In Agriculture “Quality” seems the Opposite of “Quantity”

Despite all the apparent advances in broad acre industrial agriculture, the nutritional qualities of our basic foodstuffs have been declining during this century. That’s largely because most agronomists focus on bulk yield and profitability of the crop, whilst knowing next to nothing about animal/human nutrition. However, there’s a little-appreciated “law” about this area: nutritional value usually drops in direct relationship to the increase in bulk production. Or, in agriculture at any rate, “quality” seems the opposite of “quantity.”

Dr. Isabelle Moser, who spent 25 years conducting a clinical practice using holistic approaches, suggested that what she termed the “constitution” of her older patients was typically much stronger than the constitution of her younger ones. Why? Is it true that each generation gets a poorer start than the one before it as each generation built the foundation of their health from foods produced on ever-more degraded soils grown ever-more “scientifically,” and more and more consisting of processed, denatured fodder?

We certainly are seeing the rise of infertility and other diseases which were predicted by Francis Pottenger’s nutrition studies with cats. In his studies Pottenger basically illustrated that as the nutrition is more denatured so is the good health of the offspring. Over 10 years he compared healthy cats on raw foods to those on heated diets. This research project scientifically proved the degenerative effects a diet of cooked or bio-actively “dead” foods has on cats (and by inference, other organisms. This is not necessarily the result with human beings but there is a correlation none the less.) Behavioral characteristics, arthritis, sterility, skeletal deformities and allergies are some of the problems that were associated with the consumption of cooked foods.

This denaturing of food is what has happened to our food since 1870 as the industrial food system became ever more “efficient” and lowered the price of basic agricultural commodities. Consequently most country folk rejected their self-sufficient-farm birthright for a better-paying job in town, abandoned their technologically primitive free-and-clear homestead in favour of a city apartment with electric power and running water and soon became wage-enslaved. In simple terms the ones who remained on the farm borrowed to invest in capital-intensive production methods and so became debt slaves.

But the apparent cheapness of economically-rational agriculture does not reflect a true accounting of costs. Despite the statistical increase in average lifespan, our average health and feelings of wellness have been declining.

Consider the rise in fast food chains, take-aways and the supermarkets with the vast range of precooked meals and processed foods, many of them imported. Consider as an example the large proportion of overweight and depressed people with diabetes and heart problems spending ever-larger portions of their productivity on the treatment and cure of disease. Is this really how we wish to live? This whole activity of “health” care is not a productive use of human attention, but in reality constitutes enormous waste, pain, and suffering, suffering whose main source, poor nutrition, is almost entirely unappreciated.


Ref: Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition Francis Marion Pottenger Jr.