The following does not constitute medical advice. It is opinion. Before you make any changes to your medications, diet, or lifestyle, be sure that the person in charge of overseeing your health care is fully informed. By the way—that person is you and you alone.
If You’ve Got the Tide®, We’ve Got the Cheer®
Ever heard of pica? Not the font size—the eating disorder. Pica is the habit of ingesting things that are not food: dirt, drywall, chalk, clay, and so on. Some people see a box of laundry detergent, and their mouths start watering.
Pica has many causes, but a chief one is mineral deficiency. People who are low on iron, for example, often chew on ice; those low on zinc may dab a moist finger into the laundry soap for a nibble. Their taste for Tide® comes from their body’s unconscious craving for something it is not getting enough of. The non-food items rarely satisfy nutritional needs, but at least the pica-sufferer is not trying the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
Because that’s one definition of insanity. And it’s a form of insanity that many of us have here in the United States. We are, most of us, overweight. A third of us would even be classified as obese. One can quibble with the precise definitions of these terms, but a day of people-watching renders definitions moot. Many of us are just plain fat. We sit around too much and we eat too much.
What happened? Our bodies have a self-regulating mechanism for ingesting the right amount of food. We should know when to stop. Yet we crave more, eat more, and weigh more than ever.
From the one side we are told to cut out carbs; from the other side we are told to limit our fats. But maybe that’s a false opposition. Maybe it’s not what we are eating so much as what we are not ingesting: adequate levels of magnesium, iodine, chromium, potassium, selenium, and so on. Maybe most of us suffer from pica due to the low levels of minerals in our food supply. Our unhealthy habit is not chalk or Cheer®; our version of pica reaches for second helpings, junk food, snacks, and desserts—anything edible, in fact, in our bodies’ desperate drive to get the nutrients it needs.
Mineral deficiencies may be responsible for more than just the upswing in obesity. Perhaps the cancer rate has been rising for the same reason. Ever heard of germanium? There’s no RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for it. (The inadequacies of the RDA system is a whole other topic.) It turns out that the waters at Lourdes in France—the big Catholic shrine where people make pilgrimages for healing—those waters are rich in germanium. I mean no disrespect by this, but perhaps the miraculous cures are due not just to the tender heart of the Virgin Mother, but to the stony crust of Mother Earth from which the mineral-rich springs flow.
Is chromium deficiency a factor in diabetes and metabolic syndrome?
Is boron deficiency a factor in osteoporosis?
Is molybdenum deficiency a factor in cardiac arrhythmias?
Ask your doctor. Wait … don’t bother. He or she won’t know. They don’t talk about this stuff in medical school. Never. Never ever. What they do talk about is which expensive new drugs you can buy to treat the symptoms of these ever more common problems. But your body knows it might be missing something, and so it tells you to keep eating, eating, eating, hoping that somewhere in all those extra calories is a trace of vanadium or yttrium.
The Dirty Truth
Will those nutrients be there in the next potato you reach for? At one time, yes. But nowadays maybe not. The levels of nutrients in our fruits and vegetables have been steadily declining over the last eight decades. The apple you enjoyed in grade school doesn’t have the same vitamin value today. It’s an open secret that the USDA chooses not to address. Between 1940 and 1991, government researchers documented that potatoes have lost 47% of their copper, 45% of their iron, and 35% of their calcium, and in 1991 you would have to eat ten tomatoes to get the same amount of copper that came from a single one just a couple of generations prior.
There are three reasons for this. The first is the “dilution effect”: farmers try to get higher and higher yields from the same patch of land, so that the minerals available in the soil are spread among more and more plants. The second is breeding: plants are cultivated to be sweeter and sweeter every year, and most minerals taste bitter. (Although bitterness also adds a nice depth to other flavors.) You gain in sweetness by giving up nourishment. The third reason: our American soil is largely depleted of the minerals that add the bitterness.
