We now begin a three page mini-series on agriculture to prevent cancer. This page discusses the use of trace minerals and enhanced soil fertility to produce healthy crops and help make the use of toxic chemicals unnecessary.
Health from the Ground Up
by Rex Beach
First printed in Cosmopolitan magazine 1936. Reprinted from alive magazine #37 August 1996 and #38 September 1996. "Sixty years ago this article appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine. North Americans are now 60 years more nutrient-deficient than they were in 1936 but agriculture and the medical community does nothing about it." - alive Editor
Soil Building Must Be The Basis Of Food BuildingIn Order To Accomplish Human Building
|Depleted soils produce foods that starve us!|
Most of us today are suffering from certain dangerous diet deficiencies. These cannot be remedied until the depleted soils from which our foods come are brought into proper mineral balance. The alarming fact is that foods - fruits and vegetables and grains - are now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of certain needed minerals. No matter how much of them we eat, these foods are starving us!
|Cannot judge food by appearance.|
You'd think, wouldn't you, that a carrot is a carrot? That one carrot is about as good as another as far as nourishment is concerned? But it isn't; one carrot may look and taste like another and yet be lacking in the particular mineral element which our systems require and which carrots are supposed to contain.
|It is now impossible to eat enough food to get required minerals.|
Laboratory tests prove that the fruits, the vegetables, the grains, the eggs, and even the milk and the meats of today are not what they were a few generations ago. (Which doubtless explains why our forefathers thrived on a selection of foods that would starve us!) No person of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his or her system with the mineral salts she requires for perfect health. Her stomach isn't big enough to hold them! And we're running to big stomachs.
No longer does a balanced and fully nourishing diet consist merely of so many calories, 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 mineral salts.
|99% of the population is deficient.|
It is bad news to learn from our leading authorities that 99 per cent of the North 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, shorten our lives.
So far as the records go, the first man in this field of research, the first to demonstrate that most human foods of our day are poor in minerals and that their proportions are not balanced, was Dr Charles Northen, an Alabama physician in Orlando, Florida. His discoveries and achievements are of enormous importance to mankind.
Following a wide experience in general practice, Dr Northen moved to New York and made extensive studies along this line in conjunction with a famous French scientist from the Sorbonne. In the course of that work he convinced himself that there was little authentic, definite information on the chemistry of foods, and that no dependence could be placed on existing data.
|Foods differ widely in nutritional content depending on the quality of soil on which they are grown.|
He asked himself how foods could 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, he made an extensive study of the soil. It was he who first voiced the surprising assertion 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.
"When I first made this statement I was ridiculed. Up to that time people had paid little attention to food deficiencies and even less to soil deficiencies. Those eminent in medicine denied there was any such thing as vegetables and fruits that did not contain sufficient minerals for human needs. Eminent agricultural authorities insisted that all soil contained all necessary minerals. They reasoned that plants take what they need, and that it is the function of the human body to appropriate what it requires. Failure to do so, they said, was a symptom of disorder.
"Some of our respected authorities even claimed that the so-called secondary minerals played no part whatever in human health. We now know that vitamins are complex chemical substances which are indispensable to nutrition, and that each of them is of importance for the normal function of some special structure in the body. Disorder and disease result from any vitamin deficiency.
|Minerals are primary, vitamins are secondary.|
"It is not commonly realized, however, that vitamins control the body's appropriation of minerals, and 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.
"Neither does the layman realize that there may be a pronounced difference in both foods and soils - to him one vegetable, one glass of milk, or one egg is about the same as another. Dirt is dirt, too, and he assumes that by adding a little more fertilizer to it, a satisfactory vegetable or fruit can be grown.
|Some foods are not worth eating.|
"The truth is that our foods vary enormously in value, and some of them aren't worth eating as food. For example, vegetation grown in one part of the country may assay 1,100 parts per billion of iodine, as against 20 in that grown elsewhere. Processed milk has run anywhere from 362 parts per million of iodine and 127 of iron, down to nothing.
|Some land, even in a virgin state, never had the required minerals.|
"Some of our lands, even in a virgin state, never were well balanced in mineral content. Unhappily for us, we have been systematically robbing the poor soils and the good soils alike of the very substances most necessary for health, growth, long life, and resistance to disease. Up to the time I began experimenting, almost nothing had been done to make good the theft.
