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Sick to Death: Unhealthy Food and Failed Technologies

Colin Todhunter

The world is experiencing a micronutrient food and health crisis. Micronutrient deficiency now affects billions of people. Micronutrients are key vitamins and minerals and deficiencies can cause severe health conditions. They are important for various functions, including blood clotting, brain development, the immune system, energy production and bone health, and play a critical role in disease prevention.

The root of the crisis is due to an increased reliance on ultra processed foods (‘junk food’) and the way that modern food crops are grown in terms of the seeds used, the plants produced, the synthetic inputs required (fertilisers, pesticides etc) and the effects on soil.

In 2007, nutritional therapist David Thomas noted a precipitous change in the USA towards convenience and pre-prepared foods often devoid of vital micronutrients yet packed with a cocktail of chemical additives, including colourings, flavourings and preservatives.

He noted that between 1940 and 2002 the character, growing methods, preparation, source and ultimate presentation of basic staples have changed significantly to the extent that trace elements and micronutrient contents have been severely depleted. Thomas added that ongoing research clearly demonstrates a significant relationship between deficiencies in micronutrients and physical and mental ill health.

Prior to the Green Revolution, many of the older crops that were displaced carried dramatically higher counts of nutrients per calorie. For instance, the iron content of millet is four times that of rice, and oats carry four times more zinc than wheat. As a result, between 1961 and 2011, the protein, zinc and iron contents of the world’s directly consumed cereals declined by 4%, 5% and 19%, respectively.

The authors of a 2010 paper in the International Journal of Environmental and Rural Development state that cropping systems promoted by the Green Revolution have resulted in reduced food-crop diversity and decreased availability of micronutrients. They note that micronutrient malnutrition is causing increased rates of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis in many developing nations. They add that soils are increasingly affected by micronutrient disorders.

In 2016, India’s Central Soil Water Conservation Research and Training Institute reported that the country was losing 5,334 million tonnes of soil every year due to soil erosion because of indiscreet and excessive use of fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides over the years.  On average, 16.4 tonnes of fertile soil is lost every year per hectare. It concluded that the non-judicious use of synthetic fertilisers had led to the deterioration of soil fertility causing loss of micro and macronutrients leading to poor soils and low yields.

The high-input, chemical-intensive Green Revolution with its hybrid seeds and synthetic fertilisers and pesticides helped the drive towards greater monocropping and has resulted in less diverse diets and less nutritious foods. Its long-term impact has led to soil degradation and mineral imbalances, which, in turn, have adversely affected human health.

But micronutrient depletion is not just due to a displacement of nutrient-dense staples in the diet or unhealthy soils. Take wheat, for example. Rothamsted Research in the UK has evaluated the mineral concentration of archived wheat grain and soil samples from the Broadbalk Wheat Experiment. The experiment began in 1843, and their findings show significant decreasing trends in the concentrations of zinc, copper, iron and magnesium in wheat grain since the 1960s.

The researchers say that the concentrations of these four minerals remained stable between 1845 and the mid 1960s but have since decreased significantly by 20-30%. This coincided with the introduction of Green Revolution semi-dwarf, high-yielding cultivars. They noted that the concentrations in soil used in the experiment have either increased or remained stable. So, in this case, soil is not the issue.

A 2021 paper that appeared in the journal of Environmental and Experimental Botany reported that the large increase in the proportion of the global population suffering from zinc and iron deficiency over the last four decades has occurred since the Green Revolution and the introduction of its cultivars.

Reflecting the findings of Rothamsted Research in the UK, a recent study led by Indian Council of Agricultural Research scientists found the grains eaten in India have lost food value. They conclude that many of today’s crops fail to absorb sufficient nutrients even when soil is healthy.

A recent article on the Down to Earth website reported on this study that found that rice and wheat, which meet over 50% of the daily energy requirements of people in India, have lost up to 45% of their food value in the past 50 years or so.

The concentration of essential nutrients like zinc and iron has decreased by 33% and 27% in rice and by 30% and 19% in wheat, respectively. At the same time, the concentration of arsenic, a toxic element, in rice has increased by 1,493%.

Down to Earth cites research by the Indian Council of Medical Research that indicates a 25% rise in non-communicable diseases among the Indian population from 1990 to 2016. Estimates show that India is home to one-third of the two billion global population suffering from micronutrient deficiency. This is because modern-bred cultivars of rice and wheat are less efficient in sequestering zinc and iron, regardless of their abundance in soils. Plants have lost their capacity to take up nutrients from the soil.

Increasing prevalence of diabetes, childhood leukaemia, childhood obesity, cardiovascular disorders, infertility, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, mental illnesses and so on have all been shown to have some direct relationship to diet and specifically micronutrient deficiency.

The large increase in the proportion of the global population suffering from zinc and iron deficiency over the last four decades has coincided with the global expansion of high-yielding, input-responsive cereal cultivars released in the post-Green Revolution era.

Agriculture and policy analyst Devinder Sharma says that high yield is inversely proportionate to plant nutrition: the drop in nutrition levels is so much that the high-yielding new wheat varieties have seen a steep fall in copper content, an essential trace mineral, by as much as 80%, and some nutritionists ascribe this to a rise in cholesterol-related incidences across the world.