Today you go to the market and buy hybridized sweet corn that is tender and tastes like candy. But you’re getting an earful of empty calories compared to the tougher, yellower (equals more carotene) corn of yesteryear. True, the kernels got stuck between your teeth, but that too was a sign of nutritional strength. Plants that grow in mineral-rich soil have stronger cell membranes and are thus naturally more resistant to pests and blights. The plant that is tougher for you to chew is also the one that has the good stuff to make you tougher to kill. (If you are old enough, you will remember that chicken eggs used to be harder to crack open. Same deal—the factory-farmed hens are sickly and they lay weak, calcium-poor eggs.)
My Dutch grandfather of blessed memory, he loved America, but the one thing he pined for was the potatoes back in the old country. When I finally got to the Netherlands, I discovered he was right! Potatoes of any variety in the Netherlands have a richer flavor profile with lots of layers of taste. Their texture is nicer, too—not mushy when cooked, but al dente, chewy and satisfying to the palate. A small cone of French fries with a dollop of mayonnaise is a meal in Amsterdam; in America, it’s a side dish.
Why are the potatoes better? It’s no great mystery. The Dutch live below sea level. Most of their farmland was underwater not so long ago. The minerals abundant in seawater are still in the soil, and these are the minerals that our bodies need and crave. But you don’t have to plant the polder to grow better produce: the fruits and vegetables in Greece taste way better than their American counterparts, too. Greek farmers work the thin layer of soil on their rocky terrain. But out of those rocks are leeching the same trace elements that bring health and life and great flavor.
Agronomy 101, or, Dammit You Dammed It
American produce used to be more nutritious. Back in the Ice Age when the glaciers were growing, that tremendous sheet of ice carved up and ground down the bedrock. When they receded, they left behind tons and tons of loose rock, which in time supported plant life, which in time caused soil to form—rich, fertile soil. From this lush land sprang the great forests and prairies of North America. The only problem is: the process is not self-sustaining. Unlike the eternal rocks of Greece that will never stop seeping minerals into the soil, America’s rich soil is a one-and-done situation … until we have a new Ice Age.
Wait a second, you might say. What about the great civilizations of the ancient world? Egypt, Mesopotamia, China? Their arable land wasn’t glaciated like America, rocky like Greece, or below sea level like Holland—how did they thrive for centuries?
It was the rivers. Or more precisely, the annual flooding of the great rivers that those ancient empires were built along. Take the Nile. Through Egypt it flows amid a vast stretch of sand. But further upstream you have two Niles. There is the Blue Nile, whose headwaters are in the mountains of Ethiopia, and the White Nile, which flows out of the heart of the jungle around Lake Victoria. The Blue Nile’s waters are rich in minerals of all kinds; the White Nile’s waters bring the silty goodness of phytonutrients from the forests. These waters mingle and form a rich soup that every year inundates the floodplain of Egypt.
The ancient Egyptians celebrated the floods. Of course, they figured out how to prepare for it, how to steer it, how to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks. Every year their croplands and pastures were remineralized and refertilized at minimal effort. The Nile’s ample bosom nursed an empire of tremendous wealth and strength for millennia.
In America, our big rivers also descend from headwaters in mountains or forests. But we have applied our skills, not to harnessing the spring floods for good, but to preventing them altogether. Dams, levees, and deeper channels are the prescription of the Army Corps of Engineers. The costs are enormous, and so are the risks. You can only beat Mother Nature at her own game for so long. Where we should be farming, we instead blithely build cities in flood zones, only to discover every other decade or so that water eventually reclaims the path of least resistance. Nowadays, when the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers do break out of their straitjackets, we do not celebrate the flooding, nor are we prepared to reap the benefits of it. Our fields just get sicker, not stronger like those of the Egyptians; and we Americans get fatter and fatter off food that does not satisfy.
Dr. Levingston, I Presume
Ah, gentle reader! You are always so patient with me. But I know you come to Piece of Mindful for a peek behind the curtain, for some Cabal Network News. It’s time to follow the money trail and see where it leads.
So how is this not a matter of primary concern? Why aren’t we reading about it all the time? Why don’t agricultural colleges address this in their curriculum? Why don’t doctors learn more about the connection between disease and nutrition? Why no congressional hearings?