"The more I studied nutritional problems and the effects of mineral deficiencies upon disease, the more plainly I saw that here lay the most direct approach to better health, and the more important it became in my mind to find a method of restoring those missing minerals to our foods. The subject interested me so profoundly that I retired from active medical practice and for a good many years now I have devoted myself to it. It's a fascinating subject, for it goes to the heart of human betterment.
|Increasing the mineral content of fruits, vegetables, milk and eggs.|
The results obtained by Dr Northen are outstanding. By putting back into foods the stuff that foods are made of, he has proved himself to be a real miracle man of medicine. He has opened up the shortest and most rational route to better health.
He showed first that it should be done, and then that it could be done.
He doubled and redoubled the natural mineral content of fruits and vegetables.
He improved the quality of milk by increasing the iron and the iodine in it.
He caused hens to lay eggs richer in the vital elements.
|Improving the quality and quantity of food.|
By scientific soil feeding, he raised better seed potatoes in Maine, better grapes in California, better oranges in Florida and better field crops in other states. (By "better" is meant not only an improvement in food value but also an increase in quality and quantity.)
|Mental and physical development of children.|
Mineral deficiencies affect our health and may also affect the growth and development, both mental and physical, of our children. Certainly physical well-being is more directly dependent upon the minerals we take into our systems than upon calories or vitamins or upon the precise proportions of starch, protein, or carbohydrates we consume.
It is now agreed that at least 16 mineral elements are indispensable for normal nutrition. Several more are always found in small amounts in the body, although their precise physiological role has not been determined. Of the 11 indispensable salts, calcium, phosphorous and iron are perhaps the most important.
|The importance of calcium and vitamin D.|
Calcium is the dominant nerve controller; it powerfully affects the cell formation of all living things and regulates nerve action. It governs contractility of the muscles and the rhythmic beat of the heart. It also coordinates the other mineral elements and corrects disturbances made by them. It works only in sunlight. Vitamin D is its buddy.
|Problems in health and behavior from a mineral deficient diet.|
What does such a deficiency mean? How would it affect your health or mine? So many morbid conditions and actual diseases may result that it is almost hopeless to catalog them. Included in the list are rickets, bone deformities, bad teeth, nervous disorders, reduced resistance to other diseases, fatigability, and behavior disturbances such as incorrigibility, assaultiveness, nonadaptability.
|Problems with teeth, nose, throat, glands, vision, anemia, and more.|
Here's one specific example. The soil around a certain Midwest city is poor in calcium. Three hundred children of this community were examined and nearly 90 per cent had bad teeth, 69 percent showed affections of the nose and throat, swollen glands, enlarged or diseased tonsils. More than one-third had defective vision, round shoulders, bow legs and anemia.
|No dental decay with adequate calcium and phosphorous.|
Calcium and phosphorous appear to pull in double harness. A child requires as much per day as two grown men, but studies indicate a common deficiency of both in our food. When there are enough phosphates in the blood there can be no dental decay. And research on farm animals points to a deficiency of one or the other as the cause of serious losses to the farmers, and when the soil is poor in phosphorous these animals become bonechewers.
|Iron and copper increase the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.|
Iron is an essential constituent of the oxygen-carrying pigment of the blood: iron starvation results in anemia, and yet iron cannot be assimilated unless some copper is contained in the diet. In Florida many cattle die from an obscure disease called "salt sickness." It has been found to arise from a lack of iron and copper in the soil and hence in the grass. A man may starve for want of these elements just as a beef "critter" starves.
|Iodine for proper thyroid functioning.|
If iodine is not present in our foods the function of the thyroid gland is disturbed and goiter afflicts us. The human body requires only 14,000ths of a milligram daily, yet we have a distinct "goiter belt" in the Great Lakes section, and in parts of the Northwest the soil is so poor in iodine that the disease is common.
|Characteristic set of symptoms.|
So it goes down through the list, 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.
Minerals are better absorbed from food rather than from supplements.
Very well, you say, if our foods are poor in the mineral salts they are supposed to contain, why not resort to dosing with supplements'?
