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Because chemical pesticides and herbicide have an inherent negative affect on the nutrient levels of food.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Medical Research Council up until 1991 measured the annual average mineral content of food. The % change in nutrient content of vegetables, between 1940 and 1991 for example, were as follows:
For some reason in 1991 they decided to stop measuring.
Mineral deﬁciency is one of the biggest health challenges of the modern day. It is a cause of obesity. Obese people are actually malnourished in terms of minerals, vitamins and phyto-nutrients.
Why chemical farming negatively impacts nutrient levels of food.
Firstly farmers more often than not only measure levels of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus and pH. This means that the key nutrients that plants need to grow are in place, but micronutrients that keep plants really healthy and disease free – and therefore nutrient rich for us – are overlooked.
Secondly it is important to understand how herbicides and pesticides actually work. How do they successfully kill weeds and pests? The answer is through their function as metal chelators.
This means they render certain metals unavailable – locked up. Copper is a metal commonly targeted, which could explain why our vegetables suffered a 60% reduction in copper since 1940.
The herbicide glyphosate (Round-Up), is unique as it will actually lock up any available cation (a positively charged ion). This is the state in which an organism (plant or animal) can absorb an element/metal.
As you might imagine these chemical chelators also negatively impact the crop itself. Even Monsanto’s Genetically Modiﬁed, ‘Round-Up Ready’ crops, designed to have greater resistance to the effects of the herbicide, have the function of at least 25 enzymes compromised.
Thirdly, these chemical chelators also destroy soil microbes, which are essential in making nutrients available to plants. What’s more the residue of these chemical chelators in our food has the same affect on the microbes in our gut. Herbicides and pesticides will kill off your gut ﬂora. On farms in the USA where Round-Up Ready crops are fed to livestock, farmers and Vets are getting very concerned as fertility rates in herds are crashing. Abortion rates of up to 70% have been recorded! Could this be part of the reason we are seeing a fall in human fertility?
Organic food – the natural choice
Organic farming systems work to optimise soil nutrients and therefore the health of plants, ensuring nutrient rich food to you the consumer. Do a taste test between an organic and chemically farmed carrot – I know which one tastes better to me.