on any consistent basis in the past.

rotting foodThe above fruits will not rot if they are grown using high nutrition farming principles and start getting the super shelf life aspect going for them. They will start to shrivel like a raisin.

Consuming food that lasts much longer and desiccates will have profound effects on many levels. How will the refrigeration and dehydration industries be impacted? For example, why would I need to get a dehydrator when I can make drying happen by putting something on the counter room temperature? And what about all that food that is thrown out each year because it spoils?

I like to use the shelf life as one of the metrics to quickly disqualify somebody when it comes to looking at whether they meet my minimum standards which define a high nutrition food. For example, this year I got an introduction to a grower here in Southern California using high nutrition farming principles on his avocados for over 5 years. His avocados brixed at 12 and yet the shelf life did not in any material way exceed that of the average farmer’s market avocado. Therefore, his product did not meet my minimum levels of 3 times longer shelf life relative to shelf life levels of mainstream organically or conventionally grown avocados.

After meeting the farmer this last Sunday, I learned the last two years have been extremely rough and he has barely survived. Extreme weather caused massive losses and he couldn’t implement the high nutrition farming approach due to lack of funds. I am not suggesting the shelf life indicator is some magic crystal ball, but I find it it interesting that it reflected major problems – i.e., lack of follow-through on the part of the grower even though he had very legitimate reasons for sitting on the sidelines when it came to his high nutrition farming program. This grower told me he observed a longer shelf in the past. Customers noticed it too. Clearly, these last several years caused him to lose momentum.

I regard the shelf life test as a fairly simple and inexpensive way to gauge nutrition levels. Why should I bother measuring vitamin and mineral levels, paying hundreds to thousands of dollars, when I can get a quick idea of quality through this basic test? I will only invest the money if the shelf life meets my basic minimum of 3 times the average shelf life of comparable products. In the above case I went and compared the grower’s Haas avocados to farmer’s market ones.

High Nutrition, Beyond Pasture Raised Poultry In the Works

A reader asked me to write some more stories about high nutrition farmers. I decided to honor his request by introducing one of my contacts, a budding high nutrition grower.

Last year I called Xenia, the owner of Rainbow Ranch Farms. A number of different sources, including several clients, suggested that I contact her. So I did. I wanted to find a new source for pasture raised poultry for my own consumption and I figured she may be a good fit.

I had no conscious intention of pitching high nutrition farming to her. However, it just so happened that she asked me what I do. I briefly told her about my line of work. We talked for over 3 hours. We discussed her method of growing poultry and I explained what high nutrition farming entails and why and how it can benefit her. She told me about how she raised her animals.

I have spoken to many farmers. I consider myself an intuitive person due to my extensive training in intuition.  Even though then I did not fully understand why she does what she does with respect to her system, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something remarkable about her, a certain aliveness, passion and conviction that I have rarely found among farmers. Then again, she thought high nutrition farming offered a lot of promise, I reasoned. The vast majority of organic growers I have approached expressed little interest, let alone actually taking action and testing the claims of high nutrition farming.

Rainbow Ranch Farms produces heritage poultry grown using Neolithic style farming principles. None of the birds consume any grains or any other feed that virtually everyone doing pasture raised poultry.gives to their birds. The owner grows flies and worms for the birds to consume as their primary source of protein. They also consume fruits and vegetables. Also, they eat decaying organic matter, which the grower abundantly supplies.

After I visited the farm, read her blog, and spent a number of hours talking to her on the phone asking her about the rationale for her system, I learned  she has the best chicken on the market from a health standpoint. She explained to me why chickens cannot handle grains, soy, flax and other foods they commonly receive. I learned that in other parts of the world traditionally chickens consume the type of diet she feeds to her birds. Whether you go to the Middle East or countries in the Mediterranean such as Greece, you discover very similar approaches in raising chickens  - the old fashioned way. Thus, modern techniques of growing birds labeled “pasture raised” poultry turn out to be nothing but a perversion of the real thing [1, 2].

RRF chicken

Her level of research left a very strong impression on me. I see common sense tempered with a scientific bent to examine claims and prove why a specific practice produces healthy or sick animals. She prides herself in growing food with the maximum health benefits possible. It immediately struck me that she shares my “over-the-top” attitude when comes to taking health to new heights.

What did she do with the high nutrition farming information I gave her? She asked me all sorts of questions about the refractometer. She started to to do her own homework. In the process she found that crab industry uses the refractometer to measure the how a healthy a given crab is. I did not  know crabs get brixed. She has been brixing all of the plant foods her animals eat and comparing that with items in the grocery store.

She told me her carrots registered at 12-13 on the refractometer. I did not even need to explain much. She herself told me that she needs to get to 18 and beyond. Talk about proactive!

She has asked me some thoughtful questions. How can one measure the nutrient density of insects? Can the brix be used. I told her I am not sure if it can be done but I am sure that we can measure the mineral content. If the chickens consume high nutrition plant foods and the same with the beef and lamb, then she will have organic matter in the form of excrement from  these animals of a high nutrition nature. Add on top of this carefully selected soil amendments and the bugs have higher mineral content themselves.

In short, this farm already has something nobody else has to offer in terms of nutrition. And this without any high nutrition farming approaches. Now she will take things to the next level by using high nutrition farming to substantially raise the nutrition levels of her foods. She has all the qualities it takes to be a superstar grower: ambition, passion, the desire to constantly learn new information and become better. Thus, she will produce the best poultry on the planet when it comes to nutrition. Now that I am aware of this additional dimension to quality in growing birds, I intend to make  her principles for raising poultry a standard for anyone who intends on producing high nutrition birds.

Notes

1. http://rainbowranchfarms.blogspot.com/2013/06/alternatives-to-commercial-chicken.html
2. http://rainbowranchfarms.blogspot.com/2013/06/how-to-choose-organic-chickens.html

Profile of Dragon Herbs: An Eye For Quality, Beyond Organic Health Benefits

This year I went to the Natural Products Expo West. I met countless companies that made me yawn with their boring products. Quality was not on today’s menu, I noted. Other than the premier specialist in Chinese tonic herbs, Dragon Herbs.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have been a huge fan of Dragon Herbs for several years. When I read the books written by Dragon Herbs owner and founder Ron Teeguarden, I knew in a flash I stuck gold. I have reaped phenomenal results from using tonic herbs in general.

Dragon Herbs, currently, to my knowledge, has no awareness of the concept of high nutrition farming. Ron had no idea what I meant by high nutrition farming until I defined the concept to him very briefly. And yet Dragon Herbs has developed their own set of principles to determine quality.

The founder has long been focused on the best of the best.  The market for Chinese tonic herbs has different grades for tonic herbs. The higher the grade, the higher the premium the market  pays. This market pays for performance - the better the health benefits of the herbs, the more they cost.

For example, the ginseng market has all sort of different grades. You have everything from cheap convenience store ginseng, which had few benefits – “herbal junkfood,” to use a term I coined – to wild Chongbai Mountain ginseng, which costs $100,000+ per pound. This wild ginseng has great healing properties.

Question: Why don’t we have grades for different foods in terms of health benefits? The Chinese have been paying attention to this fro a long time. The culture has had a focus on the cultivation of good health and longevity. They have observed where and how the best grade herbs grow. Those with the proper resources have sought out the best quality just as a connoisseur of wine finds the cream of the crop.  And yet when I mention this to people in health circles in the United Sates people look at me as though I have come from outer space.

Although I am not aware of all of the principles that Ron uses to measure health benefits – I suspect some of them may be proprietary -, certain factors seem to coincide with my approach. I am going to take the example of the goji berry selection. From the description on the label, it says “every drop of water is derived form the melted snow and glacial runoff from Heaven Mountain. The virgin land is rich in alkaline minerals, and there is virtually no industry for over 1000 miles.”

 

goji

After spending some time questioning the company about these and other matters, several thoughts occurred to me. (1) Virgin soil equates to superior nutrition for several reasons. Little virgin soil remains today from an agriculture standpoint. The pristine conditions of that region support the idea the soil has not been as nearly damaged by chemical pollutants as the average farmland today. Thus, nobody has manged to mine the soil of its naturally occurring minerals as of yet. (2) Glacial runoff equates to natures version of mineralizing the soil. As Wallach, Beddoe and others have noted, the longest lived people in the world have lived in areas where they had glacial water irrigation [1,2]. Last but not least, although more detail would be nice, alkaline mineral rich soil beats soil not rich in any minerals, something increasingly common today.

The company looks at some indicators of nutrition levels. They have noted that they look at Lycium Polysaccharides (LBP) levels. Higher levels of LPB spells higher nutrient content, and higher sugar content. A pharmacological perspective reveals that LBP explains to a substantial extent the health benefits of goji. I am curious to establish the brix range of these berries. In the light of the flavor levels, I expect a higher brix figure, and the LBP just  happens to be a type of carbohydrate.

I have found these berries to be the sweetest and most flavorful on the market. I have some doubts about the impact of more sun in this area relative to other areas in Asia known for being growing grounds of goji. Something that becomes sweeter does not mean automatically better flavor. I suspect it must be the mineralized, undepleted soil that creates the better flavor.

One element which I have not seen in high nutrition farming that Dragon Herbs emphasizes is the effect of choosing the right climate. Many adaptogenic foods, including goji, grow in a place subject to extreme environmental stresses. These conditions cause the plant to produce certain medicinal qualities that enhance human health. Dragon Herbs has factored all of this in into their selection of the goji they carry [3,4].

In any case, creating a framework for measuring quality puts this company at the very top in my mind when it comes to going way beyond organic and focusing on superior quality via nutrition. I am eager to learn more about what they do in determining and finding the best. What principles do they use? Can they be integrated with a high nutrition farming approach to further enhance results? I strongly suspect the answer to be to the affirmative.  A recent conversation with Mark Fulford, one of the most seasoned and knowledgeable people in the high nutrition farming field, revealed to me that he has spent a great of time studying the farming of other cultures to improve upon his system.

Bottom line: until we see a supply of high nutrition goji and other foods on the market, I recommend Dragon Herbs as a resource for better food.

Notes

1. Nourishment Home Grown, p. 52

2. Rare Earths Forbidden Cures, Ch.11. It would be nice to measure the mineral content of this glacier water. Does it have 10  trace elements or close to 70? Wallach indicates the longest lived people had water with around 70, while the average glacier water has 3-20.

3. Adaptogens are nontoxic foods that produce homeostasis in the body and produce a nonspecific response to stress

4. Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston, Registered Herbalist, A.H.G.

High Nutrition Foods – Better Than Wild Ones? Part 1

Recently I read an article by Kris Kresser titled RHR: Could ‘Eating Wild’ Be The Missing Link to Optimum Health? In it he interviewed Mary Jo Robinson, who has written a book that in essence indicates wild foods have superior nutrition relative to cultivated ones. Naturally, I wondered how does wild compare to high nutrition?

1. I made some comparisons of high nutrition items I have tested with wild counterparts. A comparison of high nutrition blueberries and wild blueberries reveals than the high nutrition ones have overall higher nutrient levels. Note that the lab tests were done well over a year ago – close to 2 years. Since then things have been improving.

Soils tests have been moving closer to ideal numbers. Who is balancing the soil of the wild blueberries? Nobody.  So the high nutrition berries keep on getting better, while the wild ones will possibly get worse. The environment keeps on getting worse and worse. The effects of pollution keep on spreading farther and farther. This will damage the soil biology and gradually lead to nutrient declines due to poor availability.

I suspect the high nutrition blueberries will far exceed the wild ones in rare trace elements that nobody other than high nutrition farmers pays attention to. I see this through the selenium figure. I am confident this will be the case for other trace element such as iodine, yttrium, and so forth.

Unless you can find wild blueberries growing on soil that comes from an ancient sea bed or some deposits of volcanic ash, I fail to see how the wild can have content of these important minerals anywhere near the high nutrition ones. Besides, does nature provide foliar sprays to boost mineral content even more? I don’t think so. At least not with great regularity, or in a way maximize plant nutrition.

wild bluberries

wild berries from Nova Scotia, Canada

2. Certain points that Chris and Jo discuss really raise some basic and profound questions about food. Mary Jo sates that “10 or 12 thousand years ago, we realized that there were some plants that tasted a lot better to us than others and that were much more productive, easier to harvest and gather, and so basically we just looked at each other and said:  We can do better than this.  And from that point on, that’s 400 generations, we have continued to select and breed plants ever tastier, ever larger, and unwittingly lower in key nutrients.”

I find simple counterexamples to the above statement. High nutrition farming increases both the nutrition of food and the flavor at the same time. The better job a farmer does, the better the flavor, mineral balance and nutrient concentration of the food. The refractometer does a fairly good job in establishing this correlation. Many high nutrient farmers have observed wild animals get really attracted to a high nutrition farm producing good results.

Bigger does not mean better, but it can. Under certain circumstances it means just that. As I mentioned in a previous post, at a certain point with high nutrition farming the food tends to become bigger. This comes from growing good stock, which comes from good farming practices.

3. In response to the above quote, Chris states “And the reason that they taste better is that a lot of the most nutrient-dense foods and the foods that have these phytonutrients and phytochemicals that we’re only now starting to understand the benefits of often have bitter and astringent types of flavors, don’t they?” To which Jo responds to the affirmative and these are the most potent foods.

Chris adds to this point: “I studied Chinese medicine and herbology, and of course, in herbology that’s the case.  Some of the most potent, powerful botanical in the pharmacopoeia are the ones that you can hardly choke down because they’re so bitter!”

I am going to take the devil’s advocate position for a moment. Commonly bitter or astringent foods such as brocoli and spinach typically have way too much nitrogen  and potassium in the soil from a high nutrition farming perspective.  And low on calcium and boron levels, which make the crops calcium deficient.  Grow these same foods using high nutrition farming principles and you will get  much sweeter foods. Vitamin and mineral content goes through the roof. I have observed an excellent brix brocoli tastes as sweet as the typical oranges in the store.

This does not mean the astringent or bitter flavors will always disappear. A carrot grower doing high nutrition farming that I know of still had the carrot tops with bitterness to them, in spite of the carrots having good brix levels, a super shelf life, and around double the calcium and trace element levels relative to the current USDA figures. That said, I am not sure whether this will always be the case. This grower, in spite of mineralizing his soil and applying foliars, had too much potassium in the soil. What will happen when he gets a proper balance of potassium?

In a recent conversation with Jon Frank of International Ag Labs, we discussed sugars and minerals. I mentioned to Jon I have seen high brix (sugars) with low mineral content, low brix with high mineral content and high brix with high mineral content. Which one builds the best health? High brix and high mineral content. Jon agreed – in  a nutshell because  the sugars make the minerals more efficiently utilized by the body [1].

Like Chris, I too have done extensive studying of Chinese Medicine. However, the vast majority of the herbs that Chris mentions fall into the class of “inferior herbs,” herbs used to treat illnesses, not to be taken long term as foods, and not used to prevent disease [2]. The preponderance of superior, tonic herbs used to prevent disease and maintain radiant health have a sweet flavor [2,3]. What does this imply about disease prevention versus treatment?

Notes

1. Nourishment Home Grown, p. 160.

2. Ancient Wisdom of Chinese Tonic Herbs by Ron Teeguarden

3. See, for example, Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology by John Chen

High Nutrition Blueberries Nutrition Analysis: Why Are They Better Than Wild/Organic?

These brix at 16 on the refractometer, right in between good and excellent on the brix chart. Storage is in the minimum range of keeping 3 times longer than what is out there in the market on average. However, the grower picks much later. Thus these genuinely tree ripened. The average organic grower could not pick them this ripe because they would fall apart before coming to market. So, if the grower were to pick at the ripeness level everyone else does, these blueberries have 10-15 times longer shelf life than the average blueberry shelf life. There is a lot of room for improvement on the shelf life aspect. Storage length can be improved dramatically. My goal will be to convince the producer to take the necessary action to achieve the gold standard of this parameter of nutrient density, i.e., to reach storage levels where rotting will not happen. Instead, the blueberries will dehydrate. This can be hard to believe for this who have not witnessed this with their own eyes.

Independent Lab Tests usda bluberry berries analysis

Note: All tests measure nutrient content of 100g of sample. 1. Calcium levels, trace minerals and vitamins These high nutrition blueberries contain substantially more of the aforementioned nutrients:

  • Calcium is 66-230% higher, selenium is 40,000% higher – yes, you heard that correctly
  • Smallest percentage difference is in Iron, which my berries have 26.7% more of.

Notice that wild have higher calcium and trace mineral levels. Why? Because they have not been disturbed by man, other than by environmental wastes which can kill microbiology, causing minerals to become unavailable, hence decreasing nutrient density in the food. Natural processes like weeds in the wild play a role in maintaining and improving nutrient density. Of course, this may also be because that particular place where the wild blueberries grew has relatively better soil naturally. There are great differences in soils in nature.

2. The balance of minerals is still a work in progress. Potassium is way too high and phosphorus needs to go up. Excess use of potassium coming form the this grower’s conventional farming days seems to be the culprit. Certain measures like adding more gypsum, an important source of calcium used in high nutrition farming, will lower the available potassium. Phosphorus needs to go up. It is lower than the conventional, which gives me some pause. Fortunately, the use of soft rock phosphate makes the high nutrition foods have a superior form of phosphate from a health standpoint.

3. I did some applied kinesiology work to determine if the high nutrition blueberries lab sample tested out higher than the average values of all of this year’s crop. Naturally, there exists variation between different random samples form the field. I found the average calcium is between 15-16 mg in them per 100 g. The average of what is produced in the U.S. between 6-7 mg per 100g this year. Given that  Alexander Beddoe, an authority on high nutrition farming, estimates the calcium in our foods is 2-21/2 times lover than where it should be for optimal health results, this data points to the grower moving in the right direction. Trace minerals are 50+ mg per 100g in high nutrition  blueberries and 20+ mg per 100g average of what is being grown nationally, or 250+% more.

4. Finally, the vitamin data indicates that higher vitamin content follows higher mineral content, since vitamins are made from minerals. Some vitamins don’t seem to increase. This observation reminds me of a Reams transcript indicating that a given  high nutrition crop may not be very good sources of a certain nutrient. For example, some high nutrition crops are excellent sources of zinc, whereas others have much less.

5. The difference between wild and high nutrition bears a great resemblance to the chart of high nutrition versus regular farmed in several ways. High nutrition exceeds wild in every way in nutrition. Wild have over 15 times less selenium. And yet wild have 30 times more selenium than regularly farmed ones. I anticipate tests of other neglected trace elements to show a very similar trend. It seems wild foods also have been growing on depleted soils but ones in better condition than mainstream organically grown ones [1].

However, the wild has much higher iron, zinc and manganese content. These elements are among the more balanced ones on the soil tests of the high nutrition blueberries. It seems these wild ones have excessive levels, given that they have much higher levels without any foliar applications. That said, it would be good to see a soil test to know for sure.

 

 

Notes

1. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2186?fg=&man=&lfacet=&count=&max=25&sort=&qlookup=Blueberries%2C+wild%2C+frozen&offset=&format=Full&new=

 

 

Iodine Content in Food Goes Way Up by Mineralizing Soils with Powdered Rock Fertilizers

I passed up the opportunity to test for Iodine last year. I figured the price tag simply didn’t justify testing at the time. The cost far exceeded that of testing everything else I looked at  All the growers I currently represent use ocean based trace mineral fertilizers and have all the signs of availability. With some contacts with university labs and exploration of collaborating with scientists, I expect this to change. None of this has prevented me from inquiring about iodine levels in food as related to farming, however. Reading an old but very informative ACRES article on mineralization, at least now I have some very crude idea of the magnitude of changes when one goes in the direction of high nutrition farming [1].

This article introduced to me to the work of Morgan Sampson, who apparently turns out to be an early pioneer of the high nutrition farming movement. He called his type of agriculture “clean culture.” He used rock powders such as basalt and porphyry. I have recently ordered his book Clean Culture:  The New Soil Science. As far as I can tell, Morgan applied his system as far back 100+ years.

The article also summarizes the work of Albert Carter Savage, who spent 20+ years documenting the differences between foods grown in mineralized soils and regular soils. He applied rock powders that he sourced in Kentucky. He had the good fortune to work with soils not nearly as damaged as those of today, given that he did his research in a time before the widespread use of chemical fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides and pesticides.

He did comparison tests of iodine content in various crops. For example, market spinach grown using mainstream organic farming approaches had 1600 parts ber billion (ppb) of iodine, or 160 mcg. Spinach slightly mineralized with rock dost has 3200 ppb. Spinach heavily mineralized with rock powders had 640,000 or close to 400 times the amount of the market spinach.

In his book, Albert described the market spinach as  ”easily wilted, soft and mushy to the touch.” The well mineralized spinach “is an upstanding sort of individual, heavy, fairly bristling with vitality!” Which one do you want to eat?

To get some perspective of what these figures mean in today’s terms, I took more modern data of spinach analyzed in the UK. The minimum iodine content was a measly 18 ppb and went as high as 48,000 ppb, with an arithmetic mean of 660.7 and a geometric mean of 356.2 [2]. The well mineralized spinach has 10-300,000+ more iodine content that the spinach used in UK data.  American data has very similar results, with the highest content of around 800 ppb [3].

Recently, I have been looking at the effects of foliar sprays on boosting mineral content of crops. One farmer I am involved with had a soil tests with weak looking boron numbers. Foliar spays, or sprays of water mixed with fertilizers in powdered or liquid form of a highly available nature, increased the actual mineral content of boron in the food manyfold. Thus, I wonder what would have happened if Savage used foliar sprays in his tests or fertigation, irrigation that includes powdered fertilizers or ones in liquid form – similar idea to foliar sprays except only the soil gets the fertilizer.

If Carter would have added foliar sprays to his program, would he have doubled or tripled the spinach heavily mineralized with rock dust?  Sounds doable to me. What are the limits to foliar sprays increasing mineral content of iodine or any other element?

I searched around for analysis of trace elements in rock dusts. It stands to reason there will be huge variations among these, with the differences being a function of geography. Presumably, Albert Carter used ones with quite a bit of iodine in them. The no-brainer iodine source commonly used in high nutrition farming is sea solids.

albert carter

” A comparison of squash grown on ordinary and mineralized soil revealed that the latter contained twice as much iron and more calcium potassium and nitrogen. Though no calcium as added to the mineralized soil, the catalytic action of the trace minerals present made soil calcium more available” [4]. A section in Savage’s book Mineralization (a new basis for proper nutrition) titled “Potato Possibilities” illustrates a similar trend for many other vegetables, with mineral content increasing 2-50 fold [5].