That is precisely what is being done, or being attempted. However, those who should know assert that the human system appropriates these elements to the best advantage in the food form. Calcium, for instance, is best supplied in dark, leafy greens. This is what the body understands and assimilates.
|Drugs cannot replace minerals.|
The curing of diet deficiencies by drugging hasn't worked out so well. Consider those 16 indispensable mineral elements and those others which presumably perform some obscure function as yet undetermined. Aside from calcium and phosphorous, they are needed only in infinitesimal quantities, and the activity of one may be dependent upon the presence of another. To determine the precise requirements of each individual case and to attempt to weigh it out on a druggist's scales would appear hopeless.
|It is necessary to re-mineralize farm soils.|
It is a serious problem. But there is the hopeful side to the picture: nature can and will solve this problem if she is encouraged to do so. The minerals in fruit and vegetables are colloidal; they are in a state of such extremely fine suspension that they can be assimilated by the human system. It is merely a question of giving back to nature the materials with which she works.
We must rebuild our soils: put back the minerals we have taken out. That sounds difficult but it isn't. Neither is it expensive. Therein lies the short cut to better health and longer life!
When Dr Charles Northen first asserted that many foods were lacking in mineral content and that this deficiency was due solely to an absence of those elements in the soil, his findings were challenged and he was called a crank. But differences of opinion in the medical profession are not uncommon (it was only 60 years ago that the Medical Society of Boston passed a resolution condemning the use of bathtubs) and he persisted in his assertion that inasmuch as foods did not contain what they were supposed to contain, no physician could with certainty prescribe a diet to overcome physical ills.
He showed that the textbooks are not dependable because many of the analyses in them were made many years ago, perhaps from products raised in virgin soils, whereas our soils have been constantly depleted. Soil analyses, he pointed out, reflect only the content of the samples. One analysis may be entirely different from another made 10 miles away.
"And so what?" came the query.
Dr Northen undertook to demonstrate that something could be done about it. By reestablishing a proper soil balance he actually grew crops that contained an ample amount of the desired minerals.
This was incredible. It was contrary to the books and it upset everything connected with diet practice. The scoffers began to pay attention to him. Recently the Southern Medical Association, realizing the hopelessness of trying to remedy nutritional deficiencies without positive factors to work with, recommended a careful study to determine the real mineral content of foodstuffs and the variations due to soil depletion in different localities. These progressive medical professionals are awake to the importance of prevention.
|Crops grown on mineralized soils are:|
- germinate & grow faster
- larger plants
- higher quality food
- more minerals
- better texture, appearance & flavor
Dr. Northen went even further and proved that crops grown in properly mineralized soil were bigger and better; that seeds germinated quicker, grew more rapidly and made larger plants; that trees were healthier and bore more fruit of better quality.
By increasing the mineral content of citrus fruit he likewise improved its texture, its appearance and its flavor.
He experimented with a variety of growing things, and in every case the story was the same. By mineralizing the feed at poultry farms, he got more and better eggs; by balancing pasture soils, he produced richer milk. Persistently he hammered home to farmers, to doctors, and to the general public the thought that life depends upon the minerals.
Importance of sunlight.
His work led him into a careful study of the effects of climate, sunlight, ultraviolet and thermal rays upon plant, animal, and human hygiene. In consequence he moved to Florida. People familiar with his work consider him the most valuable man in the state. I met him by reason of the fact that I was harassed by certain soil problems on my Florida farm which had baffled the best chemists and fertilizer experts available.
He is an elderly, retiring man, with a warm smile and an engaging personality. He is a trifle shy until he opens upon his pet topic; then his diffidence disappears and he speaks with authority. His mind is a storehouse crammed with precise, scientific data about soil and food chemistry, the complicated life processes of plants, animals, and human beings - and the effect of malnutrition upon all three. He is perhaps as close to the secret of life as any man anywhere.
"Do you call yourself a soil or a food chemist?" I inquired.
|Sick soils produce sick plants and sick people.|
"Neither. I'm an MD. My work lies in the field of biochemistry and nutrition. I gave up medicine because this is a wider and more important work. 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 the minerals in our foods. Nerve function, nerve stability, nerve cell-building likewise depend thereon. I'm really a doctor of sick soils."
