Do You Need Mineral Supplements?
Humans shouldn't have to supplement. We shouldn't have to take a boatload of vitamin, fatty acid and mineral supplements. Except for maybe fish oil and Vitamin C.
Otherwise, humans should be getting our essential nutrients from plants: either the ones we eat or the ones the animals we eat ate. If the nutrients aren't in the soil, they aren't in the plants. If they aren't in the plants, they aren't in us.
And the soil, she ain't what she used to be.
For instance, I drink raw milk from grass-fed cows. The question is: what is the quality of the grass my cows are eating? Is it nutrient-rich soil? Or just so-so? Or... dead?
My dairy farmer just moved to his patch of land. It wasn't mono-cropped before he got there, it had just been sitting idle. So, chances are that soil is not dead, just not as good as it will be with restorative farming.
What led me to soil?
As usually happens in my life, several roads converged all at once, leading me down a brand new garden path. It's never the path I thought I was supposed to be on... sigh. Here's how it happened:
First, we raised our own flock of broilers which produced not only delicious chicken soup and salad, but a strip of emerald green grass that stands out in stark contrast to the surrounding field. See the picture above. That's the result after ONE flock 'o 50 birds passing over that patch!
This was an accidental lesson (accidental lessons being another constant in my life) in rotational grazing. Rotational grazing, in case you didn't know it, will save the planet.
Then I read Holy Shit and Dirt and the Perfect Health Diet. Then I visited Joel Salatin's farm and our local Wholesome Living Farm.
Then I listened to this podcast at Underground Wellness with Judith Schwartz, author of Cows Save the Planet. She says this: "You’re as healthy as the soil from which your food grows!" I'm hearing this a lot lately.
And then, I watched this amazing TEDTalk:
Ok, ok, Universe!!! I got the message:
Rehabbing the soil is critical to our survival (on this planet, anyway); and
it's going to take mountains of poop and a few years. If we get started RIGHT NOW, poop will save the planet in my lifetime.
Until Then, What To Do?
Buy food from local truly-sustainable farms, farms that are working to improve the soil between harvests: either rotational grazing or allowing livestock access to the fields between plantings. Rotating crops/fields is good, but not enough to return the soil to vibrant life-giving health! The earth needs poop.
Read the books above. They are small books, very well written, easy to read and will change the way you see the world. If we are serious about nutrient dense food continuing, we need to change a few of our habits.
Get a composting toilet. At least one for your house. Then use it! We are flushing away three valuable resources: poop, pee and WATER! Water is disappearing from the aquifers because we are using so much to irrigate GMO crops for ethanol. Not only is that udder madness, it is equally ludicrous to flush so much water into a septic tank (where at least some of it goes back to the earth) or into a sewage treatment plant. Sewage treatment plants are the most anti-green "solution" of the century! They are such a bad idea, I'm thinking Monsanto came up with it.
Until the soil is vital again, supplement. For the past few years, we've been taking a daily boatload of vitamins. So far, so good.
Mineral supplements are the missing link in our "live to be 100" protocol. Still researching this, but here's what we are doing for now:
Using ConcenTrace Mineral supplement in our water. You can buy this at any health food store or online.
Eating 1 T of diatomaceous earth every day. We get ours from Wolf Creek Ranch.
Luckily, we drink water from our cistern so no fluoride or chlorine. We distill much of it for cooking and kombucha, then add back in the minerals. What we don't distill, we filter in the Berkey for drinking water and ice. That water still has whatever minerals are available in rainwater. Planning on having that checked as well. Yes, I'm busy!
Until we can figure out the mineral thing, this will have to do. It's not a bad plan, just needs some tweaking. I'm working on the mineral breakdown: what we need, what we get, minimums, maximums. You'll see a report here soon as I get it figured out.
Now, about that composting toilet: which one rocks your world? There are some pretty complicated ones, down to very basic: a bucket and bag 'o sawdust. This is what we use at a friend's house in Costa Rica. Very pleasant, not at all gross.
Oh, and you're gonna want this little handbook, too.
Yeah, I was appalled at the idea at first, too. You get over it. :) Remember: we're saving the planet here.