References:

1.”Mineralization” ACRES U.S.A, September 1986.

2. http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/8354/1/CR03084N.pdf

4. See 1.

5. p.12

We Want Real Food by Harvey Graham: A Review, Part 6

Higher Nutrition Than Grass Fed Lamb: Salt-March Lamb

Chapter 5 ends with a concise summary of the difference between pasture raised meats and pasture raised meats on high nutrition pasture. “Meat from mineralized soils doesn’t just taste better, it has a longer shelf life. Salt-marsh lamb, for example, tastes so good it commands a premium price. This is because the fattening lambs eat salt-marsh plant species containing high levels of minerals, the result of their regular dousing with seawater.” I need to do some research as to where you can find this type of lamb, but it appears if you cannot find grass fed lamb on high nutrition pasture – currently unavailable, to my knowledge – this type of lamb is the next best thing.

“New research has revealed that salt-marsh lamb contains high levels of vitamin E and omega-3 fats than lamb raised on chemically fertilized agricultural grasses. And because of its antioxidants it keeps better in the store” [1,2, 3]. People in the high nutrition farming industry have long since observed that sea trace mineral fertilizers, such as sea water, tend to improve the shelf life of crops. Arden Andersen has spoken about the presence of certain antioxidants affecting shelf life

Graham goes on to add that the lamb on the moorland and heathland has the same benefits with respect to shelf life. Presumably, this happens because both of these forms of vegetation are either wild or have not been touched by modern agriculture. Hence, their mineral content tends to be higher and they have higher nutrition levels [4]. The higher mineral content of the plant creates an animal with a higher mineral content. To take this a step further,  if animals start eating plants with an indefinite shelf life, without being subject to decay but instead dehydrating?

salt marsh lamb

Top quality produce will not rot, it will dehydrate, something Dr. Carey Reams could produce with consistent results using his style of agronomy [5]. So it stands to reason the same type of effect can be done with grasses. What will happen with animals eating such food? With their carcasses stop decaying and dry out? Is such a thing even possible? Clearly, this needs to be examined.

Confusion About Mineralization

If I did not know any better, after reading chapter 8 “Good Soil=Real Foods” I would have the impression that nobody has found anything wrong with today’s mainstream farming practices. After a careful reading it came across to me that the mainstream approach to agriculture has been the way people have farmed for thousands of years. Somehow intelligent mineralization got left out of the picture.

How did this happen? The book, in previous chapters, sang the praises of mineralization with some real life examples. The message went in chapter 8  as follows: “The best way to take care of healthy soils is to heap organic materials, straw and crop residues, manures, and composts.” This simply doesn’t make any sense when examined with a modicum of thought.

I am not sure if I can put it any better than high nutrition farming consultant Michael Astera did on his blog:

“The first, which I touched on above, is the myth that by adding organic matter, e.g. compost and manure, to the soil, they were supplying all of the needed minerals. Simply not true. Let’s look at one example of why not:

Calcium is the mineral nutrient that our bodies need in the largest quantity. It is also the mineral nutrient that a healthy soil needs in the largest quantity. Many soils need more calcium, especially in rainy climates. It’s not uncommon to find a soil that needs 3,000 lbs or more of Calcium per acre in order to be in balance. How much compost would that take? On average, plant ash is around 2% calcium; the way things work out, in order to add 3,000 lbs of calcium per acre, we would have to apply around 12,000,000 lbs, twelve million pounds, of average compost. Per acre. That works out to something like ten feet deep. Isn’t going to happen. Even if it did, we would at the same time be applying around 12,000 lbs of potassium, when the average soil only needs 200 to 400 lbs per acre of K …

So what do we want? We want high-calcium limestone, 40% Ca by weight. 7500 lbs of that will give us our 3,000 lbs of calcium and be doable and affordable …

The biggest point of resistance, however, is the concept that in order to balance the minerals in the soil, one first ought to know what minerals are already there. Wouldn’t you think? Not a real good idea to go guessing what the soil needs and maybe throw things completely out of whack “[6].

Currently, high nutrition materials to make a mineral rich compost are simply unavailable. Even if they were, one would have run lab tests to measure if they had the proper mineral content so that rock powder would be unnecessary to add.

 

To add to the confusion, there is a section documenting the effects of inoculating soils with mycorrhiza. Using these fungi, as the book mentions, will increase the uptake of minerals from the soil. I did not see mentions of the consequences of this, i.e., better mineral uptake equates to mining the soil faster. With a mediocre minerally poor soil, how can this possibly be sustainable?

Summary

Aside from several errors which can be easily corrected this book has lots of great information. It also points the reader to resources where they can learn a lot more. I give it a 8-9 out 10.

Notes

1. Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, North Wyke. experimental results presented at Associates day 2006.

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_marsh

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamb_and_mutton

4. Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

5.  Mainline Farming for Century 21, Lessons in Reams-Method Agronomy by Dan Skow, D.V.M.

6. http://thenewagriculture.blogspot.com/2009/11/part-i-problem.html

We Want Real Food by Harvey Graham: A Review, Part 5

Several years back a  pompous farmer – a regular know-it-all – sent me an email which in essence dismissed the idea of the importance of mineralization of pastures, or any other crops for that matter. Insofar as a farmer produces a crop, the composition of soil and the overall farming has little bearing on health. He sited lack of data and lack of repeatability. A good portion of chapter 5, Essential Nutrients for Good Health, might as well serve as a rebuttal to his statements.

A substantial part  of this chapter has some good examples of what happens when a farmer applies principles of high nutrition farming. Studies can be nice and all, but the abstract nature of them eludes those without the requisite level of education. Many people interested in health, including farming like to see personal results – these tend to have far greater impact on the psyche than some peer reviewed studies.

Dairy farmer David Stevens had his animals suffering from a whole host of problems: cows constantly nervous and on edge, infertility, lameness, retained afterbirth, frequent ailing of newborn calves with many simply failing to thrive.  Keep in mind that these animals did not eat McDonald’s type fare.  After the vet’s recommendations of drugs and modern medicines failed tor restore the animals’ health, Stevens contacted Danny Goodwin-Jones, owner of Trace Element Services.

“They recommended he should have the soils analyzed for a number of key minerals. The results showed that molybdenum levels were high while copper, zinc and cobalt were in short supply. The company arranged for the fields to be spread with a mineral supplement that would eliminate the deficiencies.

The results were spectacular. Within days David began to see improvements in the health of his animals. The cows grew quieter and more contented while their coats shone as never before. The incidence of lameness dropped dramatically and herd fertility steadily improved. Difficult calvings became rare and, best of all, the calves stopped dying. Within a few weeks of soil treatment the cows were giving birth unaided to health, vigorous calves.

David estimates that by simply restoring essential minerals to his  soils he cut calf losses from a crippling 60 per cent to virtually zero. So nutritious has his mineral rich grassland become that the cows now produce 1/5 more  milk on half the level of purchased high energy ‘concetrate’ feed  At the same time the incidence of lameness and mastitis in the herd has fallen to no less than 90 percent.”

With respect to the feed, the results of the pasture program indicate room for improvement in spite of the obvious great success. Cows will ignore this feed if certain grasses reach a certain level of nutrient density. John Kempf of Advancing Eco Agriculture, in his dairy consulting work, has noted that at 6% fat content or higher, cows turn their noses up at grain [1].

dairy cows

The author obtained documentation indicating great success with other farmers. Many with serious problems saw turnarounds in their financial position with an improvement in the soil. In previous post, This Cherry Is a Whopper!: Signs of High Nutrition Foods Part 3, I mentioned that high nutrition farming can affect stock of plants. Apparently, it can also affect the stock of animals based on the author’s findings.The following passage got shows that the aforementioned consultant tried to do his homework:

“Goodwin-Jones is convinced that impaired immunity – the result of faulty- nutrition – plays a part in epidemics among farm animals. The latest scourge to afflict the nation’s cattle is bovine tuberculosis. Farmers blame badgers for spreading the disease to their stock; badger groups blame the reckless movement of cattle. But according to Goodwin-Jones, this disease, too, is the result of degraded soils and poor fertility. He sees both cattle and badgers as victims of soils depleted in selenium  and other trace elements. Cattle feed on grass low  in essential minerals; badgers dig for worms and grubs in the same pasture. Both end up with impaired immunity, leaving them defenseless when they come against the ubiquitous TB bacillus.

Supporting evidence dates as far back as the sixties. At the University of Pennsylvania Max Lurie demonstrated the role of thyroid hormones in mobilizing mammalian resistance to TB bacillus [2]. More recently, dairy chemist Hellen Fullerton showed that to function efficiently the thyroid depends on a number of trace elements, including selenium, copper, cobalt zinc, and iodine [3].

According to Fullerton many of the areas of Britain and Ireland where the eradication of Bovine TB is proving so intractable have soils derived from red sandstone, granite or limestone where trace elements are often deficient or unavailable to plants. If the trace elements removed by modern, intensive farming were restored to the soil, she argued both cattle and badgers would acquire a natural immunity to TB.”

Notice the effect of soil fertility on ecosystems. This may a side benefit to high nutrition farming that has not been really addressed by anyone that comes to mind, other than John Hamaker. A contact of mine doing pasture raised poultry, one of the most sophisticated farmers around, has got me thinking about the impact of nutrient dens soil froman ecological standpoint.

For those who might dismiss the above examples as anecdotal, plenty of studies exist to validate the connection between well mineralized soil and good animal health. Harvey Graham cites the work of Andre Voisin, a biochemist and farmer who spent a good deal of time establishing the above relationship. In addition to his own work, his work Soil Grass And Cancer cites a whole host of different studies [4].

References:

1.  http://farmingsweetbay.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/fat-in-the-grass-the-key-to-gourmet-grass-fed-beef/

2.  Max B Lurie. Resistance to Tuberculosis: Experimental Studies in native and Aquired Defense Mechanisms, Harvard university press, 1964.

3. Hellen Fullerton, Bovine Tuberculosis: A Nutritonal Solution, farming and Livestock Concern, UK 2002

4.  Soil, Grass and Caner is available to read for free at the Soil and Health Library http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/01aglibwelcome.html

We Want Real Food by Harvey Graham: A Review, Part 4

This book presents a brief case study of the power of ruck dusts, organic fertilizers heavily used in high nutrition farming. You learn about the story of a couple in Scotland, Cameron and Moira Thomson, taking the  barren soil and replenishing it to grow superb crops. Years of washing nutrients away due to the “full might of the Scottish winter’ led to a sour an acid soil – hardly what I would a fertile place for growing crops.

The Thomsons took compost from green waste made by the local City Council. Then they combined it with rock dust from a nearby quarry of rock basalt. This dust “supplies the minerals that rainfall and chemical farming have stripped out of many soils. Compost, provides the organic matter for microbial activity, a perquisite for a fertile soil.”

They visited a number of quarries before choosing one that contained a broad spectrum of minerals. They ploughed over 20 tons of the rock dust from this quarry onto 1/4 of an acre. And the results?” The Thomsons began harvesting unusually big cabbages and cauliflowers, together with gooseberries, plums, and blackcurrants that were full of flavor … So spectacular were the results that a sympathetic landowner offered them – rent free – seven acres below the crag face of Creag Dhubh, high in the Pertshire hills. That is where they opened their Sustainable Ecological Earth Regeneration center.” Garden centers across Britain now sell their rock dust and rock dust has become the subject of a major research program through the Soil Mineralization Forum.”

thomsons The Thomsons and their produce coming from rock dust enriched soil.

Notice the word “flavorful.” This comes from someone who pays a great deal of attention to flavor. As I mentioned in part 3 of this series, the author brixed a whole bunch of different produce from different supermarket, paying close attention to the flavor of each sample. Too bad he didn’t brix these vegetables grown in the soil treated by the rock dust.

These farmers learned about rock dust listening to a radio interview of the authors of Survival of Civilization. In short, authors John Hamaker and Don Weaver support the idea of remineralizing the entire planet with rock dusts. Their work shows doing so will produce bigger and healthier farming crops.

To provide some more background on their work, ecologist and engineer John Hamaker believes Earth’s soils are  demineralized due to rains and weathering. On the now impoverished land, plants were no longer able to grow as prolifically as they had in prehistoric times. So the carbon that had once been locked up as organic matter in deep, fertile soils had been mostly lost to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. It was vegetation, coupled with the activity of soil microorganisms, that Hamaker realized regulated carbon levels in the atmosphere, but only for as long as there were adequate levels of minerals in the soil. When these were gone – as most have now, plants could no longer grow and multiply as they should.

Hamaker tested this hypothesis by applying glacial dust to his 10 acre farm in Michigan. Once the dust was spread he ploughed the land. He grew corn that yielded 65 bushels per acre, whereas local framers got 25. His corn had 57% more phosphorus, 90% more potassium, 47% more calcium, and 60% more magnesium (Survival of Civilization, p.4).

We Want Real Food by Harvey Graham: A Review, Part 3

Harvey Graham knows a quite a bit about brix a measure of nutrition. For information regarding the importance of brix as  a measure of nutrient density, click here. He tests the produce in  3 supermarkets in the United Kingdom – Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s.

He buys 25 fruit and vegetable samples, both UK grown and imported. “Of almost 100 fruit and vegetable pieces, only one – a pear – came out as ‘excellent’ [on the brix chart]. No less than 70% fell into the ‘poor’ or ‘average’ categories. These are foods which, according to Reams, are too low in nutrients to promote good long term health” [1].

These figures reflect what others have observed when brixing store bought and farmer’s market produce. Whatever those figures happen to be, if this testing would be done in a more rigorous scientific manner, one thing comes out quite clear: the vast majority of foods don’t fall into the good range. A tiny amount of the total food in the market falls in the excellent range.

The book left out one  component of looking the brix figures, the fuzzy line. I have seen my fair share of food in the good brix range that has a reading with a straight line. A straight line indicates poor mineral balance, including low calcium levels. A cloudy line indicates good mineral balance as far as brix is concerned, with adequate to good calcium levels. If you add the criteria of the brix levels needing a fuzzy line to indicate  mineral balance, you will by default disqualify certain samples. I am certain of that. That means food with high brix levels with a cloudy line – at least in the good range – turns out at even lower levels in percentage terms  in Graham’s analysis than he thought. It remains to be seen how low those levels will get to.

I completely share Harvey’s view on traditional farming as a whole. “By retuning plant and animal wastes to the land, communities were able to slow mineral loss – or stop it altogether.” The distinction of slowing down mineral loss versus completely stopping it shows he has been reading carefully and has some depth to his thought. As I mentioned in a previous post many cultures, such as the ones modeled by the mainstream organic farming moment, did not necessarily understand what it takes to grow health promoting food. As with any other profession, one can find both good farmers and bad farmers. Why do I bring up this possibly subtle distinction? Cultures in the past that did farming used many of the approaches commonly recognized as organic farming. Communities put back into the land what they took out of it, but not entirely [2].

I enjoyed the following historical tidbits: “One of the earliest fertilizers used by the British farmers was marl – a soft, clay soil rich in calcium. Later they began spreading chalk or ground limestone to the ground. In the first half of the 20th century, basic slag – a by product of steel making – became popular fertilizer. Besides calcium and phosphorus, it added a large number of trace elements to the soil, including magnesium, iron, zinc and copper.” marl marl rock

The above quote just goes to show some farmers historically had more brains than others. Not everyone used fertilizers, something not exactly clear from reading the book. Slag presents an interesting challenge to organic purists. Many assume chemical farming started around 1940. Would growing crops using slag be organic farming? The author certainly thinks so: “The era of chemical farming put an end to traditional fertilizers [the above mentioned ones].”

This short historical summary leaves me wondering as whether the simplistic approaches above actually worked quite well. If Reams or Albrecht were alive today, I am not sure they would buy into these overly simplified approaches. Both the Reams and Albrecht methods of farming realize that a good fertilization program far surpasses the above model in sophistication. Using marl to keep the soil fertile by itself sounds as silly as saying eating cabbage and only cabbage will be enough to sustain excellent health. Nevertheless, studying what people in the past did may prove very useful. In short, a shotgun approach can be helpful in many cases to revitalise worn out soils but be counterproductive in other cases. But why settle for mediocrity?

Notes

1. http://www.crossroads.ws/brixbook/BBook.htm

2.Were Mankind’s Crops Historically Nutrient Dense?

We Want Real Food by Harvey Graham: A Review, Part 2

The author had me going back to reexamine Weston Price’s work with the following passages: “Price cites the link between minerals in the soil and human health. He writes of a glacier which, during the last ice age, covered one-half the state of Ohio. It occupied an area west of a line  starting east of the city to Cleveland and extending diagonally across the state to Cincinnati.

At the time he was writing, human degenerative conditions were higher in areas south and east of this line than in areas that had been covered by the glacier thousands of years before. For example, infant mortality was 50% higher in the non-glacial areas than in the glaciated parts of the state. According to Price, this was the result of the poor mineralization of soils in non-glaciated areas.

weston price

Price also studied the American Heart Association figures for death rates from heart disease across the United States during the 15 years leading up to the Second World War. He found that in some regions they were higher by more than 50%, the rises being greatest in areas that had been under human occupation for the longest period – New England, the states bordering the great lakes, and the pacific Coast states. Through demineralization these soils had gradually lost their capacity for maintaining human and animal health.”

I didn’t see this passage reading Price’s book my first time. I went to look at Chapter 20-21 of the free online version by searching for key terms. I consider those chapters to be must reads for anyone who wants to look the facts when it comes to the relationship between the soil and human health.

Other eminent men of science had similar findings. Albrecht found a correlation between and dental health and soil fertility. Voisin mentioned a study in one of his books that indicated that soil has a statistically significant impact on human health [1]. It seems to be these finding of Price do lend some credibility to the idea that the people he studied had much better soils the we do today.

I found the discussion using taste as a measure of the nutrient content to be somewhat stimulating. “Foods that seem to be bland and flavourless are almost certain to be low in essential minerals. Plants produce thousands of compounds that aren’t essential for the vital life processes to the cell, but which give each plant species its unique characteristics. It is these ‘secondary metabolites’ which give color and fragrance to flowers, for example. They are also responsible for the tastes and textures of fruit and vegetables … Minerals are essential for the cell processes that produce this battery of chemical compounds, so it’s not surprising that fresh fruits that have strong flavors and fragrances should be well endowed with essential minerals.’

Generally speaking, people who  practice high nutrition farming do know their stuff tastes better than the competition. Still, I considered flavor to be a highly subjective indicator for a good while. My reasoning went as follows: Some people don’t like certain tomatoes. For example, I don’t like a Yellow Pear heirloom tomato, high nutrition or not. Thus variety plays a huge rule in determining flavor. So flavor must be looked at in relative terms, or so it seemed to me.

To illustrate, the high nutrition Fritz almonds that I carry have a huge difference in flavor relative to the typical Fritz almond variety. The confectionery industry purchases Fritz because of its bitterness. With high nutrition farming the bitterness goes away. Instead, you get a very sweet almond with a complex liqueur-like flavor.

Contrast this with the Nonpareil variety. I compared the high nutrition Nonpariel with the store-bought ones and noticed a subtle difference in flavor.  Most costumers have agreed with the above observations. Keep in mind that both almond varieties receive the same high nutrition farming inputs.

Therefore, Harvey’s observation has something of interest to me in quantifying flavor. It would be nice to get a grasp of the nature of the secondary metabolites that affect taste. Does looking at taste  as an indicator of nutrient density mean that high nutrition Nonpariel almonds lack some currently unknown factor or factors that will make them taste a lot better?

References:

1. Soil, Grass and Cancer p. 234.

We Want Real Food by Harvey Graham: A Review, Part 1

we want real food

In the first chapter Graham discusses certain historical aspects of chemical fertilizers, especially nitrates. “The world pays a high price for its acceptance of cheap food produced from synthetic ammonia. Quite apart from the health burden, there is a heavy environmental cost. Only half of the nitrogen fertilizer spread on the world’s farmland gets taken up by the crops. The other half escapes to the wider environment, where it frequently plays havoc with natural ecosystems. Much of it damages soil structure leading to diseases in crops and disruption of microbial activity.”

This book contains lots of great references. I have no doubt that the author spent a considerable amount of time doing his homework. Although the above observations are self-evident to me because I have been studying these things, they are clearly not to the average, reader. I would have like to some kind of reference. I couldn’t find anything in the index searching under “fertilizer, man made,” which the index directed me to. Did the editor fall asleep when looking at the above quote?

I don’t think I am asking much here. How exactly do nitrates mess up the soil? How do nitrates ultimately negatively impact human health? A few paragraphs and several references would have done the trick.

Harvey notes that modern day real food lacks certain phytochemicals that prevent cancer. “Modern methods of growing food – including the use of chemical fungicides on crops – have dramatically reduced the levels of salvestrols in everyday diets. A typical five-a-day diet now provides only 10 percent of the amount of the compounds needed to keep cancer at bay [1]” (p. 23).

One paragraph in the second chapter had an element of unintended ambiguity I really think to needs to be cleared up. Or did the author intentionally add it to encourage the reader to put on his or her thinking cap?  He writes: “The organic movement – spearheaded by the Soil Association – began as a resistance campaign against the steady industrialization of food. Today those same industrial forces have begun to embrace organic food itself. Supermarket price pressure is shifting organic production from the small mixed farms that can produce genuinely healthy foods to large, mechanized outfits that can’t.” He goes on to state that organic today’s gives no guarantee of good nutrition.

The claim that small mixed farms produce “genuinely healthy food” borders on wishful thinking. I would like to see evidence supplied that (1) mixed farming produces better nutrition – I need to research this – and (2) that proves it is genuinely healthy. I am going to take the devil’s advocate side. A small organic farmer can produce the same mediocre food as a larger farmer. I have seen this happen all the time here in Southern California.

Mr. Harvey, the fact of the mater is there are growers of all different kinds doing high nutrition farming. Some farm as much as 1000+ acres. I would liken finding a small farm that grows outstanding food to something along the lines of finding a needle in a haystack. So what if production shifts from small farms to large ones. Both produce  the same low quality fare, more or less.