India is self-sufficient in various staples, but many of these foodstuffs are high calorie-low nutrient and have led to the displacement of more nutritionally diverse cropping systems and more nutrient-dense crops.

The importance of agronomist William Albrecht should not be overlooked here and his work on healthy soils and healthy people. In his experiments, he found that cows fed on less nutrient-dense crops ate more while cows that ate nutrient-rich grass stopped eating once their nutritional intake was satisfied. This may be one reason why we see rising rates of obesity at a time of micronutrient food insecurity.

It is interesting that, given the above discussion on the Green Revolution’s adverse impacts on nutrition, the paper New Histories of the Green Revolution (2019) by Prof. Glenn Stone debunks the claim that the Green Revolution boosted productivity: it merely put more (nutrient-deficient) wheat into the Indian diet at the expense of other food crops. Stone argues that food productivity per capita showed no increased or even actually decreased.

With this in mind, the table below makes for interesting reading. The data is provided by the National Productivity Council India (an autonomous body of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry).

As mentioned earlier with reference to Albrecht, obesity has become a concern worldwide, including in India. This problem is multi-dimensional and, as alluded to, excess caloric intake and nutrient-poor food (and sedentary lifestyles) is a factor, leading to the consumption of sugary, fat-laden ultra processed food in an attempt to fill the nutritional gap. But there is also considerable evidence linking human exposure to agrochemicals with obesity.

The September 2020 paper Agrochemicals and Obesity in the journal Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology summarises human epidemiological evidence and experimental animal studies supporting the association between agrochemical exposure and obesity and outlines possible mechanistic underpinnings for this link.

Numerous other studies have also noted that exposure to pesticides has been associated with obesity and diabetes. For example, a 2022 paper in the journal Endocrine reports that first contact with environmental pesticides occurs during critical phases of life, such as gestation and lactation, which can lead to damage in central and peripheral tissues and subsequently programming disorders early and later in life.

A 2013 paper in the journal Entropy on pathways to modern diseases reported that glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup) and the most popular herbicide used worldwide, enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. The negative impact is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body, resulting in conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Despite these findings, campaigner Rosemary Mason has drawn attention to how official government and industry narratives try to divert attention from the role of glyphosate in obesity (and other conditions) by urging the public to exercise and cut down on “biscuits”. In a recent article, Kit Knightly on the OffGuardian website notes how big pharma is attempting to individualise obesity and make millions by pushing its ‘medical cures’ for the condition.

To deal with micronutrient deficiencies, other money-spinning initiatives for industry are being pushed, not least biofortification of foodstuffs and plants and genetic engineering.

Industry narratives have nothing to say about the food system itself, which sees ‘food’ as just another commodity to be rinsed for profit regardless of the impacts on human health or the environment. We simply witness more techno-fix ‘solutions’ being rolled out to supposedly address the impacts of previous ‘innovations’ and policy decisions that benefitted the bottom line of Western agribusiness (and big pharma).

Quick techno-fixes do not offer genuine solutions to the problems outlined above. Such solutions involve challenging corporate power that shapes narratives and policies to suit its agenda. Healthy food, healthy people and healthy societies are not created at some ever-sprawling life sciences park that specialises in manipulating food and the human body (for corporate gain) under the banner of ‘innovation’ and ‘health’ while leaving intact the power relations that underpin bad food and ill health.

A radical overhaul of the food system is required, from how food is grown to how society should be organised. This involves creating food sovereignty, encouraging localism, local markets and short supply chains, rejecting neoliberal globalisation, supporting smallholder agriculture and land reform and incentivising agroecological practices that build soil fertility, use and develop high-productive landraces and a focus on nutrition per acre rather than increased grain size, ‘yield’ and ‘output’.

That’s how you create healthy food, healthy people and healthy societies.

The author writes on food, agriculture and development issues. You can access his two free-to-read, downloadable books on the global food system at Colin Todhunter – Academia.edu

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Terry
Terry
Feb 4, 2024 5:35 AM

In the news in the USA is the attempt by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to put Amish farmer Amos Miller out of business because he sells fresh farm produce that escapes the state’s departmental rigid controls. Attorney Robert Barnes is a zealous advocate for Miller and defending him in court and in any other way he can. According to Barnes, the objective of the state government seems to be to attack all Amish farmers and put them out of business, in support of big corporate-controlled food business.

Sunface Jack
Sunface Jack
Feb 4, 2024 5:21 AM

The seed industry is reducing open pollinated crops and introducing closed pollinated crop varieties as certified seeds. It is simply privatisation to dominate the market and increase profits for corporate giants and colluding industry players.

Binra
Binra
Jan 31, 2024 11:43 PM

We may (or may not) find ways to tweak the superstructure – but the root context of which a cascade of effects develop or ‘evolve’ are culture shaping beliefs and definitions running as a ‘lens’ through which our ‘self and world’ both – are projected as conflicted and thus driven – each by the other – as a loop of futility or ‘vicious circle’.

Substitution for truth runs in imaged symbol as conceptual models, thought-systems, world views. We also call it – or take it to be our mind.

What we make idol of substitutional representation becomes the trojan horse of our undoing as a ‘righteous’ demand for sacrifice of others, and of self.

How else could Spirit (of truth) be replaced but judgements set in our own image?

