Follow by Email

Monday, July 4, 2011

4: Starved for Minerals

One spring a few years ago, when we still kept horses on our acreage, a pretty little filly was born to one of our mares. We named her Abby. When she was about two years old, I went out to see her one day, and when she came to the fence, I saw that she was trembling all over and sweating and panting.

Very concerned, I came back into the house, phoned my vet friend, and described the symptoms. Her immediate question was, “Do you have a mineral block out there?”
I hesitated. “I don’t think so.”

“It sounds like she has a mineral deficiency,” she stated calmly.

So we went off to the local co-op and spent $20 or so on a mineral block, and within two or three days, Abby was as right as rain.

It seems that this is a big part of what veterinarians do: when something goes wrong with an animal (excepting trauma), they search for what nutrients might be lacking. I was discussing this with a friend recently, and this is what he had to contribute to the subject: “When we kept horses, our vet told us that if we hoped to raise any foals, we would have to give our horses selenium because the local soil is particularly lacking in it and horses can’t conceive without it.”

On the other hand, if you or I go to our GP with a complaint, he or she will likely prescribe a pharmaceutical product to suppress the symptoms. Or if the Rx cures the illness, the net effect on the body may be damaging. Prescription medication generally does not go to the root of the problem: our nutritional deficiencies are not addressed.

My last article left off talking about what many experts believe is wide-spread iodine deficiency. The reasons for this are several: In addition to the medical establishment by and large turning a blind eye to our nutritional needs, our soils have increasingly become stripped of not just iodine but many essential minerals. For decades farmers have fertilized, but usually only with three main elements: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, and this is because these three give the quickest, most visually impressive results. The nutritional quotient, however, has continued to dwindle while the spin-off from these chemical options escalates.

I find it interesting that when God gave Israel His personal directives on how His people ought to live, He included instructions on how the soil was to be treated. Every seven years the land was to lie fallow and rest, with what came up on its own being ploughed under to nourish the ground for future crops. Israel, for the most part, stubbornly refused to follow instructions. But God felt pretty strongly about the health of the soil. He warned them that if they wouldn’t respect the land in this way, they would eventually be conquered by an enemy nation and led away captive. And that’s exactly what happened. God intervened drastically to accomplish what He had hoped to do by directive: “As long as the land lies in ruins, it will enjoy the rest you never allowed it to take every seventh year while you lived in it.” (Leviticus 26:35, NLT).

In our day and culture, it’s far-fetched to think of letting the land have a rest, but fortunately some farmers are beginning to clue in to the plight of our soil and are supplementing with other macro-minerals as well as some trace elements. However, we are a long, long way from being able to get the nutrition we need from the food we eat.

No comments:

Post a Comment