In addition, a large farm has more resources. So one can argue the larger farm can invest in various inputs that will impact nutrition more than the small 5 acre outfit. I have already seen this happening in my business. The “small guy” cannot do all kinds of things that make for a better product. Go figure

Notes

1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-393956/Youre-eating-WRONG-fruit-veg.html

This Cherry Is a Whopper!: Signs of High Nutrition Foods Part 3

Years  ago, as I read Alexander Beddoe’s book Nourishment Home Grown, I glossed over the significance of size as a measure of superior nutrition for some time:

“Several years ago I was attending an agricultural exposition, where I had booth space to advertise my services. At that meeting, an agronomist, of Egyptian descent, stopped to look at some large kernels of hard red wheat that I had grown experimentally. I was using the wheat to illustrate how degeneration is shown in size comparison. When the agronomist saw the wheat berries, he commented how wheat discovered in the ancient pyramids of Egypt was 2-3 times bigger, berry for berry, than the largest I had. That wheat had been grown several thousand years ago … He completed his comments by saying that he was in full agreement that what was grown today on the farm was very mineral deficient and the degenerate size was the key sign.

The Bible confirmed this in several passages. First in the book Isaiah there is a statement in Chapter 51 verse 6 that says the ‘earth waxes old like a garment and they that dwell therein likewise.’ That is, as the soil has become poorer and poorer, the result shows in the length and condition of lives of the people eating the food grown in it. Second, in the book of numbers there is an interesting comment. It describes what the twelve spies brought back from their ‘spy out’ of the ‘land flowing with milk and honey.’ Numbers 13:23 says that they brought back a bunch of grapes that was so big it had to be carried with a pole between two men. Now I haven’t seen a bunch of grapes that big. That was big! Why don’t we see grapes like that anymore? Well, the soil and earth it is on are not in a condition to grow that quality of produce. It has become too degenerate (p.8).”

Massive size grapes may well be a reality in the eyes of the true believer. But what about in the eyes of the agnostic or the skeptic? This came across to me as over the top. How does one go from triple the size of wheat to multiplying it 100-10,000-fold? Reams had not been able to achieve this feat, to my knowledge.

sea crop

I have since determined that there does exist a correlation between improvements in the nutrition of a crop and its size, although not perfect and with certain caveats. Some of these factors require quite a bit more investigation my part.

First, I saw this connection in the garden. Examining Thomas Giannou’s system, I heard claims about larger size and more vigorous growth. I looked at the documentation, did some references checking and grew some test crops. “What do you know?” I thought as saw the data coming in. Bigger food does show up, but not always. I wondered why that was the case. I saw cases of high nutrition food that I would hardly qualify as extraordinarily large. Thomas told me a customer of his grew turnips the size of basketballs. Unfortunately, we could not get any documentation. This left me wondering what could affect size that neither Thomas or I were aware of.

I learned the answer several years later. An experienced grower doing high nutrition farming for over 20 years gave me the key to a missing piece of the puzzle. She told me it takes some time to take the mediocre seeds used to produce today’s food to make them of superior stock so that they produce large-sized high nutrition food. Her cherry trees grow to die for high nutrition cherries but lack the large size trait. On the other hand, a group of cherry growers doing high nutrition farming produce cherries the size of plums. From sheer luck, those cherries come from trees of better stock.

So how exactly does this work? Suppose you grow a potato using high nutrition farming principles. You will be hard pressed to find large sizes. So you work with what you have. and harvest the potatoes coming from the high nutrition farming method. Keep harvesting and making your soils better and better and improving upon your program in any way that you can. At a certain point, once you have figured things out to certain extent, you will have high nutrition potatoes and then past that as you keep on using those high nutrition potato as seeds, the nutrition will get better and better. At some point, you will see high nutrition and bigger size.

I have yet to come up with any quantitative measure to distinguish this nutrient density level with the bigger size with other scenario, i.e, the ones that show high brix  and other signs of high nutrition levels but no large size. However, I do have several ones in the works. It seems that logically huge high nutrition crops must have higher levels in of healing properties of foods because the growers seeing these trends have seen the indicators of what it means to be a high nutrition food get better and better over the years.

In any case, it seems larger sizes represent greater heights which a grower doing high nutrition farming can ascend to. So far, I have seen as much as around a 6 fold increase in size. The sharpest growers think this can be improved upon. With some groundbreaking insights and some good fortune, who knows? maybe the massive sizes the Bible talks about can be done. After all, didn’t a major figure in the self-development field say “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”

Other data supports the idea that plants, and consequently, animals were bigger in the past because the soil was mineral rich. “Ancient soils were so rich in minerals that trees were capable of growing up to 10 meters in a single year. In the late Jurassic period the mighty thunder Lizard – Apatosaurus – was the size of a tennis court and weighed 25 tons … Nutritionists estimate that to sustain such a vast animal, the plant life of the period must have contained thirty times the mineral levels of today’s vegetation” (We Want Real Food, p. 49-50).

“Three thousand years after glaciation, soils across the land’s surface reached an average depth of almost two meters. Today the average soil depth is about 12 centimeters. In the mineral enriched soils, trees could grow to massive proportions. In the primeval forest of post-glacial Europe, trees grew trunks that measured 25 meters to the first branch.

The legendary ‘giant elk’ of Ireland – Megaloceros Giganteus – stood two meters tall at the shoulders, the male carrying a set of antlers spanning 3 meters from tip to tip. In reality it was no elk but  a deer. In the late Pleistocene  epoch it ranged widely through northern Europe and Asia. Each year the male would shed the antlers, growing in their place an even bigger set. To support such a huge physiological demand, the vegetation eaten by the animal must have contained high concentrations of calcium and other minerals – the gift of a fertile, mineral rich soil”  (We Want Real Food, p. 52).

Analysis of “The Mineral Depletion of Foods Available to Us as a Nation (1940–2002)”

1. WAPF international conference tape 2009

3. Ward, N., Stead, K. and Reeves, J. (2001). Impact of endomycorrhizal fungi on plant trace element uptake and nutrition. The Nutrition Practitioner, 3(2), 30–31.

Review of Donald Davis’ Paper on Vitamin and Mineral Declines in Food 1950-2000 Part 1

As I examined the data on declines in nutrition over the last 70-80 years, I looked at a whole host of different sources of information. I wondered if the data gave an accurate representation of what has been happening out there with respect to the food supply. If you put in a minimum of effort, you will find quite a few scientific experiments out there that have all kinds of flaws, such as poorly designed studies. Simply put, when you have such studies, you get what they call “garbage in garbage out” in the computer programming world. You cannot make meaningful conclusions from such tests.

As someone with a background in statics and mathematics, I am somewhat biased towards the rigorous approach Donald Davis has taken in his peer-reviewed publication examining nutrient declines in food. Donald Davis and his team of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry published Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999 in December 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. You can find it at http://www.jacn.org/content/23/6/669.long.davis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at this paper, Davis makes several observations about looking at changes in moisture content of foods examined in the 1950′s versus the ones that Davis used in his experiments  He states the following:

“When nutrient contents are expressed in units of amounts per fresh weight (as in Table 2), one should first computationally adjust the nutrient contents of one or both compared foods to the values they would have if they had the same moisture [4].† Moisture adjustments are especially important for high-water foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. For example (one more extreme than most), the 1999 mustard greens had 90.8% water and thus 9.2% dry matter. The 1950 greens had 92.2% water and only 7.8% dry matter. The seemingly small 1.4% difference in water corresponds to a much larger 18% difference in dry matter. Thus, for mustard greens we multiplied the 1950 nutrient amounts in Table 2 by 9.2/7.8 = 1.18 to get 1950` values corresponding to the same 9.2% dry matter as in 1999. This adjustment for mustard greens nullifies the seeming increases between 1950 and 1999 for energy, protein and carbohydrate (Table 2), and enhances all other 1950 values relative to 1999. Failure to adjust for moisture differences adds unnecessary “noise” to group comparisons like ours and Mayer’s. It also potentially biases group comparisons and certainly biases comparisons of individual foods.”

I am going to side with David Thomas’ position on adjusting moisture content for analysis purposes: “Davis refers to the need to compare the dry ash contents of foods rather than fresh content. The consumer does not eat dry ash. What we are concerned with here is the continued trend towards quantity and bulk (usually more water content) over quality and taste, and the micro nutrient content of fresh produce presented to the consumer” [1].

Davis does note the significance of making adjustments in moisture content  in the article, i.e., that this theoretical data may not have bearing in the real world in the following sense: “We focused on one class of foods and an interesting biological phenomenon, without selecting foods based on their national consumption or contribution to nutrient intakes. Thus, our study is not useful for estimating possible effects on dietary intakes.”

The consumer, or virtually anybody else, for that matter, will not use the following reasoning: “Since the tomato moisture content 60 years ago was different, I am going to go ahead and adjust it so that I have the 1950 levels.” This borders on the absurd. And yet Davis notes that the adjustment for moisture content made fairly significant changes in the data comparisons.

The reality of the matter is that the overwhelming majority of people benefit form at least some raw food in their diet. Do they need to dehydrate their food at low temperatures to decrease the moisture content? Never mind practicality. I question this practice from a cost benefit standpoint. Much of the raw produce out there if  dehydrated at levels where it remains raw, say under 100 degrees F, will fall apart.

More to the point, Albrecht refuted the idea of getting more though concentration or eating more as being a optimal nutrition approach [2]. For those of us who eat generous amounts of cooked food, do we need to resort to boiling things down multiple times, concentrating the nutrients to make our diet more nutrient dense? Again, this sounds like trying to eat more, to fit more mediocre food more into a stomach with finite space.

References:

1. http://www.mineralresourcesint.co.uk/pdf/Mineral_Depletion_of_Foods_1940_2002.pdf<

2 .  Albrecht Papers Volume IV, Chapter 5, “Pastures.”/a

The Sharp Declines of Mineral Content in Real Foods Over Last 70-80 Years

How does a tomato compare with a tomato 70-80 years ago in terms of nutrition? Modern thinking has taught people to think as follows in many ways: “A tomato is a tomato is a tomato.” Nothing but a commodity like oil or steel. In this post you will learn why and how this simply ain’t so, assuming you want to get more bang from your buck from food. Practically nearly all of today’s real food has nowhere near the nutrient density levels that it used to have. Has anyone actually documented the declines? You bet they have [1]. Here is but a small portion of the story.

The following are some of the worst mineral declines from 1937-1987. Given the general trend of soil depletion has not changed since then, it is safe to say things have likely gone further downhill since then. The UK data at that time only took into account a small handful of trace elements. Mainstream agriculture has at best somewhat paid attention to trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc. Contrast this with complete disregard of elements such as selenium or yttrium, which have been completely ignored. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand those elements will be the ones with the largest declines – I am talking massive ones to the point a lab analysis fails to find them at all.

carrot tomato spinach and chicken

As you may observe, calcium and trace elements have the steepest declines. Potassium and phosphorus have the smallest declines thanks to NPK agriculture, i.e., the use of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Note the decline of nutrient in spinach. I would wager Popeye would loose strength after eating such a spinach, as opposed the spinach he ate to build his energy.

This particular UK study has not examined grains. However, it cannot be a big stretch to say grains have fairly similar declines to the vegetable group given that they comes as seeds of grasses. My data of high nutrition grains grown using nutrient dense farming practices seems to validate this. If after 5 years the mineral content differences have been substantial for calcium and trace mineral content, what will happen in 10 years assuming the grain grower improve his results each year?

One of my customers, a long time member of the Weston Price Foundation, agreed with me about the mineral declines in produce. She knew the basic story. However, she  assumed that meats have somehow been immune and have all that they need. The data of the chicken implies this to be false. The mineral content of animal foods in great part depends on the mineral content of the food they eat. I wonder if the state of the decline in the chickens can tell us about mineral decline in people.

If you thought the chicken losses were bad, things can actually get worse. In a more recent study, turkey declines far outpace the chicken ones. Turkey mineral content has declined in the following way 1940-2002: potassium 5%, phosphorus 19%, magnesium 4%, calcium 71%, and iron 79%. [2] It would have been nice to see the copper figure. Or not so nice, depending on you how you look at things.

In case you decided the above data could be some sort of odd coincidence not representing the general trend, the UK Ministries of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food took a sample of 27 different vegetables. The trend mirrors the ones above. One can say the same thing about the mineral declines of different meats.

fruits and vegetables chart

Data on fruits indicates that fruits have not lost as much mineral as have vegetables. David Thomas points out “Unlike a vegetable, when a fruit is harvested the whole plant is not taken. Consequently, the changes evident are not so startling. Nevertheless, there are significant overall losses in mineral content.” It remains to be seen the extent of differences between mineral content of fruits and vegetables when one grows them using nutrient dense farming relative to all other farming approaches.

10 meat items

Dairy products for whatever reason have not lost as much calcium as meats and vegetables. That said, they have lost substantial mounts of trace elements. Why does dairy have such massive trace element declines, more so than any other foods?

Cheese and Dairy

McCance and Widdowson, who complied this UK data, state ‘the major source of variation in meat composition is the proportion of lean to fat, as a result of husbandry techniques and trimming practices, both at a retail level and in the home. This affects levels of most other nutrients, which are distributed differently in the two fractions’. But so what? If you are eating potions of turkey that contain so much less minerals than 70 years back, you are at a major disadvantage nutritionally.

David Thomas states “It has been suggested that my conclusions were invalid as analytical methods have altered over the period reviewed. Advances in analytical methods have undoubtedly occurred but I can do no better than directly quote McCance & Widdowson in their foreword to the 5th and 6th editions: ‘Those methods (of 62 years ago) were no less accurate than the modern automated ones, but they took a much longer time.’”

References

1. I am going off the data put together by David Thomas. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14653505 and http://www.mineralresourcesint.co.uk/pdf/Mineral_Depletion_of_Foods_1940_2002.pdf

2. http://www.mineralresourcesint.co.uk/pdf/Mineral_Depletion_of_Foods_1940_2002.pdf .

What Does It Mean to Be a “High Nutrition Food”?

When someone thinks of organic foods, certain ideas and images come up. Those would likely include avoidance of toxic poisons and a method of farming that mirrors roughly how people have grown food for mankind’s history up until about 70-100 years ago. Second in priority would be the avoidance of chemical fertilizers that damage the soil. The government came up with a certification program for organics, for those who want those types of things [1].

One can say the same things about terms such as ”grass fed” or “pasture raised.” What comes up when you say “grass fed” or “pasture raised”? Images of  lush pastures likely come to mind, of contented cows grazing. Of chickens aggressively foraging, catching bugs and worms. What doesn’t come to mind includes feedlots and crowded buildings of animals living in horrid conditions.

When people think of “free range,” they don’t associate the term with being free range in a warehouse facility.While few farms have a certification of being grass fed or pasture raised, sophisticated consumers have a list of criteria they go by [2, 3]. Such people ask lots of questions to make sure that what they get meets their set of requirements.”Know your farmer,” or at least “know your sources” has been the message when it comes pasture raised animal products.

What does it mean to consume high nutrition food? How do you define it relative to organic or grass fed?  How can you know if it is indeed the real thing? Is this a question of faith and “trust me, I know what I am talking about”?

I have a list of signs, standards and indications of what it means for a food to be “high nutrition” which I run through with every grower I approach. First, the farmer must follow and be aware of the basic principles used in nutrient dense farming. If someone does not do nutrient dense farming, I have no more testing to do – achieving outstanding results because of having naturally good virgin soil (virtually unheard of today) or through sheer dumb luck does not count. Having good soil means nothing if the grower does not take measures to maintain it or improve upon it in the present.

Second,  I look for  at least an average of  good brix on the refractometer -see http://www.crossroads.ws/brixbook/BBook.htm and http://www.highbrixgardens.com/index.php -, much better shelf life of crops (on average a bare minimum 3 times longer shelf life per crop and variety for me to even consider somebody), a difference in weight by calculating specific gravity to measure the heaviness of a crop, little or no pest problems, and overall better flavor. I conduct blind taste tests to add some element of objectivity in measuring flavor. Third, assuming the above check out favorably, I am looking for higher levels of calcium and trace minerals on the lab tests. If data is available from 1930-1940 nutrition levels of a crops, then I use that for comparison purposes. I also look at mineral ratios, an indicator of balance of minerals.

refractometer

A refractometer, a cheap and simple tool that you can use to measure nutrient density.

Fourth, I test to what extent sample data mirrors the average mineral content of a year’s entire crop. I do this through applied kinesiology or radiesthesia. I have discovered I get very accurate results using this method of analysis. Also, I can measure the overall health benefits of the crop I am testing from another angle. Last but not least, I heavily prefer heirloom crops because of their ability to take in more nutrients than many hybrids.

Other than having this minimum criteria, I have a very specific vision with respect to these standards. Hitting the minimum levels is important but not enough. I aim to have each of my products  reaching the ideals of each of the standards and indicators that I look at. This means I want to see the brix reading blow way past excellent, all food that can be measured via shelf left to have a super long shelf life with dehydration, with rotting being a rare exception. If Dr. Carey Reams managed to achieve this, then so can I.

The ideal pH of plant sap hovers right at 6.4. With respect to vitamin and mineral content, I intend to see nutrient density levels that make the 1930 and 1940 figures look like a joke, with great mineral balance. On the same note, I envision very good looking soil tests and other indicators on the agronomy side, such as nearly complete absence of mineral deficiencies, for example.

This system provides some amount of checks and balances in that you don’t have to take my word for these measurements. You can test them for yourself to verify. The end user can measure the brix, specific gravity, vitamin and mineral content through lab tests, and shelf life for produce. Last but not least, you can determine the flavor. High nutrition food tends to have better flavor.

I am currently exploring the idea of creating a certification system, something along the lines of food being labeled “Certified High Nutrition.” In spite of all of the limitations of something being certified organic, many people tend to buy based on that label. Arden Andersen mentioned a certification system that has some of the same components as does mine [4]. While I commend Arden’s students for their efforts, my current approach is far more comprehensive. After all,  I am regularly refining these standards. I have a number of other indicators in the works that can further elucidate what it means to eat outstanding food.

1. http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=ORGANIC_CERTIFICATIO

2.  See, for example American Grassfed Association standards http://www.americangrassfed.org/about-us/our-standards/ or Food Alliance Grass Fed Label http://foodalliance.org/grassfed

3. http://www.eatwild.com/

Are you Overweight, Depressed, Tired or Having Cardiovascular Disease Partly Due to Sulfur Deficiency? + Selected Analysis of Sulfur Content of High Nutrition Food

Sulfur has been the neglected and ignored for whatever reason within the mainstream scientific community. Not considered hip,  no RDA figures exist as of now. Browse the USDA food composition database and you will find … zilch [1]. I must say this comes off as totally wacko, considering that sulfur ranks as the eighth most common element by mass in the human body, behind oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.

In a previous post on trace minerals, I noted that trace minerals as a group have declined more than the macro minerals nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus [2]. Sulfur has not escaped this trend, even though it is used to some extent in both mainstream organic and conventional farming. The amount of decline over the last 100 years remains to be determined. However, research on the agronomy side indicates widespread sulfur deficiency signs on plants [3].

Higher yields have come at the expense of decreased density of sulfur in food. Plants require sulfur in the form of the sulfate radical (SO4-2). Bacteria in well aerated soil, similar to nitrogen fixing bacteria, can convert elemental sulfur into sulfate through an oxidation process.

Coal contains a significant amount of sulfur, and factories that burn coal for energy release sulfur dioxide into the air. The Clean Air Act, enacted by congress in 1980, has led to substantial decreases in the amount of acid rain released into the atmosphere. Factories have introduced highly effective scrubbing technologies to comply with the law, and, as a consequence, less sulfate makes its way back into the soil. [4]. Getting my sulfur intake from foods that have been affected by dirty air from coal burning doesn’t exactly sound all that great.

MIT Senior Research Scientist Stephanie Seneff notes the following about sulfur, obesity, and heart disease:

“The ultimate source of sulfur is volcanic rock, mainly basalt, spewed up from the earth’s core during volcanic eruptions. It is generally believed that humans first evolved from a common ape ancestor in the African rift zone, a region that would have enjoyed an abundance of sulfur due to the heavy volcanic activity there. The three principle suppliers of sulfur to the Western nations are Greece, Italy and Japan. These three countries also enjoy low rates of heart disease and obesity and increased longevity. In South America, a line of volcanoes tracks the backbone of Argentina. Argentinians have a much lower obesity rate than their neighbors to the east in Brazil. In the United States, Oregon and Hawaii, two states with significant volcanic activity, have among the lowest obesity rates in the country. By contrast, the highest obesity rates are found in the midwest and southern farm country: the epicenter of the modern agricultural practices (mega farms) that lead to sulfur depletion in the soil. Among all fifty states, Oregon has the lowest childhood obesity rates. Significantly, Hawaii’s youth are faring less well than their parents: while Hawaii ranks as the fifth from the bottom in obesity rates, its children aged 10-17 weigh in at number 13. As Hawaii has recently become increasingly dependent on food imports from the mainland to supply their needs, they have suffered accordingly with increased obesity problems” [4].

She added in an interview with Dr. Joseph Mercola that the basalt rock rich island of Crete has 5 times lower levels of heart disease than the lime rich Coptos. Both islands have a very similar climate and diet. [6].

Seneff

Seneff suggests eating sulfur rich foods such as eggs dairy, meats, garlic, onions. My interpretation of her suggestion is that eating these foods will offset the lack of sulfur in the diet of the vast majority of people out there. But does this strategy truly make up for eating sulfur depleted crops?

Also, while putting on sulfur from a high quality source and making sure it comes in an available form may be great, this recipe sounds way too simplistic in my mind. Sulfur mineralization needs to be taken in the context of balancing this mineral with other minerals. supplements, high nutritionfarming, whether the Reams or Albrecht agronomy camps or combination of both, have by far the best understanding of how to intelligently use sulfur to maximize nutritional benefits of food [7].

sul-po-mag

Sulfate of Potash Magnesia, aka Sul-Po-Mag is commonly used in supplements, high nutrition farming.

Selected Analysis of Sulfur Content of High Nutrition Food

From the limited data available, it appears sulfur content in many crops has declined sharply over the last 80 years, with small increases or little change in others [8]. As Seneff illustrated above, soil variations can also play a role in the differences [9].

Independent lab tests indicate that farro, almonds, and rye have 156, 167, and 99 mg per 100g of sulfur. High nutrition organic heirloom farro has over 30% more sulfur than did wheat 80 years ago and 50-300% more sulfur than modern day wheat in Austria. I did some radiesthesia testing on farro that shows it gets as high 180 mg/100 g of sulfur and a s low as 140 mg per 100g.