Health became exclusively assigned to the body – along with a physically determined ‘self-identification’, so sickness is framed in the body as a subjection to forces, agencies and conditions outside a realm of ‘control’ seeking power while delivering power unto externalised forces, agencies and conditions as a means to scape or mitigate responsibility for wholeness of being – now given proof in the witness of sick and broken bodies.Unless responsibility is restored to freedom, guilt assigns it under fear to blame and penalty of pain of loss.

That the ‘idol’ or model masks against awareness of fear of pain of loss is effected by psychic redistribution via shifting narrative identity. It dives addictive-compulsive dependency as survival dictates to which truth must me sacrificed to ‘buy time’.

Responsibility to accept only truth as true – is simply true acceptance of reality as (it) Is.
The mind of nested defences against disclosure cannot read, hear or understand this.
But You can – in the stillness of the heart where truth IS recognisable. Division delivers us FROM such a quality of wholeness of being and its naturally functioning joy in being.
But always on the premise of ‘gaining a function’ of power and protection in self-specialness, as if to become worthy or indeed ‘real’.

If we give authority to external agencies, we make a self and world of subjection.
So give what is due unto truth in the self-honesty of your own being.
The word we give our world runs un-noticed while we focus in fear of evils and fascinations within the seeming dynamic of conflict.

What’s First, given due, aligns all else true.
But reaction to false evidences appearing real makes illusion real by our reactions of conditional response. Mis-takes are thus protected instead of corrected – and “Everything runs BACKWARDS; everything is upside down! Doctors destroy health, Lawyers destroy justice, Universities destroy knowledge, Governments destroy freedom, Major media destroys information, And religions destroy spirituality”.~ Michael Ellner

But the revealing of the false foundation will not be found in the resetting of the mindset of ‘control by which to lockdown in lockstep to dictates set by lies given power.

Giving and receiving is the nature of the Universe – within and without – as one. No matter how selective rules and filters adjust or augment our experience of Existence.

Not a bad thing to be sick when it brings up the opportunity and recognition of release from a false inheritance that no longer serve who we now choose to be.

NickM
NickM
Feb 1, 2024 10:55 AM
Reply to  Binra

“Unless [personal] Responsibility is restored to [personal] Freedom, [personal] guilt assigns it under [public] fear”.

Agreed (if I understand you).

“Private faces in public places
Are nicer and kinder
Than public faces in private places” — WH Auden.

John Milton
John Milton
Jan 31, 2024 3:47 PM

This is all well and good but is it actually possible to grow enough organic meat and vegetables to feed the world’s population?

Chandos
Chandos
Jan 31, 2024 6:53 PM
Reply to  John Milton

Worth a try i reckon

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 31, 2024 8:17 PM
Reply to  John Milton

If you consider 7-8 billion people can live on 1/3 of Australia in 1 plan 100m2 houses on a 700m2 lot, 1000m2 including foothpath and road.

This is how much space we take up for accommodation for the entire global vaccinated population.
The rest of the planet is then free for factories, farming, touring. Our drinking water comes via evaporation from the big Sea.

Within our 700m2 lot is possible too to grow berries, fruit trees, have a few chickens, nuts, whatever.

So yes, it is actually possible.
But the Fed, City of London and their mercenaries in Pentagon are against it.

Katerina
Katerina
Feb 1, 2024 12:25 AM
Reply to  John Milton

Yes if it is distributed well and the food waste reduced

Let's be Frank Joshua
Let's be Frank Joshua
Feb 1, 2024 8:10 AM
Reply to  John Milton
NickM
NickM
Feb 1, 2024 11:07 AM

From your Link:

A fair number of agriculture experts believe that a large-scale shift to organic farming would not only increase the world’s food supply, but might be the only way to eradicate global hunger. This may comes as a surprise because organic farm-
ers scorn pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and other tools
that have become synonymous with high-yield agriculture.
Instead, organic farmers depend on raising animals for
manure, growing beans, clover, or other nitrogen-fixing
legumes, or making compost and other biological sources of fertilizer. In contrast, producing synthetic fertilizers, weedkillers and pesticides consumes massive amounts of petroleum. “

Matt
Matt
Feb 1, 2024 10:46 AM
Reply to  John Milton

Of related interest is the radical, 19th century, English farmer, William Cobbett.
He deals with the question of how much land is required for sustainance.
His answer is suprisingly similar to the 20th century scientist/farmer, Fukuoka.
“Cottage Economy is a book by William Cobbett, first published in 1821 as a series of pamphlets. It was intended as a practical guide for independent smallholders seeking to live sustainably from the land.”

Matt
Matt
Feb 2, 2024 1:35 AM
Reply to  Matt

Reference:
1¼ acre (¼ acre/person, family of 5) Fukuoka — 1975
1(-) acre Cobbett — 1821

“In my opinion, if 100% of the people were farming it would be ideal. If each person were given one quarter-acre, that is 1 1/4 acres to a family of five, that would be more than enough land to support the family for the whole year.”
— Masanobu Fukuoka,
One Straw Revolution (1975)

Cottage Economy is a book by William Cobbett, first published in 1821 as a series of pamphlets. It was intended as a practical guide for independent smallholders seeking to live sustainably from the land. The book covers various practical instructions such as how to bake bread, brew beer, keep livestock, and “other matters deemed useful in the conducting of the Affairs of a Labourer’s Family”. Cobbett’s philosophy is that the labourer should be taught industry, sobriety, frugality, and “the duty of using his best exertions for the rearing of his family”. The book resembles a kind of homesteading encyclopaedia, providing information on everything a stout yeoman could need to maintain his family on less than an acre of land.

