Beginning in the 1950s, America’s farmers were told to get big, or get out. It wasn’t just a slogan, it was USDA policy, a mantra recited by several secretaries of agriculture. That mindset, combined with a post-WWII explosion in chemical fertilizer use, made our farms larger and more productive than ever — but at a high price, with many small farmers vanishing and the introduction of new kinds of environmental challenges.
Food... The mere mention of this single word brings so many images to mind; enjoyment, family, celebration, community, satisfaction, creativity, and exploration to name just a few. Around the world cultures and food are inextricably intertwined. Food, like language, defines a culture.
In America a culture war of sorts is going on between an industrialized food supply and those who wish to celebrate food as a labor of love. We also see a tremendous surge of interest in the nutritional aspect of foods. On the one hand we see a society facing an ever-increasing amount of degenerative diseases and on the other hand we hear many people calling for a return to wholesome foods that truly nourish.
Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st the nutrient density in our food crops has been consistently declining. USDA studies show that an average apple from the 1960's had 5 times the nutrition of that same apple produced today. This is an average of course, and there are many farms who have figured out how to produce high nutrient density crops even while the national average has been plummeting.
Remineralize The Earth has just embarked on a research project in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts to document the effect on nutrient density of crops with the application of rock dusts and biological amendments.