Rye gets as high as 120 mg and as low as around 100 mg per 100g of sulfur. This same tool indicates the farro has 60+% more sulfur than the average figure of wheat produce in this country. The average is 170 for the farro and 110 for the rye. High nutrition organic heirloom rye has around 50-100% more sulfur than modern day rye in Austria [10]. High nutrition almond sulfur content goes up as high as 180 mg. High nutrition almonds have 30% more sulfur than the national production average based on a radiesthesia test, 15% more than those 1930 in the UK, and 10% higher than the current data from Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition [11, 12].

References

1.http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=12-35-45-00

2. The Benefits of High Nutrition Foods Part 1: Significantly Higher Trace Mineral Content

3. Joseph Jez, “Sulfur: a Missing Link between Soils, Crops, and Nutrition.” Agronomy Monograph #50. (2008) American Society of Agronomy, Inc.

4. Steffanie Sennef goes into a lot more depth on obesity, heat disease, poor energy and Alzheimer’s in her article “Could Sulfur Deficiency be a Contributing Factor in Obesity, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”?

http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/sulfur_obesity_alzheimers_muscle_wasting.html

5 Ibid

6. Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Stephanie Seneff (Part 3 of 7) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE_MKjxOfaU

7. See  Biological Ionization as Applied to Farming and Soil Management by Alexander Beddoe and Hands-On Agronomy by Neil Kinsey for the basics on sulfur use in supplements, high nutrition farming.

8. Compare http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1264524/pdf/biochemj01022-0143.pdf and http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/info/books-phds/books/foodfacts/html/data/data5g.html

9. How Variations in Soil Fertility Affect Your Nutrient Intake

10. See http://www.mdpi.com/2077-0472/2/1/1/pdf for sulfur content of selected crops in Austria.

11. http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/info/books-phds/books/foodfacts/html/data/data5g.html, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1264524/pdf/biochemj01022-0143.pdf

12. See Principles and Practice of Radiesthesia by Abbe Mermet for an introduction to radiesthesia.

How to Find High Nutrition Levels in Food by Checking Test Weight: Signs of High Nutrition Part 2

Recently, I received an inquiry about test weight of several of my products. What is this test weight? More to point, what difference does it make if something weights more or less?

Test weight is the measuring of a given quantity of a crop fitted into a given volume of space. As an example, in the US test weight has been traditionally done per bushel. A Google search reveals that 1 US bushel = 9.30917797 US gallons. Suppose you take the test weight of shelled almonds in whole form and get 25 pounds per bushel. You then get almonds form another source, another farm or store, only to find the test weight to be 30 pounds per bushel. Which do you suppose will tend to have better nutrition?

Assuming you make an apples to apples comparison, the higher the test weight the better the nutrition [1]. Ideally, I include comparing the same variety of a given food in my analysis. Comparing a Granny Smith apple to a Golden Delicious one may not be as good as comparing two Granny Smiths grown in different farms. Why? Because Granny Smith may have capacity for greater nutrient uptake than Golden Delicious, as hypothetical example.

apple bushel

Test weight needs to be taken in the context of moisture levels. If you have pecans with two wildly different moisture levels, this will skew your results. So you need to make necessary adjustments to make the moisture levels identical.

Test weight serves as one indicator of nutrient density. The greater the test weight of a crop, the more dense the food is in minerals. More to the point, higher density means several things. First, it can mean minerals of a high specific gravity – trace minerals – are in higher concentrations than in a crop with lower test weight. Second, the trace mineral content may be higher because of decent to good phosphate or calcium levels, which help carry the trace minerals in the plant. Third, higher levels of calcium, avoidance of excessive potassium and nitrogen levels will result in higher test weight. This does not come as a surprise, as calcium has a higher specific gravity than potassium and nitrogen [2]

I have spoken with the fairly small number of seed growers that use test weight as an indicator of quality and nutrition. They have observed that high test weight grains have no aflatoxins and produce healthier feed for animals. The higher the test weight, the lower the aflatoxin level and at a certain point the aflatoxin issue becomes a nonstarter [3, 4, 5].

I think its relative ease makes it quite an attractive measure. Anybody can use it. I like it as a measure of density in addition to brix. I like it because it costs next to nothing, whereas lab tests of vitamins and minerals can cost a fortune. If I get a low test weight of a given food, then I know that food cannot be all that supplements, high nutrition ; so I will stop there. A high test weight figure predicts good nutrition. From there, I will run lab tests of mineral content.

How do you know if you have something with a high test weight? No clear cut categorization like a brix chart exists for test weight. As of yet, nobody has documented test weights that indicate poor, average, good, or excellent nutrition.

That said, I have found some indicators worth looking at as a starting point to form some frame of reference. See http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/scales/bushels.html and https://sites.google.com/site/traderfilesformiles/what-is-a-bushel. These standards, though not really followed by most producers, as they is not enforced, go back around 100+ years back. Notice the wide test weight variations in certain parts of the country relative to others. Things have gone downhill since from a nutrient density perspective. According to industry insiders, much of the grains out there are well below test weight standards. As an example, you can easily find wheat in the 40-50 pound range.

The average test weight for all of the high nutrition heirloom grains except hard red wheat is 61-62 lbs per bushel and goes as high as 63+ lbs and as low as 60 lbs. The hard red wheat is 62-63 lbs per bushel on average and as high as 64+ lbs per bushel, as low as 61 lbs. High nutrition almonds have test weight of 43-44 pounds on average, get as high as 45 and as low as 42.

Lakeview Organic Grains measures test weight. They have reported their varieties with the highest test weight for wheat are at 63 lbs. They consider anything over 60 to be high test weight. The wheat and rye varieties I carry have not been identified as having such genetics and yet are at those levels or exceed them. This means they check out pretty well, at least from the standpoint of test weight.

This data raises some questions. The high nutrition almond test weight is much higher than the industry standard of 37. The high nutrition heirloom rye test weight far exceeds the industry standard of 56. And yet the high nutrition heirloom wheat doesn’t exceed the standard of 60 pounds by all that much relative to rye and almonds. What gives? Is it a coincidence that excellent brix almonds have much higher test weight than the industry standard? Or that the good brix grains don’t show as large a difference as the almonds?

It remains to be seen what will happen as the grain grower further improve upon his results. What kinds of tests will they have when their grains become excellent brix? I suspect they can reach a test weight of 70+ for grains, given that the grain grower has been doing supplements, high nutrition farming for only 5 years, with lots of room for improving the nutrition of the crop.

References:

1. http://www.crossroads.ws/brixbook/BBook.htm#Miscellaneous quality tips

2. Compare http://chemistry.about.com/od/elementfacts/a/potassium.htm to http://chemistry.about.com/od/elementfacts/a/calcium.htm

3. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/aflatoxins-or-another-reason-to-shun-peanuts/#axzz2PzQ81DqA

4. http://www.lakevieworganicgrain.com/

5. Farming expert Lee Freyer states the following about aflatoxin levels in grains: “They won’t have any aflatoxins in the grains once they balance the nutrition of the crops.” As soil vitality declines plants tend to become susceptible to disease. How many organic farmers pay attention to proper plant nutrition? A small minority.

Aflatoxins are so poisonous that they have been reported to be more potent than PCBs with respect to their cancer causing ability. Asians and Africans exposed to aflatoxins have the highest rate of liver cancer. In response to the severe summer drought of 1988, FDA raised the permissible level of aflatoxin contamination by 1500% (Empty Harvest, p.69-71).

Limitations of Supplements

In my previous posts I covered the problems with today’s foods. I discussed calcium, trace minerals, colloids, and phytochemicals. Suppose you figure out a clever way to offset the lack of calcium, electrochemical compound colloids, and trace elements and whatever else missing in the food supply.

supplements

You don’t need to be all that clever, as exceptionally smart people have done a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Reams tried to that with his supplementation program in RBTI, among countless other health care professionals. The list of tactics can totally overwhelm someone looking for answers.

Quite a few of these approaches work quite well and can help someone to substantially improve their health and well being. I am throwing in whole food supplements into the category of supplements, including ginseng, acerola cherry and so forth. Can these approaches truly make up for having a food supply of mineral poor real foods.

“Are you kidding me?” I respond to my own question. At best, only partly. Let me take a real life example to illustrate the point. In previous post I profiled Thomas Giannou and his health benefits from eating high nutrition food. You can find it here.

Thomas got great results from doing RBTI. I consider him among the smartest and most successful people in the field. And yet when he started eating high nutrtion food he got results above and beyond the RBTI program. What happened? Supposedly, he took care of trace minerals needs through seaweed called Algazim, mineral colloids from the supplement Mincol, and calcium through various supplements.

Someone might rightly point out Thomas’ story may be anecdotal. Fair enough. Has anyone, conducted any scientific experiments to support or falsify these claims? Why does it matter how you meet nutritional needs as long as you meet them?William Albrecht, a major figure in the high nutrition  farming field, cites an experiment that show the limitations of supplements [1,2]. Test rabbits were fed one of two lespedeza [bush clover] hays, one of which received a lime or calcium treatment and one which received no treatment.

The hay from the lime-treated soil produced better growth in the rabbits. Surprisingly, the hay from the untreated soil was the better digested. The urine of the test animals was analysed for both phosphorus and calcium contents. The animals eating the hay from untreated soil excreted twice as much phosphorus and calcium in their urine as the animals eating the hay from the calcium-treated soil.In order for these minerals to come out in the urine of the test animals, they must have been both digested and absorbed.

Yet something must have been missing in the hay from the untreated soil that was necessary to allow the animal to make full use of these minerals. Lacking enough of this essential factor would cause some of the minerals to simply pass through the body without being used, wasting the effort made by the body to digest and absorb them.

Is it necessary and important to meet dietary requirements created by the establishment? Perhaps and yet the above experiment by William Albrecht shows that modern nutrition has a lot to learn about nutrient requirements. This next story hits the point home:

“This reminds me of some interesting research that came out of Europe during WWII. Prior to the war researchers were observing food purchasing habits of families and monitoring each family’s health. When the war hit Europe the economy declined and food prices became much higher.

The researchers assumed the families would buy lower-quality produce since it was cheaper. Instead, most families used whatever means they had to buy smaller quantities of the highest quality foods they could find. The researchers were surprised to find out that even though the families buying the highest-quality foods were clearly underfed they remained in amazingly good health. The other families that had purchased lower-quality foods had sufficient to eat, but due to its poorer nutrition, suffered in the level of their health by the end of the war” [3].

High nutrition farming has the makings in it to turn the theories of conventional nutrition wisdom upside down on their heads.

References:

1. Albrecht Papers Volume IV, Chapter 5, “Pastures.”

2. http://www.westonaprice.org/farm-a-ranch/agriculture-and-nutrition

3. http://www.highbrixgardens.com/about/19-high-brix-gardens/what-is-brix.html

A Little Known Cause of Cardiovascular Disease: The Soil Connection

heart soil

Heart disease remains a major killer. Should you examine the literature, you fill find a whole host of different factors that play a role in causing it. I will focus on the soil connection, which has been almost completely ignored. And yet ignorance is not necessarily bliss.

All the different nutrient dense farming schools of thought place great weight on calcium. The RBTI agronomist places just as heavy an emphasis on intelligent use of calcium as does the RBTI  practitioner for human health . In a previous post titled How to Poison Yourself Eating Calcium Deficient Real Foods,  I explained what happens when a person consumes calcium deficient foods, whether processed or real foods. Two of the toxic wastes that result from eating calcium deficient foods include improperly metabolized salts (aka conductivity) and ureas.  The Alphabetical Reference Manual, complied by Stanley & Gertrude Gardner, states the following:

“In the case of the arteries and veins, salt acts much like it does when it is poured into an open wound.  It is an irritant and by irritating the blood vessels and causing them to stiffen up and lose their pumping like action, the blood has a hard time getting back to the body’s main blood pump, the heart.  So, the liver then begins to manufacture cholesterol which is a glistening substance that helps sooth the irritation occurring in the blood vessels along with helping to carry the blood back to the heart.  The problem is when this continues over a long period of time, a person can become susceptible to an angina heart attack.  This occurs when the cholesterol has been building up in the blood vessels over a long period of time and suddenly a piece of it breaks loose and goes to the heart.  If the heart can’t pump it through, a heart attack occurs.  This is called an angina heart attack and there is no such thing as a minor one of these.  Dr. Reams states it’s either “WHAM you’re dead OR you got lucky and lived. 

An angina heart attack is very severe and will always leave a damaged heart.  The cause, however, had nothing to do with what a person ate but rather with what the person’s body didn’t get rid of, namely, the excess salt.  The liver responded to this by manufacturing cholesterol to help the blood get back to the heart.  Otherwise, the person would die that much quicker.  It’s like God is giving the person as much time as possible to change his ways and get his body chemistry back to where it should be.  All that he needs to do is lower the salts and the cholesterol that has been building up over the years will slowly but surely begin to be cleansed from the system.  And by knowing just this bit of information, you can get your own body chemistry into the range where cholesterol will not build up in your blood vessels and bring about this problem of angina.  You can also help others long in advance of an angina heart attack ever happening.”

Note that Reams never suggested that saturated fats cause heart disease, as conventional wisdom would like to have you believe. The following quote needs some clarification: ” The cause, however, had nothing to do with what a person ate but rather with what the person’s body didn’t get rid of, namely, the excess salt.” Poor eating habits bring about this poor digestion. Once the digestion has gotten into this sorry state, eating any food, junk or nutrient dense real food, will result in salt accumulations.  Eating foods with the calcium in the proper levels  will start to reverse the digestion problems. Salty foods seem to create the most problems with a malfunctioning digestion caused by calcium deficient food . The formation of this cholesterol really starts to get going when the reading from the conductivity meter exceeds 8.4  and becomes dangerously high when it goes over 14 (p.110).

Alexander Beddoe has the following to say about ureas:

“Digestion either provides usable energy on the frequency of the body; or, it provides unusable energy that is not on the frequency of the body—basically toxic.  When food enters digestion, a resistance is encountered.  This is a chemical reaction that takes place between the digestive enzymes and the food. In other words, a chemical pressure is applied to the food to take it apart into simpler forms— matter, heat, and electricity. When water, oxygen, and calcium are being properly supplied to the body, the digestion will apply the correct amount of resistance pressure to the food, resulting in the beginning of the proper frequency or line of resistance from the energy released. This properly adjusted energy can then be picked up by the part of the liver that can use it to build all the basic building blocks for ideal healthy cells.

If the resistance pressure on the incoming food is not correct, because of the lack of water, oxygen, and calcium in the food and body, the matter, heat, and electricity released will be on the wrong frequency (incorrect line of resistance)—not usable by the body. Being unusable, this energy is treated as though it were toxic by the part of the liver that is responsible for detoxifying (neutralizing) any chemical waste, whether it comes from the body’s regular healthy metabolism, environmental poisons, or food that has been rendered toxic because of improper resistance pressure in the digestion.

The result of improper digestion is the release of amino acids that are not on the frequency of the body. The liver cannot use them for making energy for the body, so the liver treats them as if they were a toxin and converts them into nontoxic urea. Urea, however, is only nontoxic for up to 72 hours.  After that time urea breaks down into soluble urea salts of nitrate and ammonia nitrogen. In improper quantities these urea salts are unhealthy for the chemistry, because they take part in aggravating the conductance of the body fluids, through these soluble nitrogen salts, beyond what the body is designed to handle …Excess nitrogen is a byproduct of poor body chemistry that allows usually nontoxic ureas to remain in the body until they become toxic” (Biological Ionization As Applied to Human Nutrition p.127).

A high conductivity number coupled with high ureas number of 20 or higher spells heart stress.

So how do you address the high conductivity, ureas and the buildup of the cholesterol? RBTI uses distilled water to eliminate the excess conductivity and urea buildup in the body.  Reams devised a routine of drinking distilled water systematically 10 hours straight per day on the hour and half hour. This routine gets customized according to the actual figures. People with higher conductivity numbers and weight need more water. This water routine process gradually removes the accumulations of ureas and salts.

RBTI has a number of different ways of eliminating the salts and ureas in addition the water routine. Go easy on the salt shaker and go by the numbers. People with high ureas are advised to temporarily cut down on animal proteins, especially meats, fish and cheese until the ureas go down to a safer range. This process tends to occur fairly quickly if they drink the distilled water systematically.

Reams observed salt consumption tends to increase the conductivity. If someone has excessively high salts, it stands to reason you don’t want to increase the salt any higher. They need to lower the salts figure to the optimal range of 6-7 and only then start observing how salt affects their figures. This does not suggest that I am demonizing salt. Rather, it means that salt needs to be used intelligently. People with excessively low conductivity  numbers benefit from increasing salt intake to raise the conductivity so that it can go in the optimal range. Other measures that lower the conductivity  number include sweating via sauna or exercise, colonics, and fasting – which lower the ureas. Thus, salt intake needs to be taken within the context of a comprehensive program including all of the above.

Profile of a High Nutrition Farmer

I did a presentation recently about high nutrition farming for my local Los Angeles Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter. See http://www.meetup.com/Los-Angeles-Whole-Food-Nutrition-Meetup-Group/events/105297442/?_af_eid=105297442&a=uc1_te&_af=event. Several people asked me what sort of inputs are used in high nutrition farming. This post will give you some flavor of what goes on when a farmer grows food in this way.

The almond grower that I work with has 12+ years of experience growing high nutrition crops. The first several years he decided to sit on the sidelines and learn the ropes by asking questions and observing. He went to the Acres and Tainio symposium  conferences and learned as much as possible.

It took him some number of years to get things figured out and working smoothly. In essence, He uses a modified Reams and Albrecht system that focuses on hitting the ideal targets of each system [1]. Alongside the mineralization, he uses microbiology products to optimize the availability of the minerals. He uses a host of different products, including  MycoGensesis™,  BioGenesis™ I, Pepzyme™, Spectrum™, among other Tainio microbiology products [2]. In addition to putting out the “bugs” – as he likes to call them, he applies a liquid mix of the bacteria through the fertigation system. For the uninitiated, fertigation is irrigation with addition of powdered or liquid fertilizers and biological products. It is a very efficient system of making fertilizers  available to plants very quickly, above and beyond putting down amendments into the soil. It is done on a regular basis, several times per month.

Some time before the trees begin to blossom, he uses foliar sprays every several weeks until the almonds mature. A foliar spray is the same as fertigation except that water and fertilizers are sprayed on the leafs. He has tried various approaches, including using products that combine nutrition with biology. Foliar sprays improve nutrient density, flavor and shelf life.

With respect to the mineralization, the farmer has virtually all of basic ingredients in place. He uses Azomite [3], He has touted it as a high energy trace mineral fertilizer ever since Hugh Lovel labeled it as such in an Acres conference presentation several years back. Other high energy fertilizers he has used with great success include Baicor products [4]. Baicor produces a number of nontoxic, earth friendly liquid fertilizers the he puts to regular use, including phosphate, calcium and sulfur. Ever since he started using the Baicor phosphate he saw the brix go through the roof.

Pleased with the Baicor phosphate, he abandoned the use of rock phosphate years ago. I have been working on persuading him to run powdered rock phosphate through the fertigation. For those of us on west coast, soft rock phosphate remains an expensive but very valuable fertilizer. By running it through fertigation one can make it go a long way and keep the costs down as well. He also applies some fish fertilizers through fertigation and foliar sprays for nitrogen and potassium needs.

This seasoned and experienced grower works with several humates. Through trial and error, along with looking at the economics, he uses a combination of the following: Carbo II™ and Huma Blend [5,6,7]. He also uses a little molasses. A little goes a long way.

With respect to amendments, he has used dolomite but now plans to change to high calcium, low magnesium lime. He used dolomite because soil tests indicated low magnesium levels, and dolomite has abundant amounts of this trace mineral. Also he uses GrowPAL, which has 90+ trace minerals in highly concentrated form, which he also adds to the fertigation [8]. Other than the above, he adds some compost yearly.

Other additions have been the use of radionics here and there, with mixed results. He spent more time studying about this fascinating area than actually putting that knowledge to use, an area which certain people in the high nutrition  farming community such Phil Wheeler and Arden Andersen like to promote [9]. He bought a Field Tuner™  to further improve his crop health but a woodpecker rendered it useless though its constant pecking[10].

field tuner

Aside from struggling to keep woodpeckers away from Field Tuners, a very sane endeavor considering the cost of a Field Tuner, this grower has come a long way in his knowledge and education. (As an aside, I wonder why he did not use radionics to keep the woodpeckers away – probably he realized it too late.)

All throughout the years he has kept studying and learning to improve his game – to fine tune his system. If he couldn’t make it to a conference, he would buy the tapes and listen while driving. From my standpoint, wouldn’t it be nice if more farmers took such a proactive approach?

1. Reams and Albrecht methods of agronomy are the two most widely used approaches in high nutrition farming. A classic Reams agronomy book is Biological Ionization as Applied to Farming and Soil Management. Hands-On Agronomy will introduce the reader to the Albrecht method.

2.http://www.tainio.com/index.php?pageControl=productlisting&categoryfilter=true&selectedcategory=Soil%20Amendments&pagenumber=1

7. The importance of humates in the food supply deserves an entire separate post. The following site covers some of the relevant health benefits. http://naturogroup.com/77blackwater/fulvic-acid-and-your-health/ Credit to Cheeseslave for informing me about this company via her post ExpoWest 2012: My Favorite Things — Part 5

9. Arden Andersen introduces radionics in Science in Agriculture: Advanced Methods for Sustainable Farming.

10. http://www.coherentresources.com/fieldtuner.php

 

How Variations in Soil Fertility Affect Your Nutrient Intake

In  my previous post examining the difference between organic and conventional food titled Why Is Organic Food No More Nutritious Than Conventional Food?, I stated that one of the reasons as to why some organic farms have more nutritious foods than others has to do with variations in soils. Simply put, some places have much better soil than others.

different soils

Nowadays, I hear all this talk about knowing your local farmer. Nothing wrong with that. What about knowing the state of the soil of the local farmer? What if the local farmer or farmers have soil that sucks? Then what? And I am not talking about some conventional farmer poisoning the land with his her toxic chemicals, but the organic farmer with conviction that organic trumps conventional ones any time.

