(Excerpts from the 1936 Senate Document 264 pertaining to soil mineral depletion.)
In 1936 the United States Senate issued Document 264 with information regarding the minerals, or should I say lack of minerals in our food, and their relationship to good health. They recognized that many diseases stem from the impoverished soil in America that no longer provides plants with the mineral elements essential to human nourishment and health. On this page all of the words in italics are mine, and everything else is excerpted from the US Senate document 264. Or you can read: The Entire U.S. Senate Document #264
“Do you know that most of us today are suffering from certain dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until the depleted soils from which our foods come from are brought into proper mineral balance ?”
“The alarming fact is that foods-fruits and vegetables-grains now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain minerals, are starving us…no matter how much of them we eat!”
“This talk of minerals is novel and quite startling. In fact, a realization of the importance of minerals in food is so new that the textbooks on nutritional dietetics contain very little about it. Nevertheless it is something that concerns all of us, and the further we delve into it the more startling it becomes”.
“Laboratory tests prove that the fruits, the vegetables, the grains, the eggs and even the milk and meats of today are not what they were a few generations ago. No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the minerals he requires for perfect health…”
“No longer does a balanced and fully nourishing diet consist merely of so many calories or certain vitamins or a fixed proportion of starches, proteins, and carbohydrates. We now know that it must contain, in addition, something like a score of trace minerals”.
“It is bad news to learn from our leading authorities that 99 percent of the American people are deficient in these minerals, and that a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in DISEASE. Any upset of the balance, any considerable lack of one or another element, however microscopic the body requirement may be, and we sicken, suffer, and shorten our lives”.
“This discovery is one of the latest and most important contributions of science to the problem of human health”.
“Dr. Northen asked himself how foods can be used intelligently in the treatment of disease, when they differed so widely in content. The answer seemed to be that they could not be used intelligently. In establishing the fact that serious deficiencies existed and in searching out the reasons therefore, he made an extensive study of the soil. It was he who first voiced the surprising fact that we must make soil building the basis of food building in order to accomplish human building. Bear in mind, says Dr. Northen, that minerals are vital to human metabolism and health-and that no plant or animal can appropriate to itself any mineral which is not present in the soil upon which it feeds.”
“We know that vitamins are complex chemical substances which are indispensable to nutrition, and that each of them is important for the normal function of some special structure of the body. Disorder and disease result from any vitamin deficiency. It is not commonly realized, however, that vitamins control the body’s appropriation of minerals, and that in the absence of minerals they have no function to perform. Lacking vitamins, the system can make some use of minerals, but lacking minerals, vitamins are useless”.
“Certainly our physical well being is more directly dependent upon the minerals we take in to our system than upon calories or vitamins or upon the precise proportions of starch, protein or carbohydrates we consume.”
“So it goes, each mineral element playing a definite role in nutrition. A characteristic set of symptoms, just as specific as any vitamin deficiency disease, follows a deficiency in any one of them. It is alarming, therefore, to face the fact that we are starving for these precious health-giving substances.”
“Sick soils mean sick plants, sick animals, and sick people. Physical, mental and moral fitness depends largely upon an ample supply and a proper proportion of minerals in our foods. Nerve function, nerve stability and nerve cell-building likewise depend upon trace minerals.”
“Our soils which are seriously deficient in trace minerals, cannot produce plant life competent to maintain our needs, and with the continuous cropping and shipping away of those trace minerals and concentrates, the condition becomes worse”.
“One sure way to end the American people’s susceptibility to infection is to supply through food, a balanced ration of trace minerals. An organism supplied with a diet adequate to, or preferably in excess of, all mineral requirements may so utilize these elements as to produce.”
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