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The Hidden Impact of Soil Quality on Nutrition

In our quest for longevity and vitality, we often focus on diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits. However, there's a crucial factor that is often overlooked: the quality of our food supply. Modern agricultural practices, driven by the pursuit of higher yields, have resulted in soil depletion, leading to crops that are increasingly deficient in essential nutrients. This depletion not only affects the nutritional value of our food but also poses significant risks to our health and well-being.

The Soil-Nutrition Connection

The health of our soil directly impacts the nutritional content of the food we eat. Soil serves as the foundation for plant growth, providing essential minerals and nutrients that are absorbed by crops as they grow. However, modern farming practices, such as mono-cropping, excessive pesticide use, and chemical fertilization, have depleted the soil of vital nutrients, resulting in crops that are deficient in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This nutrient depletion not only compromises the nutritional quality of our food but also contributes to a host of health issues and deficiencies.

In December 2004, a groundbreaking study conducted by Donald Davis and his team of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Examining U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, the study revealed significant declines in protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and vitamin C over the past fifty years. Davis and his colleagues attribute this decline in nutritional content to prevailing agricultural practices focused on enhancing traits such as size, growth rate, and pest resistance, rather than nutritional quality.

Numerous studies have highlighted the impact of soil quality on the nutritional content of our food. A comprehensive meta-analysis conducted by The Kushi Institute found a significant decline in average nutrients in food over several decades, underscoring the pervasive nature of the issue. In an analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997, they found average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped by 27 percent, iron levels 37 percent, vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent. This data is more than 25 years old, can you imagine what numbers it would show now? Whether you follow a traditional Western diet or embrace health-conscious regimens like the Mediterranean or plant-based diets, inadequate levels of essential nutrients in crops grown on depleted soils might be impacting the levels of nutrients that we think we are getting from our modern food.

The Role of Supplements

In the face of declining soil quality, supplements can play an important role in supporting optimal nutrition and overall health. They can deliver essential nutrients sourced from nutrient-rich environments, ensuring that your body receives the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it needs to thrive, even in the face of modern agricultural challenges.   By supplementing with high quality supplements it can help you to ensure that your body receives the essential nutrients it needs to thrive, even in the face of modern agricultural challenges. 


Davis DR, Epp MD, Riordan HD. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6):669-82. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2004.10719409. PMID: 15637215.

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