The Firman Bear Report provided ample evidence that some parts of the country have dramatically higher levels of certain minerals than others [1]. In 1989, Nutrient Testing Laboratories conducted a similar test of commercial produce throughout the country, only to find very similar results [2].  Florida tomatoes  had 3 times more calcium than the ones in Massachusetts. California potatoes had tree times as much phosphorus as did ones in New York . How do these variations occur? How do you know if your food you buy has the best nutrition relative to other regions in the country?

Aside from differences in farming practices, different locations are subject to different random processes in nature. For example, Indonesia got pounded by a tsunami in 2005. The tsunami was nature’s version of trace mineral fertilization of 90+ different trace elements. Certain places such as valleys have less erosion than others because it is harder for minerals to leach away. Rains, winds and a host of other factors affect the distribution of minerals in the soil. Some places have better soil than others simply because they have not been farmed as long. Farmers have been busy depleting the soil in Massachusetts since the days of the pilgrims. One can hardly say the same thing about certain parts of Australia, which have been farmed less than 100 years. 

You will also find variations from country to country. Today, many people get their foods outside of their locale. Let’s face it: If you want to eat coconut and don’t live in a place where coconut trees thrive, you will have get them from a place where they are produced.  Indeed, the Earth Summit report in 1993 showed the following declines in farm and range soil mineral content: Africa 74%, Asia 76%, Australia 55%, Europe 72%, North America 85%, and South America 76%. Thus, in spite of doing farming far longer than us Americans, the Europeans have better soil. The Australians have among the best soils today as a nation.

After looking at the above findings, several thoughts occurred to me. Have you heard of someone saying “oranges are a great source of vitamin C?” My response to this question would be “which oranges, grown where?” Pretty much everyone has ignored the Rutgers study I cited above. Conventional wisdom wants us to believe than an orange is an orange – a commodity, to put it another way. The overwhelming majority of the organic and conventional farmers out there have no inkling of the state of their soil from the standpoint of nutrition.

Do you want to buy local after examining all this data? One the one hand, if local has outstanding soil – that is a no brainer. If it doesn’t, then I am not sold on the concept on the “buy local” idea from a nutritional standpoint. At least, not until local food becomes truly nutrient dense real food. It has a ways to go before it gets there in the overwhelming majority of locales in this country.

These facts about soil variations from region to region reinforce my view that solely relying on nature to create great soil borders on wishful thinking in today’s world.  And yet this happens to be what the majority of farmers do today. It may take thousands of years for favorable changes to naturally occur. And yet they may not occur, even after all that time.

How can a farmer today have among the very best soils in their respective nation and in the world? Using the principles of high nutrition farming you can change an exhausted soil into a robust one and a fertile soil into an even more fertile one, one that confers exceptional health benefits to crops grown on it. Instead of relying on being blessed with good soil – an increasingly endangered species today facing extinction -, you can take maters into your own hands and build it up. 

References:

1. https://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/bearreport/

2. Empty Harvest, p.77.

 

 

Why Is Organic Food No More Nutritious Than Conventional Food?

Years ago before I learned about high nutrition farming, I was inquiring about the difference between organic farming and conventional farming form a nutritional standpoint. What I wanted to know was whether or not organic food has superior nutrition relative conventional food. So I tried to read everything I could get my hands on to find out.

organic

Note that I am referring to organically grown produce, nuts, grains and not meats. Also, I don’t  refer to processed foods that have been stripped of their nutrition like white sugar or flour. Ample scientific studies show that a major difference exists between pasture raised animal foods and all other meats on the market [1]. Many pasture raised animal products are not certified organic and many organic animal foods are not pasture raised, to complicate things a bit. Hence, I have left the animal foods out. To add further complexities, a fairly large amount of farmers use organic farming principles but don’t have certification for a number of different reasons.

If you look at all the studies and put them together, you will find the following pattern: One study indicates organic has better nutrition. Then another shows that conventional produce has more nutrition. As whole, the studies show no difference in organic or conventional, with a few exceptions which you can count on your fingers [2-6].

These studies indicate something else must be responsible for differences in nutrition. Could it be that some farmers have more skill at farming and producing better nutrition? Just as any other profession, some farmers simply do better work than others. Then, there is the matter of having better soil. Or should I say being blessed with better soil. Soil that has been untouched or less exhausted or assaulted by environmental poisons.

People in the high nutrition farming industry confirm the absence of any material nutritional difference in organic crops. Alexander Beddoe stated in one of his books that his experience has been that conventionally grown real food brixes higher. I have heard the same things from several other thought leaders in high nutrition  farming community. Then again, someone else noted organic produce brixes slightly higher. I have seen this to be the case, particular with farmer’s market tree ripened fruit. All of this kind of sounds like the above studies – it all depends on the source of the food in question. Properly ripened fruit will have higher brix than under ripe fruit, but this has nothing to do with organic farming bringing about the higher brix levels. Rather, this has to do with choosing to pick the crop later. It just so happens farmer markets have tree ripened fruits in much larger amounts than other outlets for food.

None of this means that I am trashing organic farming. I buy organically grown food and avoid anything sprayed with poisons. While one speaker did mention  interesting health-related aspects of organic farming on the Real Food Summit having nothing to do with lower pesticide residues [7], ignoring the sad reality of organic food being nowhere near as nutritious as it was 70-100 years, let alone 250-1,000,00 years ago, is a major problem that needs to be addressed [8].

1. http://www.eatwild.com/references.html

2. http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FPNS%2FPNS61_01%2FS0029665102000058a.pdf&code=1d92dc366507dd8fbe3d4e84592ebdd3

3. http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2012/september/organic.html

4. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07352689.2011.554417?tab=permissions#tabModule

5.http://www.anh-usa.org/new-junk-science-study-dismisses-nutritional-value-of-organic-foods/

6.http://www.soilandhealth.org/06clipfile/nutritional%20quality%20of%20organically-grown%20food.html

What a High Nutrition Diet Can Do for You: Case Study of Thomas Giannou’s Results

The bottom line about eating a high nutrition diet is you are supposed to improve your health above and beyond eating mainstream organic food, including pasture raised meats. It is like switching from free-range-in- a-warehouse chicken stuffed with grains and soy [best case scenario] to pasture raised heritage chicken eating worms, bugs, grass and some produce. Or from feedlot beef to grass fed beef.  Simply put, the latter has far better nutrition than the former. Does anybody in the world today actually have access to this food in sufficient amounts to make a difference in their health? Yes, and here is a real life example. thomas

Thomas Giannou has been doing high nutrition gardening for many years. He lives in Spokane, Washington. Being tired of growing crops that the bugs attacked, Thomas started searching for solutions. Thomas learned about high nutrition gardening by accident. He used several products and got outstanding results with raspberries, 17-19 brix. He never encountered as healthy and delicious raspberries as the ones that he grew. He inquired about how one can measure quality in food and did not find any answers of substance until he stumbled upon the concept of brix as a measure of quality and health of a food.

Over the years, Thomas has developed a system of high nutrition farming and gardening, raising the nutrient density of his crops from good brix to excellent brix. He achieves food that desiccates on a consistent basis with very few exceptions. My analysis indicates about several percent of the food produced by his system will rot and the rest will have a super shelf life. Left at room temperature, this food will dehydrate over time. I lab tested a carrot of his and the mineral content was about double the current USDA levels for 17 major minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, iron, etc. And those tests were with 13-14 brix carrots – one of the worst performances with his system. Compared to his produce, other produce feels hollow, and I managed to quantify this: His carrots had a specific gravity of over 4 times the amount the farmers market and grocery store carrots had.

Thomas has so many different projects going on, among other things, that he has not been able to grow all of his own food. Also, he currently does not have the land to do so. Nevertheless, for a number of years he grew and tested all different kinds of produce using his system.

The cold fall and winter of Spokane does not permit Thomas to grow food all year round, even doing it high brix, barring the use of a hoop house. He can only grow from April/May to October. When he grows his own food, he has observed the following: As the season starts, Thomas eats 3 or more different high nutrition fruits and vegetables from the garden. He continues doing this for several weeks and notices his memory gets better – much better. Recall from reading a page improves dramatically. Note that he does not do any psychological exercises to improve memory. His energy and well-being pick up markedly.

I bet that you can guess what happens when the season ends with respect to Thomas’ health. Once he exhausts his supplies of tomatoes and other crops sitting on the counter for months without molding, life forces him to substitute high brix with store bought produce. He begins to feel more sluggish and feels about the same as he did before the start of the season.

Even during the season, high nutrition food does not make up the preponderance of Thomas’ diet. Thomas has access to high nutrition raspberries, blackberries and pears. The vegetable selection far exceeds the fruit one, but Thomas has no plans to grow 20+ different vegetables at a time. These foods alone cannot satisfy his omnivorous tendencies, and he does not have access to grass fed animal foods on high nutrition pasture. Or nuts and seeds. I can only imagine, from a health standpoint, what would happen if all the food he ate was grown using this system.

To learn more about Thomas’ high nutrition farming and gardening methods, you check out his website at http://www.tandjenterprises.com/.

How to Poison Yourself Eating Calcium Deficient Real Foods

In the introduction to his book Biological Ionization as Applied to Farming and Soil Management Dr. Alexander Beddoe makes a fairly bold claim. He states “the most toxic foods are those that are grown on calcium deficient soil [hence, calcium deficient food] and passed off, to an ignorant public, as fresh healthy food.”After reading this, you may ask “how so?”

What makes calcium deficient foods to be toxic? Can we really poison ourselves eating calcium deficient real foods in an as-squeaky-clean-as-possible organically farmed land not being sprayed with any poisons?

toxic

Let’s examine the reason from the standpoint of biological ionization. RBTI theory states that the primary three ingredients the liver needs are calcium, oxygen and water to function properly (Biological Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition, p. 30). Throw out the calcium from the food and you throw in a monkey wrench into the system.

From my college days studying some biology, I recall that the liver bears the brunt of doing detoxification in the body. So, when the liver does not get the proper amount of calcium it starts to malfunction. Since one of its primary functions is to appropriately deal with wastes, it becomes inefficient at doing so.

So, wastes start accumulating.Add to this the fact that the lion’s share of humanity lives in a toxic world and you have recipe for massive buildup of toxicity. Even if you avoid food sprayed with poisons such toxic cleaning supplies, what will you do with the air if you live anywhere near the city?

For example, reading Chris Kresser’s recent post Bone Broth and Lead Toxicity: Should You Be Concerned? refreshed my memory about the relationship between calcium and lead.Chris writes “both animal and human studies have shown that low calcium intake increases the risk of lead toxicity. In one rat study, researchers found that rats ingesting a low calcium diet had blood-lead concentrations four times higher than rats on a normal calcium diet, although the quantities of lead ingested were equal. The mechanisms by which calcium protects against lead toxicity involve complex interactions among lead, dietary calcium, intestinal calcium binding proteins and vitamin D, especially 1,25 D (the active form).  In fact, the interaction between calcium and lead is quite similar to that of selenium and mercury.”

According to RBTI, two of the toxic wastes that result from calcium deficient foods include improperly metabolized salts and ureas. Suppose you find a way to offset calcium deficiencies through whole food supplements like milk, bone broth, cheese, kefir, etc.. How do you get rid of the waste you have accumulated from years of eating of calcium deficient foods?

You can remove these accumulations through detoxification. RBTI uses a number of different approaches. Drink distilled water systematically as a long term and short term measure to eliminate wastes. Additional approaches include saunas, fasting, colonics, and massage. The fasting and colonics are used only in certain situations with a specific body chemistry range.

This short list of detoxification tools represents a small fraction of the whole. I had great success with fasting. I have seen clay, zeolite and herbs such as schizandra and dandelion to work quite effectively as well. I would love to know what methods of detoxification you have used in addition to the above.

Mainstream Organically Grown Avocados, Move Over! High Nutrition Avocados in the Pipeline

Last year, I got an introduction to a respected and seasoned grower doing high nutrition farming here on the west coast. Being one of the smartest growers around  and using high nutrition farming principles in his farming for 15 years, this grower is kicking some major butt based on number of different metrics. And that is putting it mildly.

avocado

The season started in December and the grower encountered some trouble. A thief had been in the grove picking fruit at night and piling them up for the following night. The grower found the piles of fruit totaling around 1,300 lbs. So the grower sent me some of this under ripe fruit, being a fraction of the typical market size for Hass avocados.

Even though I got under ripe and early season avocados, with early season having the lowest brix and nutrient density levels relative to late and mid season, the avocados brixed quite well. I took 5, put them through my low RPM Greenstar juicer, and could barely get any juice. Veteran brix testers who have encountered top quality food know this typically means off-the chart brix levels, or at least high brix. After dong some straining of this super thick juice I managed to get a number of drops on the refractometer and got a reading of 14. To give you some perspective of what this implies, see the abbreviated brix chart below.

avocado

Did I mention the brix level reading was among the fuzziest and cloudiest I have ever seen? This signifies good calcium levels and overall mineral balance. For the uninitiated, the more under ripe something is the lower the brix as a general observation and vice versa, at least up to a certain point. The grower tested some properly picked ones and got a 16. At this point in time, the brix has climbed to 17 and, according to the grower, will shoot up to 20+.

What’s more, this grower has not decided to rest on his laurels. Rather, he has been taking measures to further improve results. Each year, the brix increases, barring terrible weather. He has installed reverse osmosis system for the water to more carefully monitor and control mineral balance.

Also, he plans on exploring several suggestions I have made to fine tune his program and get even better results. So if you were or are astonished  reading the article about 32 brix blueberries at http://www.nutri-tech.com.au/blog/2012/02/biological-blueberries-are-world-beaters/, presumably you will be even more impressed with these figures as this grower has reached levels more than double the minimum excellent brix threshold.

While the brix measures the specific gravity (density) indirectly, you can measure specific gravity another way as a confirmation (or negation) of the brix indicating higher specific gravity. The grower measures it in a very simple way. Farmers collect crops in something called a field box. The average grower gets around 800 pounds of avocados. This grower gets 1000+, a 25%+ increase in weight.

So how does 14  brix compare to the brix figures in the mainstream food supply? I got some organic Trader Joe’s late season avocados from Mexico and some from the farmer’s market. I got a reading of 6.  The early season figures were lower than this.

With respect to shelf life, this grower has reached level where the avocados keep dramatically longer and dehydrate. The blueberry grower has at least 10 times longer shelf life for blueberries. The avocado grower has far longer storage than this figure. He has observed this storage at 17 brix and it improves as the brix climbs from that point. Each year, he also sees that the shelf life improves. He believes he can reach the pinnacle goal of high nutrition farming with respect to keeping time: Top quality produce does not rot, it dehydrates.

I will need to run some tests on what percentage of his crop dehydrates instead of spoiling. The best I have seen in a high nutrition farming system has been 95% of the crop dehydrating. Note that after doing some networking, I learned the 32 brix blueberry grower above is nowhere near this level of shelf life, even though they do have substantially better shelf life than the average blueberry.

 

 

Start Increasing Your Reserve Energy Right Now: How Eating Nutrient Depleted Foods Contributes to Food Sensitivities

Have you ever heard of the phrase “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”? In simple terms, it means what benefits one person may not work for another. In fact this something may harm another. How do these differences come about? One of the differences has to do with how well the body functions.

In several forums people asked a question about eating pork from a health standpoint. I answered as follows: “I am no longer sure about pork, hence pork lard, being a healthy food. I didn’t find myself doing well on grass fed pork. I felt off after eating it. Then I discovered RBTI, a health program created by Dr. Carey Reams, and found that pork is an energy losing food. ‘The reason to avoid  … [pork] is … it releases too much heat and electrical energy when processed in the digestion. Pork contains high levels of phosphate compounds that tie up calcium so it is lost from digestion (Biological Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition, p. 224).

I have observed a number of people who get off pork, even grass fed, only to feel better and even look younger in some cases. pork “Dr. Carey Reams considers the following foods as unclean meats that should not be eaten: Hogs, Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Muskrat, Snakes. The following fish should not be eaten: Catfish, Tuna fish, Lobsters, Oysters, Clams, Shrimp, Crabs and Scallops and shellfish of any kind. These unclean meats release energy too quickly for the body to make use of them. They digest so fast that you cannot use the proteins, which turn into urea and dump into the bloodstream so fast that the kidneys cannot eliminate them. A urea build-up in the body ensues and excessive urea leads to many health problems” (Health Guide for Survival, p.45).

However, being someone who has been a student of nutrition for many years, I have found some counterexamples. Okinawa were among the longest lived people in the world and ate pork – how can that be according to RBTI? Or the healthy people Weston Price studied in his work Nutrition and Physical Degeneration who ate various no-no foods I haven’t mentioned found in Beddoe’s RBTI textbook such as kangaroo. Or the long living people in the Caucus Mountains drinking black tea regularly.

My sense is that other factors account for the loss of reserve energy and one according to RBTI is that mineral deficiency in food – and, hence, vitamin, colloid, and other phytochemical deficiencies which are born from the plants not having the proper minerals – is the cause of low reserve energy. When you run out of reserve energy, you die. Low reserve energy accompanies disease and lack of well-being.

Someone with high reserve energy will not find energy loss from eating pork or drinking black tea. Obviously there are few such individuals today. So it is the eating of foods from poor soils that causes us to be sensitive to effects of no-no foods, among other factors such as emotional issues and anything else that saps the reserve energy. It is not clear whether Reams took this into account or assumed the average person will not be capable of finding other ways of boosting reserve energy.

So how can you figure out whether this applies to you? Run RBTI tests while eating pork. Energy loss is quantified in RBTI by running 5 tests. If your numbers get worse, then pork is not good for you. Eating foods that causes energy loss sets the stage for disease or poor health and shortened life span.
If the numbers don’t get worse then your body can handle it no problem.” Beddoe also adds to this list squirrel, rabbit, horse, mule, bear, duck and goose. Note that these are not food allergies. However, RBTI practitioners have observed allergies disappear with increases in reserve energy. For some people, foods listed outside of the no-no food category act on them like pork.

I have observed such reactions to disappear when a person regains his or health. Reams defined perfect body chemistry as follows: 1.5 brix, 6.4 urine pH,  6.4 saliva pH, 6-7 conductivity after making the necessary mathematical adjustments, 40,000 cell debris particles per liter of urine per 100 pounds of weight, urea nitrate nitrogen reading of 3, and  urea ammonia nitrogen reading of 3 [1]. While these happen to be ideals and very few people alive today reach them, a healthy person will come very close to these numbers.

If you eat consume any of the above foods Reams found to cause energy loss and/or chocolate, cocoa, black tea, and junk and processed foods, odds are you will see your body chemistry numbers go farther and farther from these ideals in either direction. So how do you increase your reserve energy so you can eat the food from the no-no list without any trouble or any negative impact on our body chemistry?

Cut out the no-no foods and see what happens. Grow your own high nutrition food or find someone who does. Eliminate processed junk food for good and find satisfying real food substitutes. Explore emotional issues in whatever way you can. Try RBTI. Start researching what else affects your health negatively. It may be in specific case EMFs, for example. In short, start exploring methods to cultivate your health.

This may all seem like quite a tall order and in many ways it is. At the same time, I deem being sick as a taller order. Persist and as the RBTI saying goes, go by the numbers. If they get better, you may be on to something.

References:

1. Beddoe’s RBTI textbook covers this ideal body chemistry in various chapters.

Problems in the Real Food Movement Stemming from Stupid Farming Practices: Review of Empty Harvest by Bernard Jensen Part 2

empty harvest

In this second post I cover other parts of the book that focus on the connection between farming and nutrition. What problems am I referring to in the title? Read the first part of the book review here and you will find out.

Empty Harvest accurately depicts the current state of affairs in the nutrition profession as it relates to farming, even though the book was published over 20 years ago. “No serious investigation into nutrition can be made without a thorough knowledge of the principles of soil health and its relationship to the food produced. Yet not one in a thousand nutritionists or dietitians has ever studied the soil and plant relationship” (p.33). I think we have made some headway in improving upon these abysmal figures. At least, people suggest eating organic produce, meats, etc. Still, I know of few people who have the levels of understanding that Dr. Arden Andersen – one of the key figures in the high nutrition farming movement – has, for example.

The book briefly explains the effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on the soil. “Most artificial chemical fertilizers are acid salts that burn their way through the soil, destroy its balance, and create imbalance by killing microbial life. Most pesticides cause cancer by changing the genetic structure of humans and animals. They have been used for so long and in such heavy concentrations that our ground water is now contaminated with them.  … The chemicals [pesticides] kill most of the microorganisms and worms in the topsoil, causing an even more unhealthy soil condition” (11-12). This explains in part why more and more farms doing organic farming have poor soil life – their land has been exposed to all this toxic pollution indirectly through rain and similar means of spreading these poisons throughout the land.

In addition, the text raises questions of what effects chemical fertilizers have on people. “Denmark boasted two dubious world records: Number one in both it s use of artificial [chemical] fertilizers and its annual suicide rate.’ While correlation does not necessarily mean causation, after reading this book I wanted to know more about how chemical fertilizers impact us.

If I had no knowledge of soil biology as it relates to human nutrition, this book introduces the subject in an accessible manner and tells you why you should care. For example, the following paragraph sheds some light on the role of mycorrhiza: “Let’s say the plant needs the comparatively rare trace mineral cooper, but is living in a minerally imbalanced soil. Let’s say there is an abundance of zinc and calcium and phosphorus in the soil, but very little copper. It has been shown repeatedly that mycorrhiza help the plant to make an intelligent selection. These rootlet fungi help the plant to chelate, that is, bind minerals to protein for absorption. This helps the plants pick up the copper. When the plant looses its mycorrhiza it tends to get inundated by the minerals of abundance. The plant is then going to show some type of deficiency or deformity. The mycorrhiza help the plant make an intelligent selection by chelating certain of the minerals and drawing them into the sap or protoplasm of the roots and thus up into the chlorophyll, which is the ‘blood of the plant.”"

Mycorrhiza populations have been declining because they are being killed off. Consequently, the end consumer of the foods starts getting inferior quality food. A small minority of farmers understands this and they have taken action to restore the mycorrhiza. The rest, including the overwhelming majority of organic farms, have no clue about any of this.

Jensen describes nature’s mechanism for eliminating weak plants. “The mycorrhiza will actually turn against and attack a plant if it is unfit for consumption … If you see a fungus growing up the stem or leaf of a plant, it is a self produced fungus; there was something inferior about the quality of the plant” (p.56). What does this mean for you, the end consumer? Many crops, organically grown or not, get fungus attacks. These crops are not meant for human consumption.