NickM
NickM
Feb 1, 2024 11:01 AM
Reply to  John Milton

Easily. Only it will not yield so much profit to large corporations as NPK fertilizers, chemical weedkillers and patent GMO seeds,

Sunface Jack
Sunface Jack
Feb 4, 2024 5:42 AM
Reply to  John Milton

“Organic” has always been a marketing ploy. Both organic markets and new conventional farming compete directly.

The problem is research conclusively shows that organic farming produces far less food than conventional farming per hectare. Moreover, organic farming requires farmers to rotate soil out of production for pasture, fallow or cover crops, reducing its effectiveness. In total, organic approaches produce between a quarter and a half less food than conventional, scientific-driven agriculture. The poison glyphosate argument is a distraction. Both organic and conventional farmers need to use chemical treatment and fertilizers. Destruction of pests and fungus and spores like ergot which affects all cereal crops except oats is essential..
Note that forage grasses and roadside grasses are also susceptible to this fungal disease,

Organic farming does have nutritional benefits but that comes at a cost. So large scale organic will benefit those who can afford it.
It will also benefit subsistence farmers who produce for their own consumption.

It has no benefit for the larger poorer folks.

The problem is though that if the larger neo-conventional players win, the price of food will rocket, and then we all loose.

nikos
nikos
Jan 31, 2024 12:32 PM

I want and dream of a world where organic food is as cheap and affordable as fast food…another great article btw!

nima
nima
Jan 31, 2024 9:50 AM

Todd hi.
Why have you used an photo of ORGANIC tomato ketchup .? with all the other dreadful products.

les online
les online
Jan 31, 2024 8:32 AM

It has been said that obesity is a result of nutrient
deficient diets, that obesity is a disease of starvation…

France and The Farmers’ Uprising:
https://autonomies.org/2024/01/france-and-the-farmers-uprising-conflicts-of-worlds

Sam (in Tiraspol)
Sam (in Tiraspol)
Jan 31, 2024 8:23 AM

Thank you for this informative, if depressing, article.

When I was a kid, we used to mock our “country bumpkin” relatives who would show up loaded down with both food (grown in their garden) as well as water. What? We don’t have food and drinks in the big city?

Now? I’m realizing they were probably right. 99% of the items in the grocery store are junk.

mgeo
mgeo
Jan 31, 2024 7:49 AM

This from the article epitomises oligarchy, greed, bureaucracy and incompetence: over 50 years, arsenic in rice has increased by 15 times. No doctor wants to investigate deficiencies or contributing factors. If he is too outspoken, he gets deregistered.

GM food is inherently dangerous. Processeed food may be adulterated or overheated. It may contain any of these: dye/bleach; flavour, odour or deodoriser; solvent, emulsifier, stabiliser, gelling agent, glaze, anti-caking agent, binder, foaming agent or anti-foaming agent; pH adjusting agent; preservative; processing aid; antibiotic/pathogen/glue (in meat). Other poisons enter the food from packaging, labels, non-stick pans, plastic tableware. Even if you are careful with food, other pervasive dangers await:
– in air: heavy metals, soot, etc. (from power generation, some factories, transport)
– in water/environment: fluoride, POPs, heavy metals, sewage, effluents
– at home (other): toiletries, cosmetics, synthetic textiles/cushions, tissue paper, flexible electrical/data cords, pesticides; formaldehyde (from treated wood, cushions, insulation, adhesives); lead (from crumbling paint), industrial pollution/disaster nearby
– in transport/office: lack of motion, pathogens from air conditioning, defective vehicle parts, fumes/exhaust
– at work: repetitive strain, shift work, being on call, various poisons
– other: medicines, jabs, EMF/RF/microwave radiation, noise, vibration, light pollution, unregulated construction, warfare.

If you fall seriously ill, above all, do not blame yourself.

nima
nima
Jan 31, 2024 9:59 AM
Reply to  mgeo

Supermarket Meat and fish is legally allowed to have up to 15% of water (solution) put in it.
I very much doubt any meat/fish from any fast food chains is real.
The food scientists In USA where allowed to use GM meat and fish 20+ years back.
Trump signed the executive order than gave biotek (GM) full scale control with know over sight. that will stick it to the chicom;’s and help make america great!!!

And sadly though’s laughing at impossible vegan meat (lab grown fake meat) have been eating it whilst thinking it is real.

Kalen
Kalen
Jan 31, 2024 6:57 AM

Great article. It touched upon most of problems of eating industrial food substitutes that are being engineered, grown, processed for mass production and designed not to feed people but to feed corporate profit. Supermarket Products pretend to simulate real food but are devoid of micronutrient spectrum critical to proper nutrient absorption by human digestive system.

Not only there is utter lack of critical nutrients in commercially sold “food” product but most of those nutrients are often chemically synthesized or in hard to absorb chemical forms devoid of accompanied spectrum of trace nutrients that are often catalysts for proper biochemistry of nutrient absorption.