"Do you mean to imply that the vegetables I'm raising on my farm are sick?" I asked.
"Precisely! They're as weak and undernourished as anemic children. They're not much good as food. Look at the pests and the diseases that plague them. Insecticides cost farmers nearly as much as fertilizer these days.
"A healthy plant, however, grown in soil properly balanced, can and will resist most insect pests. That very characteristic makes it a better food product. You have tuberculosis and pneumonia germs in your system but you're strong enough to throw them off. Similarly, a really healthy plant will pretty nearly take care of itself in the battle against insects and blights and will also give the human system what it requires."
|Enormous savings for the farmer.|
"Good heavens! Do you realize what that means to agriculture?"
"Perfectly. Enormous savings. Better crops. Lowered living costs to the rest of us. But I'm not so much interested in agriculture as in health."
"It sounds beautifully theoretical and utterly impractical to me," I told the doctor, whereupon he gave me some of his case records.
|Mineralized plants resist disease and insects.|
For instance, in an orange grove infested with scale, when he restored the mineral balance to part of the soil, the trees growing in that part became clean while the rest remained diseased. By the same means he had grown healthy rosebushes between rows that were riddled by insects.
He had grown tomato and cucumber plants, both healthy and diseased, where the vines intertwined. The bugs ate up the diseased and refused to touch the healthy plants! He showed me interesting analyses of citrus fruit, the chemistry and the food value of which accurately reflected the soil treatment the trees received.
There is no space here to go fully into Dr Northen's work, but it is of such importance as to rank with that of Burbank, the plant wizard, and with that of our famous physiologists and nutritional experts.
|Healthy plants produce healthy people. |
Food with higher mineral content, better storage, sounder cell structure.
"Healthy plants mean healthy people," said he. "We can't raise a strong race on a weak soil. Why don't you try mending the deficiencies on your farm and growing more minerals into your crops?"
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 this 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.
In 1927, Mr. W. W. Kincaid, a "gentleman farmer" of Niagara Falls. heard an address by Dr Northen and was so impressed that he began extensive experiments in the mineral feeding of plants and animals. The results he has accomplished are conspicuous. He set himself the task of increasing the iodine in the milk from his dairy herd. He has succeeded in adding both iodine and iron so liberally that one glass of his milk contains all of these minerals that an adult man requires per day.
Is this significant? Listen to these incredible figures taken from a bulletin of the South Carolina Food Research Commission: "In many sections three out of five persons have goiter and a recent estimate states that 30 million people in the United States suffer from it."
Foods rich in iodine are of the greatest importance to these sufferers.
|Champion dairy cow raised on mineralized pasturage.|
Mr. Kincaid took a brown Swiss heifer calf which was dropped in the stockyards. By raising her on mineralized pasturage and a properly balanced diet, he made her the third all-time champion of her breed! In one season she gave 21,924 pounds of milk. He raised her butterfat production from 410 pounds in one year to 1,037 pounds. Results like these are of invaluable importance.
|Productive capacity of soil down 25 to 50% in last 50 years (this article was published in 1936), increased heart disease, deformities, arthritis.|
Others besides Mr. Kincaid are following the trail Dr Northen blazed. Similar experiments with milk have been made in Illinois and nearly every fertilizer company is beginning to urge use of the rare mineral elements. As an example I quote from statements of a subsidiary of one of the leading copper companies:
"Many states show a marked reduction in the productive capacity of the soil, in many districts amounting to a 25 to 50 per cent reduction in the last 50 years. Some areas show a tenfold variation in calcium. Some show a sixty-fold variation in phosphorous. Authorities see soil depletion, barren livestock, increased human death rate due to heart disease, deformities, arthritis, increased dental caries - all due to lack of essential minerals in plant foods."
"It is neither a complicated nor an expensive undertaking to restore our soils to balance and thereby work a real miracle in the control of disease." says Dr Northen. "As a matter of fact, it's a money-making move for the farmer, and any competent soil chemist can tell him how to proceed."
"First determine by analysis the precise chemistry of any given soil, then correct the deficiencies by putting down enough of the missing elements to restore its balance. The same care should be used as in prescribing for a sick patient, for proportions are of vital importance.
