Thursday, March 30, 2006

New Study Confirms Food Quality Going Down

"Why is it that you have to eat four carrots to get the same amount of magnesium as you would have done in 1940?" asks Dr. David Thomas, a primary healthcare practitioner and independent researcher, who recently made a comparison of government tables published in 1940, and again in 2002. (See our Alarming Comparisons of the Food We Eat article for details.)

A new study headed by David Pimentel, professor of ecology at Cornell University believes it's soil erosion -- and it's a crisis that the world is facing.

"Soil erosion is second only to population growth as the biggest environmental problem the world faces," said Pimentel. "Yet, the problem, which is growing ever more critical, is being ignored because who gets excited about dirt?"

Also, pioneering Scottish research into the demineralisation of earth has strengthened the case that unless vital nutrients and elements are placed back into the soil, the quality of food will deteriorate, according to a recent article at FoodNavigator.

"Erosion is one of those problems that nickels and dimes you to death: One rainstorm can wash away 1 mm of dirt," said Pimentel. "It doesn't sound like much, but when you consider a hectare (2.5 acres), it would take 13 tons of topsoil - or 20 years if left to natural processes - to replace that loss."

The study, which pulled together statistics on soil erosion from more than 125 sources, also reports that the US is losing soil 10 times faster - and China and India are losing soil 30 to 40 times faster - than the natural replenishment rate.

Pimentel's study on the food and environmental threat of soil erosion is published in a recent issue of the Journal of the Environment, Development and Sustainability (Vol. 8, 2006).