Many independent researchers and practitioners posit that many years long de facto malnutrition among people is causing of 95% of diseases. No need to explain what would proper nutrition do to medicine for profit.

Obesity is one of most outrageous diseases of mass malnutrition. Obese people are starving and they don’t even know it. So they’re clueless doctors.

The organism devoid of critical nutrients compels a human via psychological feedback (feeling of hunger) to make up insufficient nutrient intake per food volume unit by increasing total food intake volume.

In quite many people psychological feedback of defense against nutrients starvation is so strong that they in extreme cases are continually eating 24/7 sadly mostly cheap processed foods containing grease and specifically sugar that temporarily suppresses feeling of hunger and turn people into addict to (unnatural) refined (processed) sugar as strong as Schedule two drugs like morphine.

Imagine that food with proper content and concentration of nutrients would cut necessary food production volume even by 80% making old less productive agricultural methods economically viable and competitive while saving millions of lives.

Western diet is starving of nutrients and that why massive food supplement industry developed despite the fact that.many of those supplements are low absorption and there is no systemic way or effort developed so far to determine actual doses that would consider individual absorption rates that change with age and other conditions. Still most of such therapies are of substantial help.

Moreover lack of deep understanding of spectrum (proportions) of other minor nutrients needed to properly absorb any form of supplement makes supplement treatments success solid bit hard to quantify.

Official medical studies are always aimed at discrediting attempts to develop understanding of successful nutritional therapies. Corporate medicine doctors lie to us that vitamin and mineral supplements don’t work while promote commercial food substitutes devoid of nutrients.

During COVID hysteria suddenly corporate medicine discovered that respiratory patients were being taken off ventilators after they received 1500 mg Vitamin C intravenously twice in 24h and fully recovered the fact that was known by doctors for a century but rejected by corporate medicine. China after 2020 approved up to 6000 mg a day treatment. CDC under overwhelming success of Vitamin C treatment increase daily recommended intake from 250 mg to 2000 mg in 2022.

Ignorance about food among corporate doctors that graduated from corporate medical schools is appalling and dangerous to human life. It serves to facilitate conveyor belt of food industry —>disease—>Rockefeller profit medicine—> death industry.

My friend nutritionist told me not to go to supermarket to buy food alone as 98% of what they put on shells ain’t food.

Fast Eddy
Fast Eddy
Jan 31, 2024 4:56 AM

This is the price we pay for being able to feed 8B+ people.

There is no alternative at least on a macro scale.

On a personal level one can do as I do — I grow some food — and I am fortunate enough to be able to afford to purchase organic food.

I consume zero sugar and zero processed food. That frees up $$$ for organic options 🙂

Antonym
Antonym
Jan 31, 2024 2:54 AM

The author writes on food, agriculture and development issues.

No Colin Todhunter writes exclusively on Indian food, agriculture and development issues.

Ort
Ort
Jan 30, 2024 8:23 PM

After reading this sobering article, I’m definitely going to start putting less Cool Whip on my Cap’n Crunch! 🤔

comment image

comment image

Matt
Matt
Jan 30, 2024 11:09 PM
Reply to  Ort

And I’m going to put less Elmer’s glue on my sugar-frosted cigarette butts!

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 31, 2024 8:27 PM
Reply to  Ort

I love $2 cheese burgers and this is my right to eat them.

brian of nazareth
brian of nazareth
Jan 30, 2024 7:28 PM

Land ownership is fundamental to the tragedy of industrial/chemical agriculture and acts as a major obstacle to farmers and growers who seek to return to natural methods. There are many good initiatives underway in “real farming” but there’s little sign of the shift in land “ownership” or stewardship that will enable more folk to get started.
Some of the estates down my way in Sussex, England have been “owned” by the same families since they were given it after the invasion in 1066. A small farm in SE England typically costs more than a million pounds. Faced with this comprehensive land-grab by wealth and power, it looks hopeless for farmers like me who want to expand organic production.

Johnny
Johnny
Jan 30, 2024 11:02 PM

Ironic isn’t it Brian?

It’s mainly the middle class and upper middle class who can afford to pay the extra for organic produce and it’s the same people who can afford to buy the land where that food is grown.

The $erpent eating it$elf:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouroboros

brian of nazareth
brian of nazareth
Jan 31, 2024 6:43 AM
Reply to  Johnny

True, there is vast inequality in access to healthy food and the land to produce it.
Also one has to challenge the myth of cheap food. There is no “cheap” food.
The price for this is being paid through toxic pollution of soil, air and water, abuse of millions of animals and the destruction of the social and cultural life of rural areas.

Tom
Tom
Jan 30, 2024 7:15 PM

Spam!!! You’ve destroyed my dreams…

Andy
Andy
Jan 31, 2024 5:39 PM
Reply to  Tom

Sometimes, on a miserable day, grilled Spam, on home made toasted bread is the only answer. To hell with the consequences. 😉

Lupa
Lupa
Feb 4, 2024 3:57 AM
Reply to  Andy

I think I had a Spam sandwich for lunch for many years of my childhood, except Fri. There is a can in the kitchen cuz like you said sometimes, I gotta Spam. Moderation is key.
I’m not fessing up to how many of the items in that photo are on my shelf right now, tho.

