The Dangers of Soil Depletion: Eating nutrient-dense foods is key to good health. Yet, while many are making a conscious effort to eat healthy foods daily, there is one problem: our soils are depleted of minerals, which makes our foods less nutritious than we realize. This article will discuss the dangers of depleted soils, ways to improve soil fertility, and how to get the nutrients our body needs via supplements.
This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD
The Importance of Soil
Soil is the foundation for our food system and plays a pivotal role in our overall health. Food quality (and quantity) is directly related to soil quality. As the world population approaches a population of 8 billion people, here are a few statistics about soil and its importance:
- Soil provides humans with 98.8% of our food 
- The United States is losing soil ten times faster than the natural replenishment rate 
- China and India are losing soil 30 to 40 times faster than the natural replenishment rate 
- During the past 40 years, nearly 1/3 of the world’s cropland (1.5 billion hectares) has been abandoned because of soil degradation and erosion 
- 38% of the world’s cropland has reduced water and nutrient availability 
Increased crop production and soil depletion highlight the importance of soil quality and its impact on food supply.
Top Causes of Soil Depletion
There are several reasons for soil depletion. Here are the most common:
- Erosion. Wind and water remove topsoil, which exposes the layer of soil beneath, causing more nutrients to be lost.<
- Soil pollution. The use of heavy metals and agrochemicals reduces soil fertility by affecting the soil’s biological properties.
- Soil alkalization, salinization, and acidification. These can reduce soil fertility, increasing the risk of nutrient imbalances, toxicities, and deficiencies.
- Crop removal. Some crops protect against soil erosion and evaporation. However, this increases the risk of losing water and soil nutrients.
- Excessive irrigation and flooding. Soil can become inefficient when excess water drains nutrients from the earth.
- Excessive cropping. Land that is continuously cultivated without allowing it to fallow can have its minerals depleted. Fallow ground is soil that has been left unplanted for some time. Ideally, the land is taken out of crop rotation for one to five years, depending on the crop./li>
- Reduced soil bioactivity and organic matter content. Reduced organic matter in the soil can lead to soil infertility. Surface soil contains the most organic matter, and plant roots are its primary source.
The Effects of Nutrient Depleted Soil
Researchers conducting studies on soil that has been depleted discovered the presence of Burkholderia pseudomallei, a bacterium that lives in the soil. Burkholderia pseudomallei causes melioidosis, an infectious disease that can infect animals or humans. (Melioidosis kills 89,000 people annually).
The bacterium thrives in nutrient-depleted rice fields and can be transmitted by inoculation, ingestion, or inhalation. Burkholderia pseudomallei has been found in soil with lower levels of iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. 
Nutrient Depleted Soil Impact on Food
Various studies on nutrient amounts in soil note the following reductions:
- Nitrogen: down 42%, Sulfur: down 33%, Phosphorous: down 27% 
- Magnesium content of vegetables and wheat: decreased 25% 
- Increased levels of the toxic mineral’s aluminum, cadmium and lead, with decreases in the trace minerals in zinc, copper, manganese, copper and nickel. 
- Protein content of corn: declined 50% 
Increasing Soil Fertility
Increasing soil fertility is critical for increasing nutrient intake from foods. The following are used to help decrease nutrient depletion and increase soil fertility.
- Mulch. Mulch covers the soil, which helps retain water. It also helps to prevent weeds from spreading and soil erosion.
- Animal manure. Animal manure helps fertilize soil due to its nitrogen content. Nitrogen is key to increasing soil fertility. A study on nitrogen fertilizer and soil availability found it to increase plant uptake and the soil availability of essential nutrients.  Note: avoid using manure from farm-factory animals because their droppings might contain unhealthy pathogens. Choose free-range livestock instead.
- Compost. An organic material, compost helps to grow plants and fertilize them. Compost and fertilizer are often used together for best results.
- Organic matter. You can purchase organic matter from most garden shops. It provides nutrients and food to the microorganisms that live in the soil, helping it become fertile. In addition, organic matter improves soil’s water holding capacity by holding soil particles into aggregates.
- Mixed cropping. Planting several different crops in the same field can help decrease soil erosion. Adding deep-rooted vegetables to your mixed crop allows their fertilizing properties to spread across the soil.
The body needs nutrients daily to function at optimum levels, and most of these nutrients come from both plant and animal sources. A person can eat healthy foods, but their body may not get the nutrients it needs because of depleted soils. As a result, the need for supplements increases.
To help the body get the minerals it needs,TCF - Cytominerals (Formerly Complete Mineral Complex) was created. CytoMinerals is made with non-GMO ingredients and includes the following nutrients:
CytoMinerals is iron free and specifically created to help the body replenish these key nutrients. In addition, this product provides chelated minerals for increased absorption. Order your CytoMinerals HERE to help reduce the effects of depleted soils.
Soil is the source for more than 98% of the food we consume. Unfortunately, the minerals in the soil are depleted for a variety of reasons, including excess irrigation, excess cropping, and soil pollution. In addition to improving soil fertility and growing nutrient-rich crops, supplements such as CytoMinerals can help the body get the minerals it desperately needs to maintain good health.
Medical Disclaimer: This article is based upon the opinions of Revelation Health. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Revelation Health and associates. This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD for accuracy of the information provided, but Revelation Health encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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