Nutrient Soil; Life Expectancy
Contents in this issue:
- “Nutrient Soil,”
- “Chart: Life Expectancy of Males and Females.”
The following is a transcription of the Second Quarter 1973 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
We sincerely dedicate this issue to Wisconsin’s U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson for his promotion of “Earth Week.”
The importance of the earth in our everyday life has been more or less shunted aside by many scientists in agriculture and medicine through their apparent domination by the chemical, drug, and processed food combine. Agronomy as a field science has, in the last thirty years, lost out to the overzealous chemical laboratory technicians and their unwise indifference to the natural laws of life. In fact, the natural commonplace constituents of the earth and of our foods are rejected or replaced by chemical additives, not necessarily nutritive.
There are, according to Senator Nelson, over 3,000 of these additives that find their way into our food. He has introduced a bill to curb food additives. As he says, “The average American eats five pounds of additives each year.” The accumulation and possible combined effect of various chemicals or drugs (alcohol and nicotine among them), the pollution of our air by chlorine, fluorine, or sulphur fumes, and the pollution of our water by their salts and nitrates and/or heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and possibly others apparently contribute to our continuing lower life expectancy rate.
Lack of Balance and Quality
Doctors continually advise that we must eat balanced meals to be healthy. But the food industry tends to unbalance our meals by refining, purifying, and then using propaganda to promote the single ingredient or component that often is the most lucrative for them. To the contrary, in nature nothing is independent. For instance, the fertilizer companies promote “superphosphate” as indispensable, but it has only been found necessary in the ratio of one part phosphorus to one thousand parts earth. Nature’s laws are qualitative, not quantitative. True, even though the absence of phosphorus means soil starvation and loss of animal and vegetable vitality, it is no more nor no less important than calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, iodine, sulphur, silicon, or zinc. Neither is it more important than the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen that the soil and plant obtains from the air and rain.
Phosphorus, in active harmony with all of the other elements, means normal crops and health and vigor of the animal life that feeds on such crops. Superphosphate is a combination chemical containing both hydrofluoric and sulfuric acids. The sulfuric acid apparently provides an adsorbent so plants can use this type of phosphorus. The bad feature is that most plants use little sulphur, so it accumulates in the soil. In the soil’s effort to rid itself of this excess sulphur, the mycorrhiza bacteria, which get their energy from the organic material in the soil, constantly reduce the energy and its organic richness in their effort to consume the excess sulphur. After several years of superphosphate, it has been noted, the soil loses all organic activity.
The fluorine content may also have a bearing on this inactivity, as it has been determined that the application of one thousand pounds of superphosphate per acre adds 17.5 pounds of fluorine (an increase of 7.5 ppm to be absorbed by the drainage water). Statistical data shows that fertilizer with fluorine-carrying phosphates could contaminate drinking water and become dangerous to human health.
Although chemically produced fertilizers are claimed by chemists to be identical to organic fertilizers, the action in the soil is not the same. Chlorides are said to lessen the ability of seeds to germinate, and other salts may aid sodium nitrate to turn the soil into hardpan by burning the humus.
From Dr. William Albrecht, formerly of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, we learn: “The excessive use of chemical salts in fertilizers is upsetting plant nutrition. To learn how to grow healthy food is to understand that insects and disease are the symptoms of a failing crop, not the cause of it.”
It is interesting to note that only recently our State Department has negotiated a contract by which our fertilizer companies will supply Russia with tons of superphosphate in exchange for a like amount of ammonia and urea. This seems like a good deal for the balance of trade, but with fertilizer, it is soil balance that must be attained. Anhydrous ammonia is also used as a fertilizer to furnish nitrogen; however, many growing plants absorb nitrogen from the air, through their leaves—so for certain crops chemical ammonia could even be detrimental. It was only recently discovered that in some areas the excessive fluorine in superphosphate has caused a decrease in corn yield. Future investigation may determine whether or not chemical salts are involved in the rapidly spreading corn leaf disease.