AND … What kind of sick, twisted person would not care if people were putting something into their mouths that was making them weaker instead of stronger??
Let me introduce you to William Avery Rockefeller, aka Dr. Bill Levingston. William Rockefeller Sr. was the father of John and William Jr., the Rockefellers who founded Standard Oil.
Bill Sr. was in the petroleum business, too, sort of. He was a snake oil salesman who went by the name Levingston, marketing a tonic called “Rock Oil” concocted from a laxative and petroleum. He claimed it cured cancer, and he sold it to many desperate people.
Now, I’m not a medical doctor. But I know that for whatever problem might be ailing a person, it isn’t because he’s down a quart. Feeding oil to the sick cures no one. But it was a great business model for Dr. Bill, and the Rockefeller heirs have not forgotten that.
Through the decades, our soil because we have forsaken basic agronomy. Into this crisis steps … who else? … Big Oil! In order to raise crops in depleted soil, one has to make up for the weakened natural defenses of the plants by dousing them with pesticides and herbicides made from … petroleum! When you feed poorer quality food to people and animals, they get sick more easily, less energetic, more depressed and more obese. In order to assuage this chronic low-level malnutrition, one has to mask the symptoms with pharmaceuticals … again, made in no small part from petroleum by-products. Perhaps you didn’t know that? Big Pharma IS Big Oil. And now Big Agro is Big Oil, too—or at least, fully dependent on it.
Big Oil gets your dollar seven ways to Sunday: when you drive to the market; when you buy the food they fertilize; when the food gets bagged in the plastic sacks they make; when you take the meds they synthesize; and when the hearse carts you to the cemetery. I bet Bill Sr. couldn’t be prouder of his progeny, still feeding oil to the dying, just like he taught them.
By the way, along with being a liar, thief, and a cheat, Bill Sr. was a bigamist and a rapist. His family carries on these traditions. Over the years the Rockefellers have helped subvert: the electric street car (and reliable public transport in most American cities), non-pharmaceutical medical treatments, the independent press, and the sovereignty of several nations in the Middle East. Rape is not too strong a word for what Rockefeller’s heirs have done to the world.
In the Truther community we talk a lot about the trickery all around us. But most of the discussion of who is behind the trickery is just conjecture or misdirection. And spooks are just minions doing the bidding of another. Forget the spooks for a second. If you want my short list of the possible ultimate culprits behind this conspiracy against the health of the common man, I give you a family with the means, the motive, and the opportunity … and the heritage. Who’s pulling the strings of fraud, manipulation, and poisoning of the world? Dr. Levingston’s heirs, I presume.
Bringing the Mountain to Maarten Again
Big Oil has its lackeys at every level of our government. Bureaucratic lackeys take the wonderful minerals of the mountains out of my water supply, and in place of calcium and magnesium they add fluoride and chloramine. And through the bungling of lackeys in corporate agriculture and the Army Corps of Engineers, the minerals get harvested out of our soil without replacement. Thus we get sold food that’s half as nutritious as it used to be. Then lackeys in Big Pharma and the AMA tell me that my weight problem is from … Too much fat. No, too many carbs. Not enough oat bran. Too many eggs. No, just too many egg yolks. Butter. Not butter, margarine. Simple carbs. Trans fats … No matter, take these pills we can prescribe for you …
… If you’re as old as I am and have paid attention to mainstream health advice, you know what I mean. The information is and always has been conflicting and incomplete. I suggest to you that this is intentional, fellow inmates.
When my father, God rest his soul, had his heart attack, the doctor took me and my siblings aside to say: heart trouble is hereditary, adjust your diets now. So I followed religiously the recommendations of the day: low salt and low fat. Before that, I was trim, healthy, and energetic. Six months into the new diet, I was exhausted, lethargic, dyspeptic, and gaining weight. For all those things, my doctor had a pill. The pills treated the symptoms, but not the underlying problems. I was, in some very specific ways, malnourished.
