The interplay between soil health and human health is undeniable. Soil depletion poses a significant threat to human well-being through compromised nutrition, toxic contamination, disruption of microbial ecosystems, and water pollution.
Modern agricultural practices, including excessive use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and monoculture cultivation, have had detrimental effects on soil health. These practices often lead to nutrient imbalances and a decline in organic matter content. The consequences of such practices are reflected in the nutritional quality of our food.
Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture comparing data from 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits found "reliable declines" in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and vitamin C over the past half-century. For instance, an orange from the 1950s contained high levels of Vitamin A and C, while today, we would need to consume 20 oranges to obtain the same amount of these nutrients. Similarly, a single tomato from the 1940s was rich in copper, but now we would have to eat 10 tomatoes to achieve the same intake of this mineral.
A study conducted in Britain analyzing nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal, found that in 20 vegetables, the average calcium content had declined by 19 percent, iron by 22 percent, and potassium by 14 percent.
Furthermore, the concentration of minerals in the soil today is 70 to 100 percent lower than it was a hundred years ago. Numerous reports point to dangerous soil depletion, resulting in significantly lower nutritional content in both plant and animal foods compared to the past, before we began abusing the soil in various ways.
These findings highlight the fact that relying solely on natural food not be sufficient to obtain all the necessary nutrients for optimal health. So yes, we definitely need supplements despite a variety of healthy meals?