Pete S
Pete S
Jan 30, 2024 6:16 PM

Dan Kittredge (Founder Bionutrient Food Association) had the right idea devoloping a bionutrient meter for growers/consumers to test food with, sort of hand held spectrometer, the idea being consumers would choose the highest nutrient density foods and drive the market comparing produce on the supermarket isles, farmers markets etc, and reporting it on social media.

However I think they underestimate the level of funding for scientific studies to calbrate it, he mentioned ~$1 million per crop type in one of his talks, and now they’ve stopped producing the meter. The best we have now, besides sending samples to an expensiive lab for individual analysis, is a brix meter, which only gives a rough guide to sugar content. It’s a crying shame we don’t have Gov funded citizen scientist labs we can go to for these tpye of tests, the information would drive the market.

John Kempf (Founder Advancing Eco Agriculture) uses soil analysis, and plant sap analysis, to determine nutrient deficiencies to recomend the best solutions for clients/farmers. To give an example from one of his talks, he mentioned a client with a young corn crop infested with root worm, they did a foilar application of specific minerals required to boost the plants immune system, 24hrs later all the rootworms were dead, killed by the plants immune system, proving that with the correct nutrient profile, crops don’t need chemical pesticides. John mentioned one of his students did a cost benefit analysis regarding employing AEA as a farm advisor, if any crop is worth >$7k it pays to use AEA as a consultant, so it’s not exactly expensive for “big Ag” to switch to regennerative farming, and produce healthier food with less inputs, and more profit.

For smaller scale/home growers there are low cost methods to increase nutrient density, and plant health. Making mirorganism soil soaks (JMS/IMO from Korean Natural Farming) is very simple, adding rocksalt/sea salt to the mix will increase soil minerals over the long term, adding rockdust (Basalt) will also increase soil minerals. Notil/NoDig is essential to prevent killing off soil biology, with maximised diversity of the soil biome plants farm the soil microbes to bring them the nutrients/minerals they need at any particular stage of growth. This will also increase pest/disease resistance, and discourage weeds, natures pioneers plant don’t thrive in good soil.

Any growers interested in these methods, I can reply with instructions for making these microbial inputs for next to no cost, anyone with larger growing space/maket gardeners/Farmers I’ve got the full list of annual inputs Dan Kittredge uses on his market garden acreage I’ll dig out and post if you reply showing interest.

Pete S
Pete S
Jan 30, 2024 6:23 PM
Reply to  Pete S

Any other soil nerds out there want to learn more about this stuff

Heart and Soil Magazine is hosting another Soil Summit next week Starting Feb 5th, I joined it last year which was very good. 20 Speakers including;

Dr. Elaine Ingham, Dr. James White, Chris Trump, Gabe Brown, Dr’s David Johnson & Hui-Chun Su, so you just know it’s going to be good.

This years theme is: Biodiversity, Cultivating Life

If you have a passion for soil, you won’t be disapointed.

Free tickets here: https://www.heartandsoilmagazine.com/thesoilsummit2024

Mig
Mig
Jan 30, 2024 5:54 PM

Years ago when I trained as a shepherd I trained with Richard Smith at his biodynamic farm. I didn’t spend much time with agro, I was more into the flock, but I did learn some. Tests done over 40 years on the nutrition content of veg, cereals and fruit etc since the war and the NPK assault on farm fields had reduced the levels of nutrients massively in foods. Tests are still ongoing in this field. This is the UK link for the Biodynamic Asociation which can explain this far better than I. https://www.biodynamic.org.uk
Also as an aside I travelled through Mercia in Spain while I was there and after two days my travelling companion made me turn around and go somewhere else. We had driven through two days of plastic tunnels of hydro grown crops and she just felt sick with it all. The veg we bought there was tasteless and I bet nutrition poor, and thats what is in the european supermarkets.

NickM
NickM
Jan 30, 2024 6:28 PM
Reply to  Mig

“two days of … hydro grown crops and she just felt sick with it all. The veg we bought there was tasteless and I bet nutrition poor,”

Your companion’s impression of tasteless veg is circumstantial evidence for my guess that hydroponics solutions might not contain some micro-mineral salts — or that their roots might not be able to absorb some trace minerals directly from aqueous solution. Has your Bio Dynamics Org done any tests on trace mineral absorption?

Pete S
Pete S
Jan 31, 2024 9:26 AM
Reply to  NickM

John Kempf answers a question about this phenomina on one of his podasts, without soil fungi and other soil microbes present, plants can’t fully synthesize lipids and secondary metabilites essential for plant immune systems.

NickM
NickM
Feb 1, 2024 1:33 PM
Reply to  Pete S

Thank you.

David
David
Jan 31, 2024 11:54 AM
Reply to  NickM

UK supermarkets now largely use Morocco as a source of even more tasteless winter tomatoes. Occasionally you get Spanish ones which at best are reasonably tasty. But they’re often overwatered, i.e. to increase the weight of the crop. The nine UK supermarkets which account for >95% of grocery sales can’t be a***d to pay growers for tasty tomatoes so you only get that as a matter of luck because the grower has some pride in his/her work.