In olden days, when wardens wanted to punish a prisoner, they put him on a diet of bread and water. Meaning, no salt. It was low-level torture from the inside out. Hyponatremia—low sodium levels in the blood—is misery. The wardens knew it, and I experienced it.
Most prisoners are malnourished. I visited some boys in prison once. Before the clink they were thin and sinewy. On the prison diet they were bloated, dopey, and more passive than I knew them to be. A poor diet makes the prison population easier to handle—both those inside and outside the walls. It takes all the fight out of us.
I will let Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association explain why:
… the average human body contains something on the order of 4 trillion cells. Between 60-70% of those cells should replace themselves every 6 months. That means that about 15 billion cells in your body are replacing themselves every day. Each of those cells has a nucleus in it that contains your DNA and each strand of DNA requires at least 45 separate minerals to replicate itself properly. The numbers quickly become more than the average person wants to spend too much time thinking about, but the point is that the nutrients in your food which is what your body uses to build itself with constantly have a key role to play your overall health. As your body begins to find itself without the key minerals it needs to go through its biological processes completely it begins to degenerate.
You may ask: what do you suggest we do about all this, Maarten?
I will suggest nothing. I will tell you only what I do, which again, is not advice. Just opinion.
I do everything I can to get the minerals back in my body. I drink spring water or well water only, never tap water—and NOT purified water, which is some municipality’s tap water in a plastic bottle. I take a dip in every body of salt water I pass by. (Some minerals are absorbed through the skin.) I take Epsom salts baths to get more magnesium.
I do a lot of shopping at farmers’ markets, and I talk directly to the growers to learn about their methods. I favor organic fruits and vegetables, not because organic growers are all so good about remineralizing their soil, but because at least I am not getting a soupçon of petroleum in every bite.
I have a garden myself. I amend the soil with modest sprinklings of sea salt and Epsom salt. I compost. I rake my neighbors’ lawns for their leaves, and I mulch the plants freely with these. (Tree roots burrow deep into the ground, down to where there are more rocks in the soil. Along with the roots travel the microfauna that metabolize the minerals and make them available to the tree. The tree sends the minerals up to the branches and into the leaves, making for the dazzling colors of autumn. The decomposing leaves release minerals into the plants of my garden.) My garden loves all this. I have some kale plants that are four years old. They survived two of the coldest Januarys in recent history without any help. Whatever is in that unkillable kale, I want in me!
I salt my food liberally —with sea salt. (Not table salt, which has all the good trace elements refined out of it—though they put enough iodine back in to keep kids from getting goiters.) I also take a pinch of sodium bicarbonate every day for the kidneys.
And I take mineral supplements: multi-mineral capsules, trace-element drops, magnesium oil for the skin, etc. Big Pharma wants me to believe that I am accomplishing nothing by all this except making my urine more expensive. (They manage to find a way for the latest spokesclown of “science” to plant this idea in your head, too …)
I hope to have more to say in a future post about the pricey pee issue.
Despite doing these things, I am still overweight, probably from the sedentary lifestyle I am forced to lead. But I’m going to hang that one on Dr. Bill’s kin, too. All the things that I would gladly walk to do—grab a cup of coffee, pick up a loaf of bread, mail a package, take the kids to school, go out to eat—can only be done by driving nowadays in my corner of the world. Since the Rockefeller cabal worked to mold a society where every family owned a gas-powered automobile, the cities are zoned on that presumption; shopping areas and schools are too far from most neighborhoods. Some of the major drags don’t even have sidewalks. The thinking being: why would anyone would want to walk anywhere?
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I am certainly NOT planning on dynamiting any dams.
I try to keep petroleum out of my life and my food as much as I can. I have sworn off Dr. Bill’s Rock Oil tonic for good. Because in my eyes, that’s the ultimate case of pica, and we are living in the midst of an epidemic.
PS—I stand to benefit in no way, personally or professionally, if you choose to imitate any of my health practices.
PPS—Had a physical very recently. (Because nagging.) Flying colors.