"In my early experiments I found it extremely difficult to get the variety of minerals needed in the form in which I wanted to use them, but advancement in chemistry, and especially our ever-increasing knowledge of colloidal chemistry, has solved that difficulty. It is now possible, by the use of minerals in colloidal form, to prescribe a cheap and effective system of soil correction which meets this vital need and one which fits in admirably with nature's plans.
"Soils seriously deficient in minerals cannot produce plant life competent to maintain our needs, and with the continuous cropping and shipping away of those concentrates, the condition becomes worse.
|Improved resistance to infectious disease.|
"A famous nutrition authority recently said, 'One way to end the American people's susceptibility to infection is to supply through food a balanced ration of iron, copper, and other metals. An organism supplied with a diet adequate to, or preferably in excess of, all mineral requirements may so utilize these elements as to produce immunity from infection quite beyond anything we are able to produce artificially by our present method of immunization. You can't make up the deficiency by using patent medicine..'
"He's absolutely right. Prevention of disease is easier, more practical, and more economical than cure. But not until foods are standardized on a basis of what they contain instead of what they look like, can the dietitian prescribe them with intelligence and with effect.
"There was a time when medical therapy had no standards because the therapeutic elements in drugs had not been definitely determined on a chemical basis. Pharmaceutical houses have changed all that. Food chemistry on the other hand, has depended almost entirely upon governmental agencies for its research, and in our real knowledge of values we are about where medicine was a century ago.
|We do not know how well we can feel or how long we can live.|
"Disease preys most surely and most viciously on the undernourished and unfit plants, animals, and human beings alike, and when the importance of these obscure mineral elements is fully realized the chemistry of life will have to be rewritten. No man knows his mental or bodily capacity, how well he can feel or how long he can live, for we are all cripples and weaklings. It is a disgrace to science. Happily, chemistry is being rewritten and we're on our way to better health by returning to the soil the things we have stolen from it.
|The public can help by demanding quality in its food. |
It is simpler to cure sick soils than sick people.
"The public can help; it can hasten the change. How? By demanding quality in its food. By insisting that our doctors and our health departments establish scientific standards of nutritional value.
"The growers will quickly respond. They can put back those minerals almost overnight, and by doing so they can actually make money through bigger and better crops.
"It is simpler to cure sick soils than sick people - which shall we choose?"
Source of information for farmers.
Source of trace minerals - Azomite.
New way to grow rice may double yields.
Little Ice Age, Big Chill (Documentary)
Conformity vs Integrity 1
What was the staple food of Roman gladiators? A porridge made of barley and beans.
Dehydrate thinly sliced squash and zuchini to make chips.
We prefer to store dry items in wide-mouth mason jars with plastic screw-on lids.
Use snow for insulation.
100 pound hailstones - Revelation 16:21
Make home-made V8 juice every day. Put 8 different vegetables in a blender with water. Easy, quick and nutritious.
Thorium molten-salt reactor can provide inexpensive clean energy for the new millenium.
"Hope for the best, prepare for the worst."
Farmers wishing to make the switch from unsustainable chemical agriculture to sustainable eco-agriculture can start by subscribing to this newspaper: Acres USA - A Voice for Eco-Agriculture, P.O. Box 91299, Austin, TX 78709 telephone (515) 892-4400 fax (515) 892-4448 www.acresusa.com. Acres USA hosts an annual conference on Eco-Agriculture which includes seminars on various aspects of sustainable agriculture. Acres USA also has a mail order catalog of books on all aspects of sustainable agriculture.
A good source of trace minerals for gardeners and farmers is Azomite. You can read about Azomite and order it from www.azomite.com. Other similar products are advertised in the pages of the Acres USA newspaper.
Global Cooling Coming Soon
Cosmic rays (charged particles) penetrating the Earth's atmosphere cause cloud formation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 which has a cooling effect (and flooding) on the planet. Like snow and ice, clouds have a high albedo - they reflect sunlight back into space causing the Earth to cool. The Earth's magnetic field has been weakening for the past 400 years 1, 2, 3 allowing increased cosmic rays to reach the Earth. The sun's activity is also weakening 1, 2, and less solar wind allows even more cosmic rays 1, 2 to reach the Earth. This double whammy of both the Earth's magnetic field and sun's activity weakening at the same time, allowing a megadose of cosmic rays to impact the Earth, is the cause of concern.