Furthermore, to put this mechanism in perspective, the authors point out that once a farmer uses fungicides to kill the mycorrhiza, soil bacteria attacks the plant. Mycorrhiza prevents the bacteria from decomposing the plant, but once the mycorrhiza dies, nothing will prevent the bacteria form breaking down the plant, except a toxic chemical spray to kill the bacteria. Once the bacteria die, nature has a second line of defense, pests. The practical take away? If you see a worm in your peach, leave the peach for the worm – it will benefit the worm more than you.

Some of observations left me thinking “so what?” For example, he states a laboratory in 1989 ran tests on commercial produce from various parts of the country. They found a huge variation in mineral content throughout the country. Tomatoes from Florida had 18 times more calcium than those form Massachusetts. All of the samples had much higher sodium content than 50 years before. While these statements do appear to substantiate his claim that chemical fertilizers change the nutrient profile of food, Jensen did not provide enough evidence to show higher salt means something bad.

I endorse the authors’ recipe for reversing centuries of soils abuse, with several reservations. They decide to label using seaweed fertilizer, seaweed foliar sprays, rock dust, and composted organic matter as “first aid and rescue techniques.” I find this to make no sense whatsoever.

Jensen and Andersen go on to cite the Hunzas using rock dust as one of their farming practices. Surely, they did not use rock dust as a first aid and rescue technique. While all of the above approaches constitute key elements of a high nutrition farming program, I found this recipe way too simplistic for the real world. For whatever reason, the authors decided the leave this point out and have the reader read the bibliography, only for the reader to realize that the Albrecht and Reams methods of agronomy don’t rescue anything. They form a large part of the foundation of a sustainable approach to producing top-notch food.

Speaking of rock dust, Mark Andersen and Bernard Jensen recommend the use of colloidal soft rock phosphate. “Its presence in the soil will increase the natural flavor of fruits and vegetables because of the increased mineral content.” As I read this I wondered why they didn’t say the same thing about trace minerals or other components of a high nutrition farming system. I suspect they were going off their own experience. But doesn’t the above quote contradict the statement made earlier in the book that one cannot judge how nutritious a given real food is based on flavor?

Overall, I give this book a 7 out of 10. It has some thoughtful information. At the same time, it is riddled with errors on the content side.

Problems in the Real Food Movement Stemming from Stupid Farming Practices: Review of Empty Harvest by Bernard Jensen Part 1

The movement of eating real nutrient dense food faces a major unresolved problem, one that has been looming for quite a while. Most don’t even have an awareness of it and that it has been getting worse and worse. Others know about it but have done nothing for many different reasons, none of which make any sense. No, I am not alluding to something as talked about as GMOs. I am referring to the matter of today’s real food lacking the necessary properties to truly build great health. Empty Harvest: Understanding the Link between Our Food Immunity and Our Planet tells us the story and how to change it.

empty harvest

The authors go straight to the heart of the matter in the preface. “Dr. Albrecht [professor of Agriculture of the University of Missouri] taught that unhealthy soil will yield unhealthy plants; and humans who subsist on plants grown in unhealthy soil will themselves grow weak. Albrecht taught that soil can be ruined by several processes – most of them involving man’s interference – and that crops grown in such soil will not build healthy bodies. Though they may look like healthy crops, they will be nutritionally deficient, Albrecht cautioned” (p. viii). Today, vast majority of nutrient dense real foods don’t come close to measuring up to the healthy foods produced from good soil that Dr. Albrecht referred to.

 

What followed next after the above quote falls into the category of things that need to be improved upon in this book.  “For this reason, consumers must not trust the appearance and taste of produce as a guide to its nutritional content.”  I will refute this claim by citing the use of brix as a measure of quality. The higher the brix of food, the better it tends to taste. A higher brix also often means the food is healthier to eat. Thus, one can find a correlation between the nutrient density and flavor exists, albeit an imperfect one.  It surprised me that the authors made such a statement, considering they cite several authors in the bibliography that use brix to measure the nutrient density of a food. Another counterexample is heirlooms tend to have better nutrient uptake – better nutrition – and flavor.

Next, the authors expand upon how minerally deficient real foods, and by extension processed foods, promote physical degeneration. “It is not necessary for the soil to be wholly exhausted for it to impact our health in a negative way. For instance, if the soil is rich in most minerals but lacks calcium, food crops grown on it will lack calcium. Likewise soil deficient in the micromineral boron will yield plants equally deficient in that micromineral, even if it is balanced in other ways. Viewed individually, mineral deficiencies may not seem to be health threats. But … the long term deprivation of but a microscopic quantity of one essential nutrient in our diets alters the precise and vital balance if the body’s chemicals. Ultimately, this results in symptoms that are precursors to chronic or fatal disease.’

Next the authors give us some perspective of soil health today. “By the 1930s, most of the “cream” had been skimmed off American soils, and diminished crops of mineral deficient vegetables, fruits and grains began to appear. Interestingly, chronic, degenerative diseases began to escalate at the time, as well – arthritis, diabetes, caner, lupus, osteoporosis, and dental caries” (p.6). In the 1930′s the country almost completely relied on organic farming. Farmers did not yet have an opportunity to further ruin the soil by spraying toxic poisons.

I had several relatively minor quibbles with referencing in several cases. “For instance if inorganic cobalt is missing in the soil, the plant cannot absorb it and convert it to organic cobalt. Without organic cobalt, the human body cannot manufacture vitamin B12″ (p.8) References please? The publisher (or was it the authors?) decided to put them in the very back and did not bother to cite a specific page and source. So I had to comb through a number of books that may be the sources for this observation.

I found the way Jensen and co-author Mark Andersen described the effects of eating mineral depleted foods to be insightful. For instance, “When the body lacks one or more chemical element, the tissue structure is weakened, the cell function is impaired, and health problems can develop. The reason for this is nutrients combine in the body to form such critical materials as enzymes, hormones, and proteins. If the body is missing zinc and chromium, for instance, the pancreas cannot properly manufacture the hormone insulin. The inability of the pancreas to manufacture insulin results in diabetes, a degenerative condition in which the tissues are unable to obtain sugar form the blood” (p.9). They go on to cite another example of the liver. If it doesn’t get certain minerals that help it to properly function, it will begin to malfunction.

How Eating Foods from Impoverished Soils Can Affect the Simplest Things: Part 1

As I was reading a recent post by Kelly the Kitchen Kop about the connection between nutrition and exercise, I recalled the experience of RBTI practitioners working with athletes and exercise freaks. I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly at the WAPF international conference in 2012. Several people, including Kelly, implied you cannot create a cookie cutter formula for exercise. See Is Endurance Cardio Good for You? A good RBTI tester would agree and would add that the type of exercise an individual does must be tailored to his or her own individual body chemistry, i.e., the person’s current state of health.

RBTI practitioner Alexander Beddoe cites an article from Science News around 30 years ago, a typical story of a marathon runner that might be heard at any sports medicine conference. A person starts running in his or her late thirties. By the mid 40′s, they run 20+ marathons and at least several “ultra-marathons,” or 50-100 mile runs. Then the person experiences some discomfort or pain one day and goes to the doctor, only to find a massive blockage in the coronary artery. Or perhaps they don’t get that lucky and drop dead during one of their exercise routines.

“The article went on to say that the sports medicine world is still affirming that exercise is still very good for a person. That ‘exercise can trigger, but not cause a fatal hear attack.’… Exercise is simply the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ if the camel is overloaded.” You may find this quite a bold statement. After all, aside from some medical conditions, doesn’t conventional wisdom recommend us all to get plenty of exercise?

exercise

From an RBTI standpoint, mineral deficiency causes development of nearly every disease. Mineral deficiency results from emotional issues, stress, eating mineral produce  and other foods, stress, not enough rest, improper exercise habits, and so on. Since we are on the subject of exercise, my knowledge of RBTI tells me far too many people who get into exercise completely overdo it. In RBTI, diet plays a huge role in regaining one’s well being, in regenerating the body. In fact, eating high nutrition mineral rich foods goes a long way in undoing the damage caused by the aforementioned factors.

To elaborate, RBTI measures health in terms of a concept termed reserve energy. When you run out of this energy, you die. People with low reserve energy levels adapt poorly to their environment. More likely than not, trivial things that don’t affect others with higher reserve energy tend to affect them,

For example, many years ago the typical 8 am to 3:30 pm day in middle school or high school wore me out. I slept 10+ hours per night on the weekends and holidays. As you can guess, I did not have great reserve energy. Now I put in 10-15 hours day working 6-7 days a week and have never felt better.You may wonder how something like school can possibly exhaust a person. Well, these things happen with low reserve energy.

Now substitute exercise for school work. An unhealthy person with low reserve energy cannot handle plenty of school work any more than plenty of vigorous exercise. Such people often need to rest, get light exercise and take measures to build up their reserve energy prior to engaging in any vigorous physical activity. As the reserve energy builds up, any such person will be able to do progressively more physical and mental work.

People who get good results following an RBTI program discover that they naturally start to crave being more active both physically and mentally.
For those of you who do intense physical exercise, I invite you to examine whether your routine actually has maintained or increased your reserve energy. Lack of exercise, just as too much intense exercise, can decrease it. 

That said, I am not regarding vigorous exercise as necessarily unhealthy. With RBTI you can measure how exercise affects you and if you need to cut down or increase the amount, type, or intensity of the exercise. You can also measure your reserve energy level. Once you know that, you can take the necessary measures to raise it.

What Everybody Ought to Know About Using Brix as Measure of Nutrition

In case you are not very familiar with using brix as a measure of how nutritious a given food is, please check out the following free online book http://www.crossroads.ws/brixbook/BBook.htm. The following paragraphs assume you have read the above or have some basic understanding of brix as a measure of nutrition.

As I learned about some of the different ways of measuring how healthy a given food can be for you, I began to reflect about the limitations of brix. Suppose you read up somewhere that a strawberry is good for you. Or maybe a nutritionist you start working with tells you to eat plenty of cucumbers. So you go out to the farmer’s market or several grocery stores, get some samples of the same varieties and compare the brix of them. Let us say, hypothetically, that all of them brix at around the same levels on average. Does this mean they all have same nutrition?

degrees brix

Not necessarily and here is why. In a discussion with RBTI practitioner Joseph Manthei in one of his seminars, Dr. Reams stated that “Carrots grown in Michigan only have about 2 parts per million of iodine, but carrots grown in California have  150 parts per million and about a 12 brix.  But the one in North Carolina have about a 300 parts per million iodine and about an 8 brix, and they could have a 12 if they’d put phosphate down in their soil. ” Notice that the brix value by itself cannot tell us how much iodine the carrot has. This would apply to anything else you can brix.

Thus, in the above example, one of the cucumbers or strawberries may have been grown in soil with much higher copper levels, and therefore may have substantially higher copper content, to use a hypothetical example. Suppose you discover you don’t get enough copper in your diet. The brix would tell you nothing about this.

You will need to run a lab test of copper content by analyzing random samples of the food in question. Of course, Dr. Reams points out, if the farmer been putting copper into their soils through a fertilizer then more likely than not the food will have a much higher copper content. Running a soil test will the current copper levels in the soil. From the Reams quote above, notice different soils have dramatically different levels of minerals. A soil test, done intelligently,  indicates where you stand. Testing the food will indicate whether the copper is available to the plant. If you deal with a farmer directly, you can ask about all of this.

I use all of the above approaches . I make sure the farmer puts all trace minerals into the soil. I then test the food to make sure they were made available. Through this approach I identified one the of the farmers I work with has lithium deficient grains.

I must admit this entails more work and somewhat more money, but all of this results in better results over time and better gauge of the nutrition of any food. It helps to improve results. After all, don’t you want the most nutritious food that can be produced?

 

Whole Else Wants to Eat Less? More on Amount of Food Intake and High Nutrition Farming

The idea of eating less food has great appeal to many people. First, eating less means you pay less for food. You realize however much food in you need to consume per week will decrease in quantity.

Second, I have seen people lose weight by consuming high nutrition  foodstuffs. It appears there is some truth to the idea of losing weight by eating less. The high nutrition  food version happens naturally, but the version more commonly practiced today increases nutrient deficiencies. Not to mention it brings about a sense of deprivation.

I am alluding to the version that says something along the lines of “Cut down your portions.” Perhaps you may be told to chew more thoroughly. I consider that great advice that does partly get the root of the issue of poor eating habits.

One unresolved issue remains, however, The data on soil depletion indicates you need to eat quite a lot more food today than 60-80 years ago to get the same nutrition. Today, the vast majority of people are malnourished to begin with. What happens when they cut down on the poor food they already eat? They become even more malnourished.

weight loss

Third, it can save time. Many people have quite an appetite and eat a lot. Eating can take a lot of time. Reflect upon this for a moment. If you spend less time one eating you will have more time to do other things. Time remains people’s most precious commodity.

So many people do snacking, in addition to eating at least 3 meals a day.  This hunger tends to distract many people. Can you venture a guess as why this snacking occurs in the first place? Other factors aside, it does have something to do with the topic of this post.  I don’t know about you, but the vast majority of the time I prefer to minimize my time spent eating, especially with a busy schedule.

At this point you may ask how much less will you eat? No precise figure exists, but the small amount of data available indicates the difference can be quite significant. “For example, a dairy cow eating a basic diet of alfalfa with a 16 brix sugar level will need 10-12 pounds of 12 brix grain to produce 100 pounds of milk. But the same cow eating 7 brix alfalfa will require 30 pounds of grain to produce 100 pounds of milk” (Nourishment Home Grown, p.57).

Do you get the drift? In the above quote, Dr. Beddoe compares a poor brix alfalfa and grain with an average brix alfalfa and grain  He confines the discussion to calcium levels in relation to brix. As I mentioned in previous posts, other factors than calcium content account for the health benefits of any given food.

With respect to trace minerals, Dr. Maynard Murray observed in his field trials that people ate noticeably less foods the were treated with full spectrum trace mineral fertilizer. Unfortunately, he did account how much less they ate and did not use any of the other principles high nutrition farming. Put trace minerals and the calcium factor together and you get even more results.

So what happens when you put an entire high nutrition farming program together, start getting good results, and eat the food? A Weston Price Foundation article from 2005 notes that cows eat 1/2 the amount of high nutrition grass relative to low brix grass. See http://www.westonaprice.org/farm-a-ranch/nutrient-dense-food-high-brix-farming-gardening. Imagine cutting down your food intake by that much or even more.

 

 

How to Eat Less By Filling Up Faster with High Nutrition Foods: Signs of Superior Nutrition Part 1

How do you know if any given food on the market is any good? For that matter, how do you know how good a given food is for you? In this series of posts I will answer these questions. For now, I will focus on the issue of eating less.

As a general rule, the better the nutrient density any given food has, the less food you will need to eat to become full. Let me illustrate this point from one extreme  case to another. Many years ago, I used to eat lots of junk food and some traditional home cooked foods, though in general the quality of the ingredients was quite poor. When I went to a friend’s house, I typically surprised the friend’s family with my voracious appetite. Once I got going, I ate and ate, as though my stomach had the capacity of a bottomless pit.

Fast forward 10 years. I eliminated all junk and processed foods from my diet and ate a fraction on what I used to. Mind you, at that point I did not eat high nutrition foods – I did not even  know what that meant. I ate a basic WAPF diet, consisting fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, wild-caught fish, and grass fed meats and dairy.

portion sizes

So what did I mean above when I said one extreme to the other? This needs closer attention. One side of the spectrum in terms on nutrient density happens to be a junk food diet, with some unrefined foods thrown in here and there. After that, you have a whole foods unrefined diet, a diet consisting of real food. Next we approach the other end of the spectrum – you guessed it, by eating high nutrition farmed foods. So what happens when you eat these foods? The following anecdote of Dr. Carey Reams provides the answer.

Reams wanted to see if any food intake differences exist when eating top quality food high nutrition  for sure – grown under his system relative to everything else out there in the market. So he did a little experiment. He invited some fellas who can really eat to participate by trying some high brix nutrient food grown using the Reams method of agronomy.

I am talking about those people that can eat an absurd amount of hot dogs in eating contests to the tune of 50 hot dogs or so. He gave them much smaller portions than they were usually used to eating and told them to have as much as they like. Naturally, they thought he must be nuts, since he obviously didn’t understand that this food in the given amount could not fill them up. Anyway, they got started. Can you guess what happened? They could not finish the food!

Although this anecdote demonstrates an extreme situation, eating high nutrition foodstuffs will fill you faster than anything else out there. You will eat less right away, over time, or both. How much less you might ask? It depends on  the following factors, among others:

(1) How well do you assimilate food? Some people need a lot less food than others due to this alone.

2) At what level of nutrient density do you find the food in question to be? For instance, something in the excellent brix range will be more nutritious than in the good range.

(3) What have you been eating all these years? If you have been treating yourself to a steady fair of junk food,  you will likely need more time to remineralize your body. Just as a malnourished starving person in certain parts of Africa, you will need some time to rebuild your mineral reserves before you body starts naturally eating less.

(4). How many different high nutrition  foods do you have access to? The more the better the results in eating less.

This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com.

 

 

 

What Makes Heirloom High Nutrition Rye Better for You than Mainstream Organic Rye: Nutrient Analysis and Commentary

rye

As I mentioned in my post The Superior Nutrition of High Nutrition Grains: Analysis of the Nutrient Values of High Nutrition Farro and Other New Products, I have found all the grains I carry thus far have very similar nutrient profiles. Check out my previous post on the farro here. In this post I will focus on examining several other trace minerals and looking at some improvements to be made.

Rye has the same brix levels as does farro. The following chart has an analysis of some trace minerals

rye trace minerals

The rye, other grains, and almonds all have much higher levels of molybdenum. I checked the following link, which has data on molybdenum levels in different foods http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/info/books-phds/books/foodfacts/html/data/data5q.html http://www.diet.com/g/molybdenum. As you can see, grains have quite low levels, so these high nutrition farro and rye have 9-90 times more of this trace mineral. The high nutrition grains also exceed foods considered to be good sources of molybdenum by over 50%.

To get a representation of average values of the total production of the high nutrition  grains grower relative to the national and world production averages, I did applied kinesiology test and got that the high nutrition grains in question have around 15 times more molybdenum. Almonds have basically the same data values as the grains. You can compare for yourself the values on the following website :http://www.whfoods.com/. I see a very similar story with vanadium. high nutrition grains and nuts have somewhere between 60-10000 more vanadium than the rest of the grains on the market. I repeated the above applied kinesiology test and got 100-200 times more vanadium in these high nutrition grains than the rest of the world’s production.

Although http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/info/books-phds/books/foodfacts/html/data/data5u.html ranks radishes as the richest source of vanadium, they have  less vanadium than high nutrition grains and nuts. For more information, please to take a look at the following link:http://www.livestrong.com/article/318066-vanadium-rich-foods/

A cursory glance indicates that lithium content in high nutrition grains and almonds may be something to needs to be improved upon. I looked at several places providing data on lithium content. The figures in the following links indicate conventionally and organically grown foods grains contain more lithium as  whole (http://www.jacn.org/content/21/1/14.full, http://www.collectivewizdom.com/Lithium-LithiumRichFoods).

I did an applied kinesiology test and high nutrition rye has about 4 less lithium and high nutrition farro and wheat 3 times less. I expected the complete opposite given that farmer’s outside of the high nutrition farming community don’t pay attention to lithium levels in their crops and soils. Lithium content in food, like virtually all other trace minerals, comes nowhere near to where it could be. I will need to investigate why the lithium figure has turned out so low.

This shortfall shows how high nutrition farming stands out relative to other approaches. Instead of being oblivious to this matter of low lithium content to begin with, a high nutrition farming grower works on improving his or her game. This comes with the territory. Why should the consumer care about all of this? If certain ideals and standards exist, a good grower will strive to get better and better and discover new factors to make the crop even better. Thereby, the consumer will be getting something that gets better and better with time as a general trend. This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com

The Connection Between Crummy Digestion and Crummy Farming Practices

So many people suffer from digestive problems. You need not take my word. All you have to do is visit your local drugstore and out how many different “remedies” exist for poor digestion.

pepto bismol

I used to have digestion problems so I can understand. I helped myself using herbs to improve digestion and eating lacto-fermented foods. Of course, many other measures exist, including the GAPS diet, one that has gained quite a following over the years.. Many such diets aim to prepare foods in certain way to make them digestible or give specific recommendations, which boil down to ” Eat this prepared in such and such way … don’t eat that.” I am talking about real foods, not junk or newfangled foods. However, virtually none of these approaches take into account that how the foods is grown, aside from being pesticide free or grown without chemical fertilizers, affects digestion significantly. What if one of the underlying causes as why certain foods or food groups cause problems to a given individual lies in the fact that the quality stinks?

In my last post I mentioned that high nutrition foods digest better because of the genially substantially higher calcium content, aside form other factors that make them more digestible, which merit attention in a separate post. How does this work? I will tackle this question from an RBTI standpoint and take a look at one common RBTI pattern of malfunctioning of digestion.

In his research Dr. Carey Reams discovered that calcium determines the size and shape of a cell. Calcium sets the stage for how other minerals come into the cell structure. When calcium is lacking to the liver, the liver cannot properly utilize water and oxygen. According to RBTI theory, the liver three ingredients to function in an optimal fashion:calcium, water, and oxygen. With poor utilization of water and oxygen, the digestive enzymes become weak or dilute. And this sets the stage for degeneration. With poor functioning, the liver cannot adequately use minerals of a higher specific gravity, such as trace minerals, to nourish itself and the rest of the body. So, the body starts to become deficient in these minerals in addition to calcium. These deficiencies, in turn cause more disruptions in the physiology.

Calcium deficiency can cause someone to have indigestion through malfunctioning of the pancreas. If the liver does not convert enough glycogen to increase the blood carbohydrate, not enough carbohydrate gets into the pancreas to manufacture enough alcohol. Can you venture a guess why this occurs? From the previous paragraph you learned that if the liver does not have calcium supplied to it in the right amounts, it will start to malfunction. 