Nutrition and Health
According to Professor R. Lindsay Robb of Haughley Experimental Farm in Stowmarket, England (emphasis ours):
“The source of human nourishment is the soil on which the continuity of life depends. Human food, in fact, is nothing more than soil fertility, synthesized by plants and animals. Through the ages, plants have provided many of the remedies for human illness and accidents. Many indigenous plants, wild or cultivated, in any environment have special medicinal value for the conditions prevailing in that particular environment. Today it is increasingly accepted that the most important single factor in health is nutrition and that nutrition is largely dependent on good quality food…
“This immediately brings us into the realm of agriculture, to that chief source of food, which is the land and, incidentally, the first link in the chain which connects agriculture to the world of medicine. If food is the dominant single factor in nutrition, medicine should be deeply concerned about the types and quality and the condition in which it reaches the consumer. At present there are no indications of such concern from the medical world. Almost everywhere in the modern world today, agricultural policy is based on the largest quantity, in the shortest time, at lowest cost and highest cash profit. There is virtually no regard for quality, nutritive value, or the future of the land.”
The late Professor Hans A. Schweigart, Hannover/Pretoria, South Africa, often stressed that “health begins in the soil, but before we can achieve its full fruits, the causes which at present retard it must be removed.” He goes to the heart of the problem when he says:
“Good husbandry, which means land use, is designed for optimum yields of highest quality produce, free from anything detrimental to health and without impairing future productivity. This enshrines the fundamentals of husbandry, care of the land, care of livestock, care of wild life, care of vegetation and care of humans. No substitute has been found for good husbandry, nor is one ever likely to be found.”
For, as Curd Edmunds, who farms organically at Glasgow, Kentucky, says, “Soil is a living thing. You must feed it a proper diet. If you do, it will be healthy and it will produce healthy plants.”
Apparently, it is absolutely necessary for man to preserve the natural fertility of the earth and not to disturb the biological cycle of nature by artificial means. Nature’s soil recycling process has been going on for millions of years. Soil microbes, plants, and animals all have their part in this recycling. Sick soil is soil without life and humus. Discriminating agronomists refer to humus as the real wealth of nations. Without organic material the earth’s surface could become an unproductive crust unable to hold its water.
The recent heavy run off of water and devastating floods are, at least in part, due to our increasing acreage of sick, crusty, hardpan soil. The forced high efficiency production is nearing a crisis as the land becomes overworked and run down due to the depletion of normal organic soil life. The limitations of this artificial industrial type of farming—with its continuous distortion of nature, increasingly limited results due to organic malnutrition, and with more and more pollution of the environment—are only now beginning to be realized. The consumer’s demand for health through nutritive whole foods is a compelling factor for a return to less artificial methods of production.
Natural Whole Food
Raising crops organically according to such old-time farming methods as fertilizing with barnyard manure or compost, plowing under green crops, using crop rotation and little if any chemical spraying is presently making a come back in the attempt to supply whole food once again. As scientists now advise, the continued use of highly processed food is responsible for much of the present human abnormal metabolism. Whole food is necessary, since health has been found to be a “normal reaction to a natural environment, disease a normal reaction to an unnatural environment.” For instance, infection is the normal protective state; disease is the abnormal condition. According to Rene J. Dubos, noted bacteriologist: “It is only when the equilibrium between host and parasite has been upset that infection evolves into disease.”
Professor Albrecht tells us that lack of balanced nutritional value of the soil causes plants to suffer a similar fate. In mammals, deficiencies of amino acids, essential fats, minerals and vitamins cause malnutrition, inviting disaster through multiplication of bacteria, virus, tumor growths and/or other abnormalities.
Deficient or processed foods tend to abet this disaster because of lack of proper food assimilation and conversion into body tissue maintenance. Dr. Roger Williams, University of Texas, says: “The living cell depends upon food for health, and if the food is poison, the cell becomes sick and produces virus and other diseases.”
Years ago, doctors knew of the benefits of fertile soil in providing better nutrition and good health. This knowledge increased the close affinity between agriculture and medicine to the point where many doctors sought retirement in agriculture. However, their attitude changed as World War II demanded the production of larger and larger crops with chemical assistance.
From nutritionist George Oshawa we learn:
“Sickness is nothing but a violation of man’s order, and one must eat whole foods that haven’t been refined, extracted, or made with synthetic chemicals…By eating whole grain, whole foods, we will maintain homeostasis and a good balance of nutrition in our blood, body fluid and cells. We will be able to manufacture our own enzymes and thereby develop the ability of transmutation to animal protein and body cells…If we eat whole foods, we will have whole nourishment and we won’t have to worry about the latest findings or new drugs.”