Increased cosmic rays can trigger increased earthquakes and volcanism. Increased volcanic ash 1, 2 in the atmosphere has a cooling effect on the Earth. When the Earth's crust cools it shrinks 1, 2, 3, 4 not by much, but shrinking by 10 feet over a distance of a thousand miles per degree centigrade of cooling can cause faults to unlock, and new cracks 1, 2, 3, 4 in the Earth to appear. Cosmic rays interact with silica (a semi-conductor) in the Earth, producing heat and increasing the liquidity of magma. About 75% of Earth's volcanoes (including Yellowstone and Vesuvius) are high in silica. Volcanoes high in silica have high viscosity magma and are particularly explosive. Increased liquidity of magma leads to eruptions. So we have two things happening at the same time. The Earth's magma is heating up, leading to increased volcanism, and the Earth's crust is cooling down, leading to increased earthquakes. The average number of volcanoes that erupt in a given year is 50 - 70. Some volcanoes erupt more than once in a year. The average number of volcanic eruptions per year is about 60 - 80.
The sun is entering a quiet phase called a "Grand Solar Minimum", with reduced sun spots and less solar wind. Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) is greater when there are more sunspots. Reduced energy from the sun has a cooling effect on the Earth. Solar activity is predicted to fall by 60% during the 2030's.
Another factor is the other planets in our solar system. When the four gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) are on the same side of the sun, then their combined gravity tends to pull the Earth away from the sun whenever Earth passes between the gas giants and the sun. If this happens to take place during winter in the northern hemisphere of Earth, then there is a longer & colder winter and shorter & wetter growing season over the majority of Earth's land mass. This effect of other planets pulling Earth away from the sun can reduce Total Solar Irradiance reaching the winter land mass in the northern hemisphere by as much as 12%. This can be significant, especially when added to the other factors mentioned above, and was a factor in making both the Maunder and Dalton Minimums so terrible, and will be a factor in the coming Grand Solar Minimum (to be called the "Eddy Minimum"). See the position of planets at www.solarsystemscope.com . Planetary effect cooling will be intense October 2019, September 2021, October 2024.
The Earth's magnetic field is weakening to a degree generally seen only during magnetic pole reversals, an event that happens about every quarter million years. This is the first time a magnetic pole reversal has happened since modern man has been on this planet. Grand Solar Minimums happen about every one or two hundred years. So we are faced with a combination of a weak magnetic field around the Earth and a Grand Solar Minimum, resulting in an unprecedented increase in cosmic radiation penetrating the Earth's atmosphere, which causes increased cloud formation and precipitation (rain, hail, snow), increased earthquakes and volcanism, global cooling, and shorter & wetter growing seasons. The 30 years from 2015 to 2045 are expected to be the trough of the Grand Solar Minimum and may be very difficult for all life on this planet.
During the Medieval Warm Period (AD 950 - 1250) the population of Europe tripled 1, 2. This was followed by the Little Ice Age (1300 - 1870) that caused mass starvation. Plus, hunger-weakened immune systems and lifestyle defects opened the way for the Black Death. Millions died ("27% mortality amongst the upper classes, to 40-70% amongst the peasantry") 1, 2.
European agriculture prior to the Little Ice Age was largely beans/legumes ("Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot nine days old.") and grains (spelt/wheat, rye, barley, oats, etc.) Shorter growing seasons and early snow flattened the stalks of the plants destroying the harvest. After lost harvests and great hunger, agriculture adapted toward root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, beets, carrots, etc.), and clover which was used to feed animals. This is the origin of the "meat and potatoes" diet that still prevails today 1, 2. French farming under the control of the aristocracy failed to adapt, and the resulting hunger was one of the causes of the French Revolution.
Many solar scientists accept that global cooling began 2014/2015 and will hit maximum cold in 2031. The debate among these scholars is how long it will last. Will we experience the equivalent of a Dalton Minimum (about 40 years of cold) or a Maunder Minimum (about 70 years of cold), or longer? Author John Casey is predicting 30 years of cold comparable to the Dalton Minimum, and 400 years of relative cold before the world returns to the warmth of the recent past.