Often, the lack of alcohol produced by the pancreas will cause someone to have a pattern of indigestion, in many cases accompanied by lack of body warmth. If you complain of being too cold often, particularly in warm or heat weather, you probably have this pattern. In the opposite case, conversion of too much glycogen results in the production of too much alcohol, a problem demonstrated by the uncontrolled diabetic. Although RBTI has ways of addressing both cases through means other than calcium, calcium deficient foods contribute to both of these situations. Therefore, eating calcium rich high nutrition foods plays a role in turning these health issues around and making it so the amount of glycogen the liver converts is just right  [1].

So if you find you cannot handle certain foods or just have poor digestion, see if you can find a high nutrition version, with good calcium levels, and see how you react. You might be quite surprised. You wouldn’t be the first.

This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com

References:

1.Biological Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition p. 31, 33

The Superior Nutrition of High Nutrition Grains: Analysis of the Nutrient Values of High Nutrition Farro and Other New Products

I will start off this series of posts analyzing the farro grain, an ancient heirloom variety of wheat. My analysis points to very similar results with other grains, including heirloom rye and heirloom wheat.

Usually, I measure the specific gravity of a grain to determine its nutrient density levels. Specific gravity tells me how heavy a grain sample is using math, and the heavier the better, In this case, though, I had access to measuring the brix of the grass before the grains got harvested. This serves as another way to measure the health benefits of a grain.

The average brix of the grass falls into the good range, at 16. The brix chart gives the following classification of brix of grains, other than sorghum and alfalfa: poor 6, medium 10, good 14, excellent 18. Although I strive for going past the excellent range minimum threshold , being in the good range shows that this product has better nutrition than around 90-95% of all available grains in the market. After all, I read an article years ago in which a gentleman in the high nutrition farming field by the name of John Marler estimated that 5-10% of the total production of crops registers a high reading on the brix charts.

Next, I looked that the lab tests to get a better sense of where the farro stands in terms of nutrient tensity levels.

farro analysis
(click on image to enlarge)

High nutrition farmed faro has 20- 300% more calcium than the other types of wheat on this chart. An applied kinesiology test indicates high nutrition farro has on average 40-50% more calcium than all the other whole wheat grown in this country or imported , with all varieties taken into account. Note this included heirloom types of wheat like spelt, emmer, kamut, einkorn, etc.

High nutrition farming places much heavier emphasis on calcium than any other type of farming and not without reason. Our crops in general today don’t have anywhere near the amount of calcium they need to reach their genetic potential with respect to optimal nutrition levels for us. For example, the significantly higher calcium content makes this farro more digestible than the average organic farro [1].

An applied kinesiology test shows the high nutrition farro crop as a whole has 15-20% more of the trace mineral the USDA measures in mg per 100g. It surprised me that magnesium, zinc, copper and other trace mineral levels in the USDA comparison were not higher in the above chart. I believe these numbers can be improved. Potassium needs to go down and phosphorus up – phosphorus happens to be an important catalyst. in carrying trace minerals into the plant. In spite of these shortcomings, applied kinesiology tests indicate that the high nutrition farro crop as whole has 40-50% more trace minerals than all other wheat varieties grown in this country or in others in mg per 100 grams.

farro trace minerals

This second chart shows that trace element concentrations of high nutrition farro greatly exceed anything else out there on the market, anywhere from several times to several hundred times more, depending on the trace element. The tests bear a very close resemblance to the tests I got on the high nutrition almonds. To get some perspective on these differences please check my previous posts on various individual trace minerals:

Notes

1. The Connection Between Crummy Digestion and Crummy Farming Practices

Cravings for Sweets: A High Nutrition Farming Perspective

sweets

So many people today have a sweet tooth. You might often hear someone say statements like “I just have to have that chocolate chip cookie!” like they cannot live without it. I used to be such a person. Many factors cause these cravings, both physical and psychological. One virtually unheard of factor is nutrient deficient crops.

The higher the sugar content of produce, the higher the mineral content and nutritional value [1] . Experience tells me a high brix reading on the refractometer generally goes hand and in hand with more sweetness in whatever you test. Have you tasted celery or broccoli grown in healthy fertile soil that is sweet like an orange? I have found people gravitate toward such superior foods when they can get them. These foods, in turn, satisfy their sweet tooth. I am not referring to any one vegetable or fruit but plant and animal foods as groups. It seems to me that cravings for sweets in part indicate the body wants something good but simply cannot find it.

From a Reams agronomy standpoint, several minerals play key roles in making a plant sweet in flavor. (1) Phosphate controls the sugar content of crops and many foods don’t have it in the optimal amount thanks to lack of knowledge on the part of the farmer. Most crops don’t have the colloidal phosphate they need as part of the recipe for crops with superior nutrition.

(2) Calcium levels affect the acidity levels of a plant. The higher the acid level, the more sour the taste, and the lower the calcium content. Calcium buffers acid formations. The higher the calcium content, the sweeter the plant. Suppose you have two bunches of spinach with the same brix reading. The sweeter one has a higher calcium level [2]. As I mentioned in a previous post, a nutrient dense farmer strives to make calcium levels higher than both potassium and phosphorus.

(3) Too much potassium creates bitterness. Remember those bitter greens from the store or farmer’s market? Reams agronomy says that the ratio of phosphorus to potassium should be 2 to 1 [3]. If you glance at the USDA database, you will find that most foods don’t come anywhere near to meeting these ratios.

This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com

References:
1. Nourishment Home Grown, p.33
2. Nourishment Home Grown, p. 131.
3. See the first footnote.

Benefits of High Nutrition Foods Part 4: Higher Vitamin, Antioxidant and Other Phytochemical Levels

Running tests on various photochemical can be quite expensive. Many phytochemicals have not even been discovered yet. Simply put, the research costs quite a bit of cash. I have not seen a whole lot of incentive for this to be done so that we know about all of them in our food.

Despite these challenges, the data I have come upon indicates high nutrition crops do have markedly different properties with respect to these nutrients. First of all, phytochemicals consist of different mineral elements, as does all matter. This implies that if we take a high nutrition carrot that has double the average calcium and trace mineral content of your average organic or conventional carrot, by definition, we will have different phytochemical concentrations.

Hence, I consider analyzing the mineral content to be more important than the phytochemicals because if the mineral tests prove to be disappointing then I know the plant could not have made its full complement of phytonutrients. For example, take the case of the missing phytochemical in pineapple thanks to depleted soils. See http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:GkSiCKJMPpUJ:www.ralphmoss.com/html/cach379.shtml+noni+pineapple+depleted&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us.

Research on microbiology products shows that various vitamin content goes up with their use. For example, vitamin C content increases. See http://www.infrc.or.jp/english/KNF_Data_Base_Web/PDF%20KNF%20Conf%20Data/C6-1-216.pdf. My experience tells me that a decline in soil life makes minerals less available to the plants, which means vitamin content.

Vitamin content has gone down, following mineral declines. See http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=soil-depletion-and-nutrition-loss. My experience tells me that these declines in part come from dying soil life that has a harder and harder time making minerals savable to the plants. Fortunately, using quality microbiology products restores the soil life addresses this problem, putting back the important phytochemicals into our so we can have foods that promote health, rather those that drain it.

The Kings and Queens of Cobalt Rich Foods: Cobalt Content in High Nutrition Foods

Marine animals contain cobalt at 0.5 to 5 ppm; land animals 0.03 ppm with greatest concentrations in the bone and liver, according to veterinarian and naturopath Joel Wallach. Notice the enormous disparity in cobalt in the two groups.  Which group boasts better health? As I mentioned in The Benefits of High Nutrition Foods Part 1: Significantly Higher Trace Mineral Content, those who have studied sea animals and compared them to land ones observed the marked superior health of the seas animals. So what could be the optimal content of cobalt in foods? Hint: It is not the amount available on average in our soils today.

I found a peer reviewed journal that conveniently lists all kind of  data on cobalt. I am referring to  http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/info/books-phds/books/foodfacts/html/data/data5p.html. As you can see, cobalt content of nutrient dense farmed almonds far exceeds any of the so called good sources of cobalt. I am seeing the same thing with some nutrient dense farmed grains I am currently checking out.

Then I found a study done in Australia on cobalt content of food. I heard stories that Australia has less depleted soils than other developed countries. Indeed, the Earth Summit report in 1993 showed the following declines in farm and range soil mineral content: Africa 74%, Asia 76%, Australia 55%, Europe 72%, North America 85%, South America 76%.. I am referring to the research in the link http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/apjcn/Volume13/vol13.3/finished/Hokin1.pdf.

Nevertheless, their analyzed cobalt content pales in comparison to what I see on my lab tests.In the name of controlling for the possibility of getting a random sample much higher than the average, I used applied kinesiology to determine the average. On average, the high nutrition nuts and grains I have analyzed contain 3 time more cobalt than  the foods that have been deemed to contain most cobalt and 10 more than your average almond figure.

This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com.

A Nutrition Related Cause Behind Stress and What You Can Do About It

Do you feel stressed out regularly? Most people in today’s world voice being stressed as one of the most common complains. Scientific research has demonstrated stress to be a major factor behind many diseases. Many factors contribute to stress and nutrition plays a significant role in helping the body deal with stress.

stress

From a biochemical standpoint, your stress may be related to a calcium deficiency. “Calcium is, overall, the best tranquilizer that nature has supplied” (Nourishment Home Grown by Alexander Beddoe, D.D.S., p.160). And yet calcium has been stripped out of most of our foods due to soil depletion. Different foods have different calcium compounds. Each of these compounds has different effects on body chemistry. 

For example, milk contains the prominent calcium compound calcium gluconate, cheese calcium carbonate, bone broth calcium phosphate, yogurt calcium sulfate, and seaweed calcium oxide. Each of these compounds have different effects on body chemistry. For an introduction as to how to determine what type of calcium you need, I recommend Biological Theory of Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition by Dr. Beddoe. Also, Michael Olszta has a good class on RBTI (Reams Biological Theory of Ionization).

One of the basic concepts in RBTI happens to be that we need to take carefully selected  calcium supplements because the vast majority of out foods have become calcium deficient owing to  moronic soil management practices. I heard stories of Dr. Carey Reams, the creator of RBTI, giving calcium supplements to his children when they used to fight or argue. He would run tests of their body chemistry and give the appropriate calcium compounds to each of them. Can you what happened when he did so? They stopped fighting or arguing and became peaceful.

This story and many case studies of people doing RBTI properly, finding their stress levels plummeting,  imply that the root cause of stress may be as much, if not more,  within us as outside of us. To be brutally honest, the vast majority all of our stresses in developed countries relate to matters that will not threaten our existence. So what if we screw up on an exam or get fired form our work – will we die?  The days of being chased by a saber tooth tiger and being brutally killed have long since passed.

With respect to those in the past who regularly had their survival actually  at stake, I recall in  Nutrition and Physical Degeneration Weston price studied the aboriginal people from Australia. If they did not find food within a certain period of time, they would start starving at some point. Yet, Weston Price did not find them stressing out constantly. 

“Over half of Australia has less than ten inches of rain a year. It is significant that the natives have maintained a vigorous existence in districts in which the white population which expelled them is unable to continue to live. Among the white race there, the death rate approaches or exceeds the birth rate… While these evidences of superior physical development command our most profound admiration, their ability to build superb bodies and maintain them in excellent condition in so difficult an environment commands our genuine respect. It is a supreme test of human efficiency, ” observed Dr. Price (Ch.10).

How did this come come about? Given they were hunters and gatherers, the opportunity to deplete up their soils never presented itself, natural processes like weathering and erosion aside. Not surprisingly, wild food tends to have much higher calcium levels even today than mainstream organic or conventional foods.

Ever since I have used the RBTI principles from the above sources in fine tuning my Weston Price Foundation based diet, I have become more calm overall. Including substantial amounts of bone broth, milk, cottage cheese, cheese, kelp, and sour milk products in the diet can help quite a bit.  I eat some soft bones as well. Luckily, the calcium content of these foods remains very high and can help offset the lack of calcium the vast majority of all other foods. In addition, looking at the USDA database of foods rich in calcium can help as well. Last but not least, RBTI recommends regular consumption of a wide variety of foods that contain all of the different calcium compounds – the liver needs all of them each day for optimal functioning.

However, using RBTI principles to make up for calcium deficient foods serves as a temporary crutch, albeit an effective one. Obviously, eating this way doesn’t address the problem of calcium deficient crops. Therefore, the solution must come from eating high nutrition crops, which have  calcium levels to produce a body that can adapt to stress, rather than be torn apart by it. Nature designed us to utilize calcium from foods and not pop calcium pills to get the needed calcium.

Chromium Dense High Nutrition Almonds

I have compared the chromium content of high nutrition almonds to other foods considered to be rich in chromium. See
http://www.healthfitonline.com/resources/articles/chromium.html. Almonds don’t contain much, if any, chromium based on random samples  (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=96). The lab analysis indicate that the high nutrition have more chromium than any other.food.  Applied kinesiology shows that the almond grower’s almonds have 10-15 times more chromium than the national production average measured in mcg per 100 g.

The talk about “chromium rich foods” strikes me as nonsense. For example, MedlinePlus has such a list. See http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002418.htm. Of course, other such lists abound, should you do some searching online. So I went through the various foods and checked their chromium levels. The following site has a lab analysis of chromium for all sorts of different foods: http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php. I found one link that conceded chromium levels depend on the composition of chromium in the soil. How much depends on genetics and how much on the environment?

I have been analyzing potential upcoming products that include different types of wheat and heirloom rye. I am finding chromium at comparable levels to almonds. I anticipate to see an overall trend of much higher chromium content in high nutrition foods.

This post is linked to Big Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com

 

 

Is More Fluoride in Our Foods Better For Us? Depends on Source

Here is lab data of trace minerals for high nutrition almonds.

The data from above indicates that my high nutrition almonds have about 10 times times more fluoride relative to regular almonds.  See  http://www.fluoridealert.org/researchers/pesticide/fluoride-residues-food/. An applied kinesiology test reveals the high brix nutrient dense almonds have between 5-6 times more fluoride than the national production average. Does one freak out looking at this data? Or do you find this indicative of superior nutrition? I say this means good news in this case – a bold statement. How so? Read on.

First of all, not all fluoride is the same. One cannot equate this fluoride with the garbage fluoride in our drinking water due to water fluoridation (http://www.westonaprice.org/environmental-toxins/fluoride-worse-than-we-thought) or pesticides (http://naturalsociety.com/common-food-items-could-contain-180-times-more-fluoride-than-tap-water/). Fluoridated water causes mainstream organic crops and conventional crops to have an excess of fluoride relative to other trace minerals . Both approaches don’t produce healthy plants.

Aside from several exceptions, experiments using sea solids indicate plants benefit from full spectrum ocean based trace mineral fertilizer, not isolated trace minerals through something like fluoridated water. When properly applied, full spectrum ocean or sea trace mineral fertilizer improves plant health, whereas pesticides containing toxic compounds with fluoride hurt plants and us. Sea animals consume food that has much higher levels of trace minerals, including fluoride, than we have in our diets today and yet have been documented to be healthier than us. For more information on this please see my post on trace minerals as a group The Benefits of High Nutrition Foods Part 1: Significantly Higher Trace Mineral Content.

Second, fluoride comes in trace amounts in soft rock phosphate, an important fertilizer commonly used in nutrient dense farming. A chemical and spectrographic analysis of Mincol, a supplement made from soft rock phosphate to make up more the lack of chemical compound colloids in our foods today, shows that calcium fluoride at 1.632% of any given amount of Mincol. For more information about Mincol please my previous posts on electrochemical compound colloids, The Benefits of High Nutrition Foods Part 3: Electrochemical Compound Colloid and Improve Your Oral Health Through Superior Nutrition: Electrochemical Compound Colloid and Oral Health. To this day not one case of toxicity has been found using Mincol for both human and animal health (Biological Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition, p. 164-165).

Third, “if the teeth have fillings or cavities, this is because they are deficient in the colloid phosphate form of calcium and fluoride” (Biological Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition, p. 166). Many people taking Mincol have observed their teeth get better. So it seems fluoride in this colloidal chemical complex has healing properties.

This post is linked to Big Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com.

Dramatically Higher Selenium Levels in High Nutrition Almonds

high nutrion almond usda

Lab tests on a number of other trace minerals have come in. I have added in the selenium figure in the above chart  My almonds exceed the USDA ones by a whopping 68,000+% in selenium – not a typo. Countries did not analyze selenium in foods 70-100 years back, so I have no idea how much the decline has been since then or even earlier in time. Whatever that amount might be, I am confident selenium has dropped precipitously. Although mainstream agriculture recognizes at least to some extent the importance of a small number of trace minerals proven to  have effects on plant health, as of yet the agricultural “dictocrats” have not deemed selenium to be necessary to use as plant food.

One country in Europe has taken action to deal with selenium deficient soils. Considering the growing evidence of the importance of selenium and how deficiencies affects us, the reasoning behind ignoring the need to make soils selenium rich makes no sense. See http://www.westonaprice.org/cardiovascular-disease/what-causes-heart-disease and Rare Earths Forbidden Cures p. 378-82, 409.

As usual, I put applied kinesiology to work and found the the average selenium content of my grower’s almonds this year ranges from 500-600 times more than this year’s national production average. This post is linked to Big Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com

Variation of Soils Over Time

Man has demonstrated great ability in depleting soils. Many blame industrial agriculture with its attendant shortsightedness in ruining the land. I don’t argue with this. However, nature also has a hand in affecting soil fertility levels as well.

“In fact, over the past 5000 years, glacial minerals have steadily washed off soils in a natural process of demineralization, brought about chiefly by the action of rainwater on the soil. More than 10000 years ago, as the glaciers retreated, marking the end of the ice age, they exposed the fine dust produced by the grinding action of ice on the rocks below. This mineral rich dust was spread by the wind across the surface of the planet, remineralizing soils. In the mineral enriched soils, trees could grow to massive proportions. In the pre-historic forest of post-glacial Europe, trees grew trunks that measured 23 meters to the first branch (p.24-25, We Want Real Food).” Weathering also is another culprit in this trend.

An experiment done by an ecologist and engineer John Hamaker  indicates there seems some substance to this hypothesis. Hamaker believed Earth’s soils were totally demineralized due to rains and weathering. “On the now impoverished land, plants were no longer able to grow as prolifically as they had in prehistoric times. So the carbon that had once been locked up as organic matter in deep, fertile soils had been mostly lost to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. It was vegetation, coupled with the activity of soil microorganisms, that Hamaker realized regulated carbon levels in the atmosphere, but only for as long as there were adequate levels of minerals in the soil. When these were gone – as most have now, plants could no longer grow and multiply as they should.” Hamaker tested this hypothesis by applying glacial dust to his 10 acre farm in Michigan. Once the dust was spread he ploughed the land. He grew corn that yielded 65 bushels per acre, whereas local framers got 25. His corn had 57% more phosphorus, 90% more potassium, 47% more calcium, and 60% more magnesium. (Survival of Civilization by John Hamaker and Don Weaver).

MurrayMaynard Murray, M.D.

Another mineral rich source source that has been washed away appears to be sea solids.Maynard Murray states “If continents have truly been sloshed around in the sea as cataclysms geologists tell us happen every now and then, evidently sea salts bathed the land masses and provided survivors of the cataclysms excellent nutrition.” He goes on to describe some isolated places such Valley of the Hunzas and an isolated area found in the valleys of Columbia where people have excellent health. “Further investigation shows that these individuals come form valleys which are completely surrounded by mountains, and therefore minimal leaching or erosion of soil has occurred throughout the centuries (Sea Energy Agriculture, p.76-77).”

The conclusion in part here is things can change over time. Good soil in one place might become over time poor. The above paragraphs imply right now we are in that cycle of losing minerals naturally. This trend can be reversed with high nutrition farming.

Improve Your Oral Health Through Superior Nutrition: Electrochemical Compound Colloid and Oral Health

There exist certain bodily imbalances that indicate the lack of electrochemical compound colloids in a person’s diet. Including this colloid complex into one’s diet “will rebuild the bones, fingernails, and teeth, as well as supply colloid material for the other tissues. If the fingernails have any ridges, are split, soft, or brittle, there is a deficiency in the phosphate for of calcium. If the teeth have fillings or cavities, this is because they are deficient in the colloid phosphate form of calcium and fluoride. Women that have not been provided the proper mineral during the pregnancy will lose the mineral from their mineral ‘storehouses,’ starting with their teeth, as nature will give priority for the fetus and draw the mineral for its formation and development. This is why so many women remark their teeth went bad after they had children.” (Biological Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition, p. 166).

tooth decay

Reams raised his children on as much high nutrition foods as his family could grow and supplemented their diet with Mincol. The results: they never had a single cavity or missed a day of school.

It strikes me that this colloid complex by itself, other key benefits of high nutrition foods aside, can substantially improve upon Ramiel Nagel’s program for improving dental health, as described in his excellent book Cure Tooth Decay. And at bare minimum the substantially higher content of calcium and trace minerals in such food will by themselves  have an impact on oral health, among other things.  Some of Ramiel’s observations such as going very easy on fruits or consuming sweeteners once every several weeks may well become unnecessary or can be substantially modified. You might ask how come?

For one thing, within the practice of RBTI for human health , the health program created by Carey Reams, one of the pioneers in the high nutrition farming field, there exist different patterns of health imbalances, certain people have a low brix pattern, which can loosely be termed hypoglycemic. For information on what brix is, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brix. In RBTI, the brix of the urine is taken and there are certain ranges which indicate it is too low, too high, and just right.

Part of the RBTI recommendations for such people call for consuming water with freshly squeezed lemon on a specific schedule to move the brix number in a range that indicates good health and to add a wholesome sweetener to their water such as Rapadura, molasses, maple syrup, date sugar, sorghum syrup or coconut sugar.They will likely be recommended to consume a green drink sweetened with fresh fruit or sweet vegetable juice. Fruits of all kinds are strongly recommended in this pattern in general. Sweet wine will likely be suitable for this pattern.

Doing all of this we aim to get the brix to the right level for good health. Oddly enough, taking Mincol, balancing the brix and doing the rest of the RBTI program will improve the teeth. The density will increase and the teeth will start to remineralize. The gums will improve, something I could not get going with Ramiel’s program in terms of nutrition. “Min-Col will help the gums under store-bought teeth,” said Dr. Carey Reams (Alphabetical Resource Manual, p. 26).

This contradicts Ramiel’s claim of him seeing many people have teeth problems from eating  fruits and unrefined sweeteners. Perhaps the compound colloid addition makes eating fruit and wholesome sweeteners fine. With the above in mind, eating high nutrition foods will most certainly augment Ramiel’s program. Ramiel, we will see what type of effect high nutrition sweeteners will have on the teeth when I get some maple syrup growers to produce high nutrition syrup.