Nature, the Healer
We are still considered to be the richest nation in the world, but we have long since lost our reputation as the healthiest nation in the world. National physical and mental deterioration was statistically proved in examination of the draftees for World War II in comparison with those for World War I. The physical standards of examination had to be revised downward several times in order to obtain necessary manpower for the armed services. Since then, with all the antibiotics, wonder drugs, and so-called modern cures, the average person presumes that science has improved the national health. However, when disease strikes, or they have become involved in an accident, they soon learn that the doctor can only do so much to help them. They find that the stern laws of nature still prevail and that antibiotics and drugs can only help to the extent and in proportion to nature’s furnishing the basic ingredients.
In fact, nature insists that the personal owner of a human body is responsible for doing everything that possibly can be done to protect it and keep it healthy. Certainly, good nourishing food sans hazardous chemicals, in compliance with the Delaney Clause of the Food Additives Amendment, should be the first requirement. Past tests of chemicals in food, if and when made, were mostly for toxicity, not for carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, or mutagenicity.
Further Research Necessary
Dr. Russell O. Sinnhuber of the Oregon State University research staff recently stated:
“It would present a real challenge to conduct a critical evaluation of the possible carcinogenic hazards in a frozen TV dinner…These components are combined, packaged, frozen, stored and later sold, perhaps to be stored again and finally heated and consumed with other processed foods, equally complex…As man’s food grows in complexity and sophistication, the opportunity for contamination by adventitious substances are greatly multiplied, placing a great burden or responsibility in the hands of the producer and processor.”
It was recently reported that the U.S. Departments of Defense and Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) have roughly the same budget, about $76 billion. The difference in spending is that Defense uses about 10 percent for research, while HEW uses about 2.5 percent for research. However, investigation by the new Secretary, Caspar Weinberger, has motivated him to revise this spending. He has determined that outside consultants sometimes tailor their findings to the predisposition of those who hire them, are sometimes picked because of whom they know instead of what they know, and may be no more unbiased than HEW’s own experts. Apparently, further honest research for the consumer is in order.
The consumer’s health must be protected by a thorough check on the testing of the chemicals in our food. We take exception to Dr. Sinnhuber’s trust in the present producers and processors. It is doubtful that we can trust the money-hungry “conglomerate” artificial-type farmer or the $125 billion “foodless food” industry to do an about-face for the benefit of the consumer—at least, not under the present permissive, easy rules and standards accepted for additives.
Antibiotics are used in commercial animal and poultry foods even though FDA commissioner Dr. Charles C. Edwards reported that an FDA task force discovered that certain antibiotics may cause bacteria to become resistant to those antibiotics. If the “protected” animal or bird doesn’t build any natural immunity to the disease, and the disease organism becomes tolerant of the drug used to control it, trouble is inevitable.
It has been reported that the doctor often finds antibiotics ineffective in treating humans who have eaten “protected” meat. Antibiotics for hogs and chickens, some arsenic in the feed to produce quick weight gain, and also a synthetic female hormone diethylstilbestrol (DES) added to the feed or inserted under the skin to fatten cattle and sheep in a shorter time are used in the new method of farming—along with insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, and other chemicals in crop production.
Agriculture researchers at West Virginia University have found out that “what man eats is determined partly by the fertilizers that farmers put on crops.” These observations confirm the recent survey in eleven midwestern states which revealed that the copper, iron, manganese, and zinc content of grain has dropped in the last four years. Dr. Rabindar N. Singh of WVU’s Experiment Station stated:
“The importance of trace elements in human nutrition is obvious and more research in this area should be carried out. Changes in the nutrient composition of plants could have far-reaching effects on the health of animals, and men that consume them.”
Japanese agronomists at Hirosaki University warn that continued excessive use of farm chemicals will turn the soil in to barren, dead soil. Professor Takeo Mochizuki warned that the use of farm chemicals over many years had polluted the soil with heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and others to as high as ten times the normal level. The chemicals had also exterminated the earthworms, which play an important role in aerating and making the soil fertile.
Farm chemicals, food additives, and over-the-counter drugs do not become just so much waste when ingested. We now know that many of them interfere with normal bodily functions. Some used for years have been found carcinogenic and others may prove to be when properly tested.