Learn from the Blizzard of 1977. The weather was so cold for so long that electricity and natural gas needed to be turned off on a rotating basis. Roads were blocked by abandoned cars. Airports were closed. Fire trucks froze when trying to fight fires. Blowing snow virtually buried some homes. Looting became a problem.
Building codes are based on 50 years of weather. Increasingly we are seeing 200 year weather records being broken and all time weather records being broken. Whatever your living conditions, why not begin now to strengthen them to resist extreme cold, heavy snowfall, high winds, excessive rainfall & flooding, large hail, etc. Here are some ideas:
- add extra 2x4 bracing to hold up your roof during heavy snowfall
Every home should begin stocking up food. There is no harm in pre-purchasing food you will be consuming anyway. Not every year will have crop failures. A food supply sufficient to get your family through a year or two is a good start. Food like bags of rice or lentils will remain edible a long time if kept dry. Any not used can be donated to a food bank. If global cooling occurs as we are suggesting, it is possible that food shortages could begin to occur as soon as 2019.
People can adapt to almost anything if given sufficient time. It was not raining when Noah built his ark.
If the global grain harvest begins to decline, agriculture in Canada, Europe, Russia and other grain growing countries may need to adapt quickly. Also watch the declining quality of the global grain harvest (low protein, ergot infected). Grain importing countries may wish to begin considering other options. Compared to annual production of more than 2,400 million tonnes, global cereal stocks of about 600 million tonnes amount to less than 3 months of reserve capacity. It would be helpful if we stopped feeding grain to animals for meat production. At present about 40% of the world grain production is fed to animals. We should also stop using ethanol made from corn to fuel automobiles. Forty percent of the U.S. corn crop is used for producing ethanol, 45% goes to feed animals, and only 15% is consumed by humans.
Cold weather veggies include: arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bush beans, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, green onions, kale, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, mizuna, mustard, peas, radishes, rutabaga, spinach, Swiss chard, tatsoi, turnips.
Best herbs for indoors: basil, parsley, rosemary, bay, oregano, chervil, thyme, chives, sage, tarragon.
Carbon Dioxide, Falling Oxygen
People are rightly concerned about
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and there is a global effort to limit this
increase. However, there is still an incredible amount of coal and other fossil
fuels being burned. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is presently (2015) about 400
parts per million (ppm), up from 280 ppm prior to the industrial revolution.
When carbon is burned, carbon dioxide is created and oxygen is removed from the
Falling oxygen levels in the atmosphere are potentially of great concern to
humans. However, when plants breathe in carbon dioxide they breathe out oxygen.
Hopefully, as carbon dioxide levels rise, vegetation will return
sufficient oxygen to the atmosphere to meet human requirements. However, there
is no guarantee of this, and the measurably falling oxygen level in the
atmosphere indicates that the oxygen from vegetation is not enough. In addition
to limiting the burning of fossil fuels, humans can assist by covering the
planet with vegetation and by ensuring that global soils have the minerals
required for healthy plant growth. Our survival may
depend on this. Let the entire world be a garden. Carbon can be stored in
soil as humus. Humus is black in color due to the organic carbon it contains.
Healthy soil has a high level of humus, and high humus soils are black.
In addition to our survival, we might give some consideration to the
survival of life in the oceans. As carbon dioxide becomes dissolved in the
oceans it forms carbonic acid. Search the internet for "ocean
acidification". This acidification of the oceans makes it
increasingly difficult for shellfish (crustaceans) to form their shells. The
base of the food chain in the oceans is
phytoplankton and zooplankton, plus shrimp and krill. The phytoplankton are
plants and derive energy from sunlight by means of chlorophyll. Most of the
zooplankton are tiny crustaceans, as are the shrimp and krill.
The zooplankton eat phytoplankton and ocean detritus. If the zooplankton die
off (due to ocean acidification) then the phytoplankton can grow uncontrollably. The result is algae
blooms in the ocean. As these algae die, their decomposing bodies consume
the oxygen in the water, creating hypoxic dead
zones that kill virtually every creature that enters them. Dead zones
in the world's oceans are
You also might like to search the internet for "pacific ocean dead zone
fukushima". The people behind the nuclear industry must have a lot of
influence to keep governments and the news media silent on this subject.
