Soil Health and Human Health, Nutrient value of our Food

In a short phone call to Gabe Brown regarding the “Champions of Soil Health” effort, he mentioned that one of his personal major concerns was the lack of understanding about how soil health affects human health.

I’ve been wanting to post a few articles in a new category (Soil Health and Human Health) regarding this very issue, and well, seems like a good time.

The first link is to an article in Scientific American from last year regarding nutrient levels in our food and their direct link back to the state of the soil.

There are some thoughtful responses at the end of the article and, in my opinion, are correct in pointing out that the quoted research focused on selective plant breeding and genetics as the culprit in the decline of nutrient levels in our food. That does not dismiss the notion that soil nutrient levels (healthy soils) also play a role.


(NRCS photos)

The second link is from literature research performed by the Organic Center. It also largely implicates plant breeding for the nutrient deficiencies of food today, but likewise also addresses the likely roll of soil health regarding this issue. If you don’t have time to read the whole thing the executive summary explains it well.

About Chuck

Soil Scientist USDA/NRCS, Owner -
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