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Grass Fed Blog from Indian Creek Angus

Obesity linked to Soil Nutrients

A Dental Coincidence and a Possible Link to Obesity

Many of our customers know of Weston A. Price, the Canadian dentist who studied the dental records of people around the world in the 1930s. He noted that Americans had worse dental health than many people in so-called poor countries. He blamed America’s poor dental records on high consumption of white flour, sugar, and processed vegetable oils. Members of the Weston A. Price Foundation today seek healthier foods that avoid the processing that robs grocery store food of nutrients. These foods include raw milk (not pasteurized or homogenized) which is sold as pet food in many states, raw milk products like cheese and butter, pastured beef and lamb, and free-range chicken.

Another pioneer who looked at dental health was William Albrecht. He studied the dental records of soldiers in World War II during the 1940s and compared them to the soil tests from the farms near their home towns. Before World War II most food eaten in America was locally grown, and he was able to connect dental deficiencies with soil deficiencies. What we eat matters to our dental health and to our overall health he concluded. He recognized that after World War II America’s pastures were not allowed to regenerate nutrients through traditional use of organic matter. Instead, synthetic (petroleum-based) fertilizers and pesticides were added and soils lost and never regained their trace minerals.

Albrecht’s papers were compiled by a man named Charles Walters, who founded the magazine Acres USA, The Voice of Eco-Agriculture. Walters was an early proponent of grass-fed beef and natural ways of farming. He believed strongly in analyzing our soils and determining what minerals were deficient. He knew that a deficiency in the soil would be passed up the food chain to deficiencies in humans.

Writing in Acres USA, John Ikerd makes the connection between obesity and deficient soils. Every animal seeks out the nutrients necessary to sustain itself. Tests have been done to that effect on cattle and other animals. He notes that although after World War II Americans did less physical labor and began to consume more calories, those factors did not entirely account for the rise of obesity. Vegetable and fruit consumption levels were almost flat during the entire fifty years after World War II. He suggests that because our bodies require certain trace minerals, our bodies tell us we are hungry until we eat enough food to get the minerals we need. In other words, our food is so debased and lacking in nutritional quality that our bodies do not recognize most of what we eat as nutritional, and we continue to eat in search of the minerals and nutrients we need. Obesity is often viewed as a lifestyle choice, and we tend to blame overweight and obese people for their conditions. This is simply blaming the victims. Poverty often leads to poor nutrition, but our industrial food system has created lots of calories with few nutrients for low prices. For most people obesity is not a lifestyle choice.

Many components of the industrial food system in America are designed to reduce the cost of food; but simultaneously our food is reduced of its nutritional value. For every dollar we save in the grocery store, we spend twice as many on health care as epidemics of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer spread through our country. A recent television series called “The Weight of the Nation” focuses on the huge health problem America is facing because of our poor eating habits and it points the finger at the corporations who are profiting while jeopardizing the health of the nation.

We were introduced to Charles Walters and his soil books, as well as his cattle studies, by Stan Pace, an Animal Welfare Approved inspector who gave us our re-certification. Stan had been a university agricultural extension agent, but he got tired of telling farmers to apply synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to their pastures. He knew it was the wrong way to go. We are grateful for people like Stan.


1 Comment
  • http://wellnessdogfoodx.com/ chris

    I think that the dogs could also be malnourished. When they just eat food without nutrition and fail to exercise, they could also be malnourished. It is important that you feed your dog with the nutritious dog food.