Straight Talk
Straight Talk
Jan 30, 2024 4:30 PM

Beware of tainted foods that cause memory loss:

The Jig Is Up: Toxic Oreos Lower Ldl Cholesterol More Than Statins

Quickdraw
Quickdraw
Jan 30, 2024 2:58 PM

This is reflected is US farming practices, remember when you would read your child a book about farm animals? No more, farmers only keep animals they can make a profit on. Before farmers had the best diets, fresh meat, dairy, eggs and produce because they grew everything, now farmers shop at Sam’s Club and buy garbage food like everyone else. You can still find grass fed beef around here, but not milk the Fed has shut down most of the family dairy’s.

The Gerson Institute https://gerson.org/ cures cancer through nutrition (so they are not allowed in the US) and I saw a film where they talked about micro nutrients being the major advantage of organic food–over a decade ago.

Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson
Jan 31, 2024 3:30 AM
Reply to  Quickdraw

In the middle of the last century Max Gerson saw the success of his alternative treatment for terminal cancer patients declining over time. Although his treatment still utilized organically grown food, he attributed the cause of the decline of nutrients in the organically grown food to increasing deficiencies in the soil. In his book he said that we should view the soil as our external metabolism creating the nutrition for our internal metabolism. This was my first evidence that the problem isn’t with the food but rather with the soil.
One chapter in Weston Prices’ “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” is titled, “Food is Fabricated Soil Fertility”. It was based on a talk given by the soil scientist, William Albrecht, PhD. Albrecht explained that growing crops and taking them off the land is like a mining operation slowly depleting the required nutrient minerals from the soil. In addition, the same nutrient minerals are being depleted from the soil by the rainwater runoff. Agriculture’s answer is to create hybrids that require less minerals resulting in a higher yielding crop but with a lowered protein content and a higher carbohydrate content.Whether you are a cow or a human, the decreased protein fails to meet your demand for nutrition so you eat more to try and make up for the deficiency. Feeding hybrid corn to cattle in a feedlot fattens the cattle for market. Eating a similar deficient diet fattens people to prepare them for all the symptomatic treatments that make the money for the medical industrial complex. It is not in their financial interest to ever comprehend causes.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 31, 2024 8:39 PM
Reply to  Gary Wilson

Solutions? None. Only problems, problems, problems.

Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson
Feb 1, 2024 1:54 AM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

The solution is so simple. Simply improve the ability of the soil to produce protein. After that is accomplished, grow open pollinated crops (note to organic growers, no hybrids), feed both meat and dairy cattle on grass, on pastures in season and hay in the off season. Yields will go down but the nutritional value of the crops per acre will increase as demonstrated by the lack of diseases in vegetative crops and in the farm animals.

NickM
NickM
Jan 30, 2024 1:10 PM

Spot on as usual with Colin Todhunter:

“Indian Council of Medical Research indicates a 25% rise in non-infectious diseases among the Indian population from 1990 to 2016. … Increasing prevalence of diabetes, childhood leukaemia, childhood obesity, cardiovascular disorders, infertility, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, mental illnesses and so on have all been shown to have some direct relationship to diet and specifically micronutrient deficiency.”

In the early 1970s a meeting called “Cancer in the Third World” reported that India was becoming more Middle-Class, and hitherto rare diseases were appearing; for instance, breast cancer. Colin’s article adds more diseases to that report — this time related not to overfeeding but to lack of trace minerals in the diet.

There are many videos on YouTube in connection with uptake of trace minerals by plants, Apparently the plant cannot always do this on its own; it has to rely on other organisms in the soil. Modern deep digging, high intensity mono-crop agriculture might destroy the Micro-ecologicy of the plant’s roots. Test: Does hydroponics (ie, culture in a mineral salts solution without soil) necessarily result in a poor yield of trace minerals?

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 31, 2024 8:40 PM
Reply to  NickM

More problems!

Johnny
Johnny
Jan 30, 2024 12:35 PM

Lack of micro nutrients and an excessive intake of animal fats, sugar, salt, alcohol and prescription drugs.
No wonder there’s so many gullible zombies out there.

underground poet
underground poet
Jan 30, 2024 5:22 PM
Reply to  Johnny

You’d be surprised at how many happy zombies on the 50 year plan there are, I know many a 30 year olds who dont think they are going to make it 60.

A percentage of these go out the hard way, increase the percentage and now you have the ingredients for a war draft.

I think things are going directly according to someone’s plan. Not sure who’s yet though.

Tiggs
Tiggs
Jan 30, 2024 12:24 PM

Corporations represent psychopathy in structural form (ask Dr Robert Hare) & capitalism exists to make profit, period.
The worship of psychopathy & greed, in the corporate captured West is, why we are where we are today.
Vandana Shiva has the answers to our food problems & we, the people need to reject corporate capitalism & start growing our food or buying food from local farmers.

Matt
Matt
Jan 30, 2024 11:05 PM
Reply to  Tiggs

There are many answers and many possible solutions, as diverse as there are environments, there’s no single answer, no Guru — you can discover things ‘experts’ overlook by direct observation, your own observations are trustworthy expertise.
Masanobu Fukuoka is an excellent example of a particular approach and outlook, an iconoclast.
Kimbal Musk’s SquareRoots is another. The spectrum is as wide as human imagination and intelligence is open.