Mental Illness and Nutrition
There is another area in which action is necessary. According to Dr. Myron Winicke of Columbia Institute of Human Nutrition, “A national nutrition policy is needed to counteract brain damage suffered by infants because their mothers were malnourished during pregnancy.” According to the National Association of Mental Health, some nineteen million people in our country are afflicted with some form of mental or emotional illness requiring mental care.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Task Force Report released in 1971 states that “a direct relationship can be drawn between nutrition and much of the mental illness resulting from organic brain disorders, that dietary improvement results in increased resistance to infection; better management of alcoholics, fewer circulatory disturbances and cardiovascular conditions, control of metabolic disturbances due to diabetes, hypothyroidism and nutrient deficiencies; that good nutrition is necessary for proper development and function of the central nervous system.”
Nutrition and Health Statistics
From the USDA report we also learn that some forty million people in this country have inadequate nutrients in their diet. This nationwide survey of home food consumption showed that 63 percent of households with incomes up to $3,000 annually had dietary regimens below the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for at least one nutrient. In the $10,000 and over income class, 37 percent of the households also had diets with one or more nutrients below the RDA. The report further states:
“Better health, a longer active lifespan and greater satisfaction from work, family and leisure time are among the benefits to be obtained from improved diets and nutrition…most of the health problems underlying the leading causes of death in the U.S. could be modified by improvements in diet. The real potential from improved diet is preventive. Early adjustments of diet could prevent the development of undesirable long-range effects. Minor changes in diet and food habits instituted at an early age might well avoid the need for major changes, difficult to adopt in later life. The link between better nutrition and good health or sub-margin diets and health of succeeding generations has been established. Heart and vascular diseases are the number one cause of deaths in this country, accounting for over 50 percent of all deaths…Good nutrition, including control of weight, by those having a family history of heart disease should be encouraged from birth. Significant benefits are possible both from new knowledge of nutrient and food needs and from complete application of existing knowledge.”
Apparently, we are not using current knowledge as we have not had an increase in life expectancy since the 1959–61 reporting period. And, contrary to general belief, U.S. vital statistics from 1900 through 1967 reveal only four years have been added to the life of our citizens reaching age forty, in these sixty-seven years. Actually, we have had a loss, as Americans do not live longer than they did ten years ago. In fact, the minority black and Puerto Rican population are actually dying younger than they did in 1959.
Generally, infant mortality rates are the best overall measure of a nation’s health. Our infant mortality rate has more or less dropped steadily since 1950 to the current rate of 21.7 per one thousand live births recorded. Presently 5 percent of all newly born children in the USA show malformations if followed to age five. Statistically, chromosomal abnormalities occur in 8 percent of all conceptions and in 30 percent of spontaneous abortions. Further, four and one-half million children are emotionally disturbed, three million have speech problems, and two million have hearing problems.
Also, we cannot count on being healthier in the future unless we change from so-called “health care” to prevention through better nutrition. As George M. Briggs, Professor of Nutrition at University of California says, “It is in the areas of health and disease where the tremendous waste of national income exists…we feel that up to 50 percent of the money spent on dental care could be saved by nutrition programs. Effective nutrition education could reduce the incidence of obesity by as much as 80 percent.”
According to Dr. Fredrik Wahlberg of Sweden, natural whole foods are necessary to keep us free of illness, disability, or discomfort. Surely, to achieve our full potential “prevent-a-care” would induce health and be less costly than “health care” and “Medicare.”
The comprehensive report recently released by the United Nation’s World Health Organization verifies our Agriculture Department Report of 1965, not published until 1971, that all is not well with the health of this nation. This world survey of thirty-three nations made in 1968 reveals that we are far from the healthiest nation in the world. In fact, male life expectancy in the last ten years has fallen from 18th place to 25th place, and women’s proportionately. Should we continue at a similar rate we probably will be off the chart entirely by 1980. Apparently, we are being chemicalized and propagandized to death.
Please note the statistics of our present health rating on the following page. These statistics may vary somewhat from some other organizational statistics as WHO defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the death rate for 1969 was either lower or changed very little when compared with 1968.
Chart: Life Expectancy of Males and Females
Average age at death
Average age at death
12. England and Wales
13. Northern Ireland
16. New Zealand
25. United States
9. England and Wales
13. New Zealand
14. United States
24. Northern Ireland
Statistics compiled by World Health Organization.