High Nutrition Almond Nutrient Density Analysis

No brix chart for almonds exists, so I created one. Looking at a brix chart of fruits and vegetables, you find that in general foods that tend to have higher carbohydrates tend to have high brix values – an exception may be potatoes but I wonder if Reams measured different varieties, as RBTI – the health program created by the founder of high farming Carey Reams -  recommends limited intake of white potatoes owing to their limited nutrition. If I recall correctly, this comes form Choose Life or Death

Grapes in the excellent range have much  higher brix values than lemons, for example. Foods high in fat like avocados don’t appear to have as high brix values ones like corn. Of course, this does not mean that an avocado has less nutrient density than, corn. Thus, I decided to model brix of almonds based on a fruit like apricot or peaches. At the least, I am using too high a scale. Using this reasoning, the almonds have beyond minimum value for excellent brix of 20+. I have seen almonds brix at 6 with organic and conventional farmers and  the greatest level recorded thus far for someone not doing high nutrition farming has been 12. Safe to say 6 cannot be in the good range – most have registered in this range, give or take several brix values.

How do you brix an almond? The easiest way might appear to be using the leaves. The grower has primarily used taking the brix of the almonds in its various stages before letting them dry.

Lab Tests

almond

The zinc number looks encouraging, considering the lack of zinc in our foods (“Modern Micronutrient Malnutrition,” Acres USA Vol. 41, No.10). Aside from the zinc content, I felt bewildered initially. Shouldn’t such a high brix number demonstrate dramatically higher mineral content? I felt somewhat disappointed, frankly. Surely, this grower has great experience doing high nutrition farming. Some of most prominent people in the industry mentioned  this grower does a good job overall. “What in the world is going on?” is what I thought.

Then I remembered the data given in the following links: http://www.jacn.org/content/23/6/669.long and http://www.mineralresourcesint.co.uk/pdf/Mineral_Depletion_of_Foods_1940_2002.pdf .The data from the UK and US shows fruits in general have been less depleted than vegetables as a group, though there exist exceptions. Also, I reflected on sample size of the lab tests. A basic principle of statistics happens to be that the larger the sample size the more it is representative of the whole crop of this year in terms of average values.

So, I used applied kinesiology to determine the average calcium level of this year’s crop.  High nutrition almonds have 25% higher calcium, 15% more copper and magnesium, 25% more zinc, 35% more iron and over 40% more trace minerals as a group than what is out there on average.

Such are the limitations of running random lab tests. The don’t tell the entire story. Nonetheless, the data indicates nuts don’t have as significant mineral loss as other crops, like many vegetables.

High Nutrition Blueberries Nutrition Analysis: Why Are They Better Than Organic?

These brix at 16 on the refractometer, right in between good and excellent on the brix chart. Storage is in the minimum range of keeping 3 times longer than what is out there in the market on average. However, the grower picks much later. Thus these genuinely tree ripened. The average organic grower could not pick them this ripe because they would fall apart before coming to market.

So, if the grower were to pick at the ripeness level everyone else does, these blueberries have 10-15 times longer shelf life than the average blueberry shelf life. There is a lot of room for improvement on the shelf life aspect. Storage length can be improved dramatically. My goal will be to convince the producer to take the necessary action to achieve the gold standard of this parameter of nutrient density, i.e., to reach storage levels where rotting will not happen. Instead, the blueberries will dehydrate. This can be hard to believe for this who have not witnessed this with their own eyes.

Independent Lab Tests

usda bluberry

Note: All tests measure nutrient content of 100g of sample.

1. Calcium levels, trace minerals and vitamins These high nutrition blueberries contain substantially more of the aforementioned nutrients:

  • Calcium is 66-230% higher, selenium is 40,000% higher – yes, you heard that correctly
  • Smallest percentage difference is in Iron, which my berries have 26.7% more of.

Notice that wild have higher calcium and trace mineral levels. Why? Because they have not been disturbed by man, other than by environmental wastes which can kill microbiology, causing minerals to become unavailable, hence decreasing nutrient density in the food. Natural processes like weeds in the wild play a role in maintaining and improving nutrient density. Of course, this may also be because that particular place where the wild blueberries grew has relatively better soil naturally. There are great differences in soils in nature. More on soil variation in upcoming posts.

2. The balance of minerals is still a work in progress. Potassium is way too high and phosphorus needs to go up. Excess use of potassium coming form the this grower’s conventional farming days seems to be the culprit. Certain measures like adding more gypsum, an important source of calcium used in nutrient dense farming, will lower the available potassium. Phosphorus needs to go up. Fortunately, the use of soft rock phosphate makes the nutrient dense farmed foods have a superior form of phosphate from a health standpoint.

3. I did some applied kinesiology work to determine if the high nutrition blueberries lab sample tested out higher than the average values of all of this year’s crop. Naturally, there exists variation between different random samples form the field. I found the average calcium is between 15-16 mg in them per 100 g. The average of what is produced in the U.S. between 6-7 mg per 100g this year. Given that  Alexander Beddoe, an authority on nutrient dense farming, estimates the calcium in our foods is 2-21/2 times lover than where it should be for optimal health results, this data points to the grower moving in the right direction. Trace minerals are 50+ mg per 100g in high nutrition e blueberries and 20+ mg per 100g average of what is being grown nationally, or 250+% more.

4. Finally, the vitamin data indicates that higher vitamin content follows higher mineral content, since vitamins are made from minerals. Some vitamins don’t seem to increase. This observation reminds me of a Reams transcript indicating that a given  high nutrition crop may not be very good sources of a certain nutrient. For example, some high nutrition crops are excellent sources of zinc, whereas others have much less.

The Benefits of High Nutrition Foods Part 3: Electrochemical Compound Colloid

This is something that is sorely lacking in our food supply, whether you are eating organic or not, unless of course it is organic and high nutrition – an unlikely scenario. The best source of this complex in high nutrition farming is something called soft rock phosphate (SRP).

srp

Note this compound colloid should not be confused with a mineral that is in colloidal form, the form most readily available to us and found in foods, mainly occurring in nature in plant derived form. It is a compound of minerals in colloidal form with special properties.

What is this compound colloid? I am going to quote Dr. Alexander Beddoe, DDS:

“Chemical compound colloid – a substance that is like a complete solar system. It cannot be taken apart or created my man, but it can be analyzed. It contains upward of 66 elements. all elements in chemical compound colloids are non-toxic” (Biological Ionization as Applied to Farming and Soil Management, p. 3).

This explains in part why trace mineral levels in our foods are down so much, i.e., the plants cannot absorb them. Also it implies that trace minerals absorption decreases when we lack this compound colloid. Here are a few other observations about these compounds:

“But the size and the mineral content are not what actually makes this mineral colloid unique. As a result of Dr. Reams’ original research, he discovered that this colloid was not the ordinary colloid, but that it had electrochemical properties as well. The electrochemical properties could only be compared to a complete solar system. That is, this chemical colloid contains its own energy source like our sun, around which other elemental structures circulate and function like planets, moons, and stars. Reams never did discover what the energy source was or where it came from. He only found that it was there. It is like we know that the sun is our solar system energy source, but we do not know how it functions or of what it is made.

Electrochemical compound colloids are repelled by both positive and negative charges because of their own internal power supply. This is the reason that they will stand suspended in air or water, unaffected by gravity, and will travel with those substances into whatever biologic structure they enter. Having an energy system of their own, they will not react according to the foreign substances surrounding them. Their electrostatic properties make them act just like small ball bearings allowing mineral nutrient, of all types necessary for biologic life, to go into the cell without interference or resistance.

These special colloids attract each other — like attracts like and the greater their amount, in a living substance, the easier it is for more of them to be attracted and the greater energy that substance or cell will have. Because of the chemical colloids complete solar system arrangement, with its repulsion to both positive and negative charge fields, and the vast amount of elements contained in it, the colloid has the key to fit any electromagnetic oscillating molecular arrangement (known as frequency) of any tissue in all biologic life. This dramatically enhances the ability of plants, animals, and especially humans to pick up minerals necessary for proper health. As electrochemical compound colloids take up positions in human molecular substance, it is like 65 other minerals going along with that one mineral needed for that position. This means the molecular structure within the cell will have much more energy than it would if only the single mineral took the position that the colloid does.

It is felt that life could not exist, as we know it, without these very special colloids. The lower the amount of colloid, below the ideal within a given structure, the greater the energy loss of that structure.

The amount of mineral colloid in a biologic substance is in direct proportion to its hardness. Therefore, the enamel of teeth, the hardest biologic material in the human body, requires the greatest amount of mineral colloid to be perfectly structured and ideally healthy. Bones require the second most amount of these special Mineral Colloids. In other words, mineral colloid not only prevents tooth decay, but also prevents osteoporosis. The fewer the colloids in the bones of animals and man, the weaker the skeletal structure will be. The weaker the bony structure, the poorer the blood formation, because the blood is formed (or ionized) in the bones, and the more mineral in the bone, the better the ionization process and the healthier the blood. So you see, electrochemical mineral colloids are vital to your calcium program as well as to the rest of your mineral intake.” (http://www.advancedideals.org/019_calcium_questions.html#Anchor-WHY-7431).

Beddoe further elucidates the properties of these compounds in Nourishment Home Grown p.52, 2004 edition: ‘From the work of various researchers in different parts of the world (from Popp, Korzykski, LeBon, Picardi, Sckwenk, Flanagan), we are beginning to understand  the importance of electrochemical compound colloids … This electrically charged high surface area is probably more important than vitamins and enzymes. From a physiological standpoint, chemical compound colloids have some of their greatest influences on water. Since our bodies are 70-80% water, the electrical relationship of the chemical compound colloid carries a lot of weight. Researcher Albert Popp of Germany found that the structure of water is determined by minute quantities of electrochemical compound colloids. The structuring of water in body fluids can enhance or detract from the transmission of blueprint information to DNA. In the case of body fluids, the more structured (the higher surface electric charge) the water it contains, or that is available to it, the higher the energy contained in it. This means that the water, by the effect of the chemical compound colloids will allow all types of energy (heat, electricity, and matter) to be moved and transported at higher and more efficient levels in and out of cells and their parts, as well as between cells.  …. Since our bodies are in a dynamic state of change, electrochemical compound colloids must be supplied on a continuous basis … The better our bodies are supplied the more efficient they will function.”

Note: Mincol is the mineral colloid separated into its pure form by water separation or air separation technique from soft rock phosphate. It is made by Daily Manufacturing.

 

Were Mankind’s Crops Historically Nutrient Dense?

Were there any problems with nutrient density of foods in the past ? Although there is no doubt since the inception of modern agribusiness nutrition in produce has declined – see the link in a previous post -, does this mean historically produce had nutrition in the optimal amounts? Surprisingly, the answer appears turns out to be at times maybe and at times no for sure. 


“For example, we may mention the important anthropological findings of Professor Hooton of Harvard, who, in his examinations of various pueblos of the Western Plains, especially at the Pecos Puelbo, where the progressive burials have been uncovered, has brought to light the calendar of a civilization extending over a thousand years. These finding show that there has been over a period of years a progressive increase in skeletal deformities, including arthritis and dental caries, together with a reduction in stature, suggest a direct relationship to progressive depletion of the soil” (Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, p. 383).

In his book Empty Harvest: Understanding the Link Between Our Food, Our Immunity and Our Planet, Dr. Jensen says “The best farmers replenish the soil when it is farmed. Unfortunately, this practice has become an exception to the rule” (p.4). What is he talking about? Even though he cites Weston price in his book, he fails to read the above quote.

Or take the example of the work Bread from Stones: A New and Rational System of Land Fertilization and Physical Regeneration by Julius Hansel. Hansel describes the benefits of reminerlizing the soil with mineral rich rock dust  with respect to plant, and consequently, animal health,. Now if he observed this it means the soils then were not all that good, i.e., they were already depleted. “Those who did were amazed at the quality, strength, and drought resistance of their crops” (p.75, Empty Harvest). Hint: they were amazed because obviously this was neither common practice nor commonly observed. If the soils were not depleted no such pronounced differences would be recorded.

Another historical observation comes from Rare Earths: Forbidden Cures by Joel Wallach, DVM. Dr. Wallach observes that “Cannibal cultures are usually found in hot equatorial climates where essential mineral elements are leached out form the soil by high rainfalls and/or irrigation type agriculture” (p.61). “To justify the scale and methodical cannibalism of the Aztec’s the perspective has to be placed on mineral hunger (pica) since calories from maize and fresh water lake algae were plentiful … Michael Horner, an expert on the demographics of central Mexico records that during the Spanish conquest one percent of the total Aztec population or 250,000 humans were killed and eaten annually!!! Cortez noted that one of his men leading a punitive expedition against the Aztec came across ‘loads of maize and roasted children which they (Aztec warriors) had brought as provisions and which they left behind them when they discovered the Spanish coming’” (p.64-65). I think it is safe to say Aztecs did not generally have nutrient dense crops.

I really wonder how many societies had skilled farmers historically. And I wonder how Bernard Jensen concluded that people in the past carefully remineralized their soils, implying it was pretty common. Evidence please? Oh well, I suppose I will need to look at his bibliography again and do some more research.

About Me

I have been a student of health and nutrition for eight years. Until the age of 17, I had very debilitating colds, flus, viruses that left me out of commission for weeks and, at times months, several times a year.

I also had seasonal alleges, poor energy and little stamina. To top it off, I had mood problems and was very close to becoming diabetic. I turned my health around through diet and other nontoxic modes of healing such as detoxification and herbs. Since then, I have been a voracious reader on health related matters, and that is how I came upon high nutrition farming.

My inspiration for starting my company  was an existential crisis four years ago in which I found my career choice of hedge fund management lacking in meaning and purpose. I turned down a lucrative opportunity to look for something that will make a substantial difference in many people’s lives.

I learned about high nutrition three years ago when I was examining the benefits of buying organic produce in place of conventional produce. Once I understood its benefits and the limitations of organic produce in terms of nutrition, I started to actively seek out farms that grew high nutrition foods. I wanted to get my hands on some of these foods and see if the claims in the literature on the subject were true.

I quickly discovered then that the few farmers who grew high nutrition food that I knew at the time required me to become a distributor of their products. I also learned that I would need to get a lot more growers to do this to have a year round supply of these foods. I reasoned having produce is great but not enough. What about nuts, pulses, grains, and grass fed animal products? Given the trend towards having better health and that it makes economic sense for farmers to practice high nutrition farming, I realized I had a viable business model.

My mission is  to make all kinds of different foods as healthy as they can possibly be so that virtually hhigh nutrition anything and everything is available for those who want to eat these foods. This goes hand in hand with another goal, to inform people about the concept of nutrient density and inspire them to better their health.

Trace Minerals and Physical Degeneration

Dr. Murray’s work implies that the belief that what is natural is by definition better doesn’t hold up when subject to scientific scrutiny, or at least not in this case. I have verified that indeed land animals in the wild are subject to degenerative diseases, though certainly to much lesser extent than mankind. For example, see Wild Health by Cindy Engel.

One possible conclusion is even though land animals can track down their own food (wild cattle is not confined to a certain area of land like grass fed beef is for many farms, for example), it doesn’t mean what they are getting has the full spectrum of trace minerals because not all soils have full spectrum trace minerals in nature because of various geographic factors that lead to variations in soils. [More on soil variation in upcoming posts]. In brief, processes such as erosion lead to leaching of minerals from the soils.

To put it another way, far from all soils are naturally fertile or “nutrient dense”. Thus a wild buffalo in its search for full spectrum trace mineral rich grass might have to settle for less than full spectrum at quite a few points on the way simply because not all grass will be growing in place that has all trace minerals.

Does this imply that man’s interventions in natural processes in this case of farming are actually beneficial? Yup, at least for mankind and domesticated animals.

Somebody might ask isn’t it enough to just eat seaweed? Seaweed has all trace minerals and nobody has yet manged to deplete wild seaweed of its trace minerals, right? Wrong! Some of the land animals Dr. Murray referred to ate seaweed and people eat seaweed. Bears eat salmon, which has full spectrum trace minerals.

However, it appears eating some is not enough. Eating all foods that have full spectrum trace minerals is the name of the game. Granted, eating some is better than none and I am an example of that. My head hair has become noticeably thicker since I have been eating seaweed 5-6 days a week in copious amounts for over a year. And it seems my palms are not as moist as they used to be, with sweaty palms being a sign of thyroid malfunction or endocrine system imbalance.

eskimo

The above Eskimos that Weston Price studied consumed a very large portion of their diet from the sea . They also had impressive longevity.

Don’t we need just a bit of all these trace minerals, though? Surely, that is why they are called “trace” – we need them in trace amounts, no? If all the sudden we had all of our foods having full spectrum trace mineral content to the extent I have described, wouldn’t that be potentially dangerous in that overdoing trace minerals can be toxic? Nope.

Dr. Murray’s work suggests we need a bit in all foods that we eat and not just one or two. His and other people’s findings indicate no evidence of any toxicity of trace minerals in colloidal, plant derived form. His research points to the observation that we need trace minerals in much larger amounts than currently thought.

Foods 60 years ago did have much higher trace mineral content than today.Incidentally, high nutrition farming makes sure all foods grown have full spectrum trace minerals in the soil and available to the plants. Regular lab testing serves as a wonderful feedback mechanism to ensure that this remains so.

The Benefits of High Nutrition Foods Part 2: Significantly Higher Calcium Content

What are today’s foods picked straight from the field lacking? So far I have talked about trace minerals in a previous post. Unfortunately, the list doesn’t stop there. Another important nutrient that is woefully inadequate in our food supply is calcium. I will now share my experience with you about how important calcium is from the standpoint of RBTI, or Reams Biological Theory of Ionization. RBTI is a health program that includes various things, among which nutrition is a key component, that was created by the founder of high nutrition farming, Carey Reams, who was the first to use brix as a measure of nutrient density. Reams was an agronomist, engineer, biophysicist, and a medical doctor all rolled into one. Reams knew about soil depletion and reasoned that since most people could not grow their own high nutrition foods nor find a source of them there must be a way to supplement the diet with important minerals that were lacking in the food, even if one was on an unrefined natural foods diet. Reams’ research indicated that calcium is needed in weight and volume more than any other mineral for both plants and animals. Mainstream farming ranks calcium around 5th in importance. limestoneA lot of soils out there could really use some of this soil amendment to increase the calcium levels of the soil. Limestone is a common fertilizer used in high nutrition farming. So Reams created a system of  calcium supplementation that actually had the supplements being absorbed fairly well by the body.and that played a key role in RBTI’s tremendous success in reversing degenerative conditions. To put this into perspective, many supplements on the market equate to useless junk based on my experience and research. Why? Because they cannot deliver results. They cannot replace a good diet, something which RBTI heavily emphasizes. They are not utilized efficiently by the body. When I say supplements I am not talking about things like herbs or chlorella but synthetic sources manufactured by man like vitamin A, D, etc. The lesson here is: Imagine what a world of difference there would be on our national health if all of our wholesome unprocessed foods like broccoli or blueberries actually had all the calcium we need conducive to optimal health so there would be no need to take any of these supplements.

The Benefits of High Nutrition Foods Part 1: Significantly Higher Trace Mineral Content

A couple of years ago I was the perusing the scientific literature on nutrient density. I had to go through tons of technical pages to get nuggets of information here and there about the benefits of high nutrition farming. Inside me was a voice that was asking “before I get into the how-to (the techniques), what is in it for me to eat high nutrition foods versus what is currently out there, including organic/biodynamic?” I have since put together my findings. This is the first part of many parts on this important topic.

They are way down from where they were around 70-100 years back. The USDA has  recorded only a handful of these trace minerals historically. There have been sharp declines with respect to the ones already recorded. I can’t seem to find my USDA figures link at the moment and so will use the ones from  England, which have the same trend, as do the vast majority of other countries:

http://www.goodgardeners.org.uk/pages/4_articles_06_pdf.pdf

I will bet you if we went back in time and recorded the values of the trace minerals which the USDA didn’t bother to record then (and now!) and compared them to the ones present now we will find a very similar trend of a sharp decline over time. Why is this the case? Because both organic and conventional growers as a whole are not putting these minerals back into the soil and/or they are substantially less available to plants because of compromised microbiology, among other things. When I say “not putting back the minerals into the soil” I mean mining the soil by growing plants which take out minerals from the soil year after year and not remineralizing that very same soil.

At a certain point there are no trace minerals left or there are so few that they cannot meet plants’ need for optimal health results. “Less available” means plants take up less minerals of what is in the soil than before. A land that has the same amount of trace minerals as another land but that has less availability will have plants that will end up with less trace minerals in the plant.

Scientific investigation of this subject suggests that full spectrum trace mineral fertilization in the soil leads to better plant and animal health. For example, Dr. Maynard Murray in his book Sea Energy Agriculture describes experiments where one group of plants received full spectrum ocean based trace mineral fertilizer applications and the other didn’t. The group that received the trace mineral fertilizers had plants that were more resistant to disease and had better yields. Animals that ate these crops were healthier, in turn, than those that ate the crops which didn’t receive trace mineral fertilization.

sea solidsSea Solids

In addition, the work of Dr. Maynard Murray has some interesting points on degeneration. He cites observations of land animals suffering from certain degenerative diseases that sea animals don’t have. “For example, fresh-water trout all develop terminal cancer of the liver at the average age of 5 and 1/2 years; cancer has never been found in sea trout. It is also known that all land animals develop arteriosclerosis, yet sea animals have never been diagnosed artetiosclerotic. Investigators have also established the startling absence of disease in the sea, citing not only the absence of “chronic” diseases forms, but especially the general vigorous health of sea animals that has apparently lengthened life many times in comparison to similar land species … The longevity differences are especially evident in such sea mammals such as whales, seals and porpoises who have identical physiological systems with the majority of land animals important to man” (p.30). ” A comparison between the cells of a huge, adult whale with cells from a newly born whale will show no evidence of the chemical changes observed when comparing cells of newborn and adult land animals” (p. 68).

We can extend these analogies to other groups such as land turtle and sea turtle. Are these findings indicative that full spectrum trace mineral presence in our foods is at least in part a significant factor in animals (and us)  having radiant health and longevity? Dr. Murray certainly thought so. What do you think?