Thom Crewz
Thom Crewz
Jan 31, 2024 12:33 AM
Reply to  Tiggs

If the weather sucks and is constantly chemtrailed locally you won’t be seeing much produce at the organic farm stores. Then you have the selfish who would rather the authorities (and the rest of the local population) didn’t know about their vegetable patch in case it’s snached away from them.

So where do you go from there?

Matt
Matt
Jan 31, 2024 10:04 AM
Reply to  Thom Crewz

In uncertain times of hostility and persecution things go subterranean – art, culture, philosophy, music religion, and now, agriculture.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
Jan 30, 2024 12:18 PM

The reality, Mr Todhunter, is that the majority of humans buy food on price, much less on well-researched understanding of quality. I’m part of the minority, but even I buy some things on price.

There are major, major protests going on in many EU countries right now by farmers indignant that unelected EU functionaires are creating trade conditions that make EU farmers uneconomic, allowing less regulated non-EU farmers to flood markets at cheap prices. It’s rather like telling only white men to use condoms for sex and then wondering why 95% of babies born are dark skinned, olive or Asian.

There is a change in the UK, from the bottom up, gradually starting to shape opinions in favour of locally produced food. Farmers markets, direct online selling by farmers to customers, market gardeners selling direct to restaurants/hotels/local shops, vegetable box schemes etc are slowing starting to create a market for local products. But still, the vast majority get into their Chelsea tractors to go to a big supermarket to buy whatever from wherever.

Government regulations are a very crude way of doing things, but educating people to make different choices usually takes longer.

Seed companies are also popping up in the UK selling open-pollinated varieties, but again, they are a niche provider for smaller farmers and domestic growers. It does suggest that there is a will to preserve genetic heritage, locally optimised cultivars and not descend into the nonsense of producing seeds in hot China for growth in cool Britannia.

Let's be Frank Joshua
Let's be Frank Joshua
Jan 31, 2024 6:41 AM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

I wonder where R Jagger got the impression that the article blames people for eating junk food or the onus is on them to read the ingredients and purchase better quality, more expensive items (his first two lines). Clearly, the article locates the problem at a structural level – the food system itself and the corporations that shape it for their own benefit. Nice rhetoric (the sex and condoms bit), but let’s stick to reality.

underground poet
underground poet
Jan 30, 2024 12:00 PM

Thanks for the info, but try doing something about it, that’s where your problem starts.

Matt
Matt
Jan 30, 2024 11:45 AM

Seems to me, looking back now, over a lifetime, at least here in the west there’s never been more plentiful variety, and people have never eaten so well and nutritiously, mainly as a result of industrial agricultural practices.
It’s probably also generally true globally.
Furthermore, there are on the horizon even more refined artificial agricultural cultivation practices whose fruits are indiscernible in flavour, texture and food value from “natural” produce.
Agriculture is not for dogmatists or Luddites but inquiring minds, explorers and pragmatic propagators.

NickM
NickM
Jan 30, 2024 1:18 PM
Reply to  Matt

This point is worth considering. Life Expectancy certainly has increased around the globe. Advantages of Industrialised Agriculture might have contributed to this increase in life expectancy — in spite of lack of trace elements. And in spite of the fact that millions still suffer from malnutrition and downright hunger.

underground poet
underground poet
Jan 30, 2024 5:35 PM
Reply to  NickM

Life expectancy is misleading, depending on where and when you were where ever.

What is not misleading is the cost of this slight increase since say people being born during and right after the depression.

People used to have money to give away at the end of the day, now the health industry takes it as ransom for your perceived increased life expectancy.

Paul Prichard
Paul Prichard
Jan 30, 2024 10:40 AM

Let thy food be thy medicine.
Your alternative update on #COVID19 for 2024-01-29. BBC, SAGE & govt lied public about CV risk. CDC hide jab risks. “1646 people must be euthanised every day” (blog, gab, tweet, pic1, pic2, pic3, pic4).

NickM
NickM
Jan 30, 2024 1:25 PM
Reply to  Paul Prichard

From your Link (search for 1646):

Peter A. McCullough, MD. .. Don’t accept freedom from liability for the Vaxx manufacturers. These data demonstrate COVID-19 vaccines are not safe. (tweet).


“1646 people must be euthanised every day,” according to government plan. Listen here… a gentle presentation by the brilliant @KateShemirani containing shocking information. (tweet).

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 31, 2024 9:40 PM
Reply to  NickM

“Peter A. McCullough, MD. .. Don’t accept freedom from liability for the Vaxx manufacturers.”

But but but but as we now know the whole thing was forced, bribed, blackmailed. ordered and spread from Pentagon and Deep State, why should we then punish only the Vaxx manufactures?

Because we cant punish Pentagon and Deep State so we go after some other scapegoats instead because somebody else has to be punished??

What about the MSM and the sheeple trying to force the vaxx down the throat on everybody? Should they have freedom for liability but the manufactures not???

Controlled opposition hypocrisy!

NickM
NickM
Feb 2, 2024 10:25 AM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

“Un Amiral etait pendu pour encourager les autres” — Voltaire.

We shall start by hanging these villains to encourage the others to behave.

A good place to start would be Former UK PM and current Director in House of Rothschild, Tony B.Liar.