Molten salt reactors using thorium as fuel instead of uranium are safer.
Thorium has always been the better choice for peace-time nuclear fuel.
Uranium was chosen during the cold war because it produces plutonium that
can be used to make bombs. Thorium does not make plutonium. Search the
Internet for more information.
People are rightly concerned about rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and there is a global effort to limit this increase. However, there is still an incredible amount of coal and other fossil fuels being burned. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is presently (2015) about 400 parts per million (ppm), up from 280 ppm prior to the industrial revolution.
When carbon is burned, carbon dioxide is created and oxygen is removed from the atmosphere. Falling oxygen levels in the atmosphere are potentially of great concern to humans. However, when plants breathe in carbon dioxide they breathe out oxygen. Hopefully, as carbon dioxide levels rise, vegetation will return sufficient oxygen to the atmosphere to meet human requirements. However, there is no guarantee of this, and the measurably falling oxygen level in the atmosphere indicates that the oxygen from vegetation is not enough. In addition to limiting the burning of fossil fuels, humans can assist by covering the planet with vegetation and by ensuring that global soils have the minerals required for healthy plant growth. Our survival may depend on this. Let the entire world be a garden. Carbon can be stored in soil as humus. Humus is black in color due to the organic carbon it contains. Healthy soil has a high level of humus, and high humus soils are black.
In addition to our survival, we might give some consideration to the survival of life in the oceans. As carbon dioxide becomes dissolved in the oceans it forms carbonic acid. Search the internet for "ocean acidification". This acidification of the oceans makes it increasingly difficult for shellfish (crustaceans) to form their shells. The base of the food chain in the oceans is phytoplankton and zooplankton, plus shrimp and krill. The phytoplankton are plants and derive energy from sunlight by means of chlorophyll. Most of the zooplankton are tiny crustaceans, as are the shrimp and krill.
The zooplankton eat phytoplankton and ocean detritus. If the zooplankton die off (due to ocean acidification) then the phytoplankton can grow uncontrollably. The result is algae blooms in the ocean. As these algae die, their decomposing bodies consume the oxygen in the water, creating hypoxic dead zones that kill virtually every creature that enters them. Dead zones in the world's oceans are increasing.
You also might like to search the internet for "pacific ocean dead zone fukushima". The people behind the nuclear industry must have a lot of influence to keep governments and the news media silent on this subject. Molten salt reactors using thorium as fuel instead of uranium are safer. Thorium has always been the better choice for peace-time nuclear fuel. Uranium was chosen during the cold war because it produces plutonium that can be used to make bombs. Thorium does not make plutonium. Search the Internet for more information.
Water levels rising in the Great Lakes - Dashboard - an indication of increased precipitation
H. Abdussamatov - bicentennial cycle, 46 - 65 years of cooling 1
Cliff Ollier - De Vries cycle of 210 years, heading for a Dalton Minimum 1
David Evans - mini ice age by 2030 1
"We're talking about decades of cold weather, decades of earthquakes of 7.0 to 8.0, possibly a Cascadia eruption much larger than that, on and on and on. We are looking at the most dangerous geophysical period in human history according to our research between this year  and 2038. So I'm not aware of anyone that's actually gone in and analyzed the potential impact, but needless to say, more Americans will die in the next 10 to 15 years than ever before in our country's history, not by mankind, but by natural forces - cold climate ill effects, crop losses, civil disturbances that occur as a result, and then earthquakes and volcanic activity. So not a good time to be around, but it's the best time right now to start getting prepared." John Casey starting about 1:03:30.
Better Food, Part 2 of 3
We now move on to page two of our three page mini-series on agriculture to prevent cancer.
Now that we understand the importance of better food to provide a foundation for better health, how can the careful shopper know which fruits and vegetables are the best? Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, told us, "Let thy medicine be thy food and thy food be thy medicine." It is the skill of the cook to put maximum nutrition in food. Fortunately there is a way to test fruits and vegetables to measure their nutritional content before you buy them. All you need is a small quantity of juice from the fruit or vegetable and a simple instrument called a Refractometer.
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