Dr. Albrecht was Professor of Soils and Chairman
of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri College of
Agriculture. He wrote and spoke widely on the subject of depleted soil
fertility and the consequences for animal and human health during the
1940's and 1950's. See some of his papers at The
Soil & Health Library
- If you breed crops and animals for increased yield (profit) tests
will show you get less nutrition.
- If you push nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) to get increased yield
(profit), you get less nutrition.
- Size does not reflect nutritional value – excellent taste is a
better indicator (high brix produce tastes better and is more
- Animals instinctively choose more nutritious forage, probably
because it tastes better.
- High, but unbalanced, nutrient content in food from unbalanced, low
fertility soils is not as well utilized by the body. The nutrients
(minerals) may be excreted/lost in higher amounts when you eat these
- High vitamin C levels may be an indication of a plant under stress
because of poor soil quality. (Dr. Albrecht found that healthier
spinach plants had lower levels of vitamin C.)
- Hybrids are bred to give high yields on depleted soils fertilized by
commercial NPK fertilizers. Soils become depleted because of lack of
attention to the full range of factors affecting soil fertility.
(Commercial agriculture tends to mine the soil of vital minerals with
little thought to replacing anything other than NPK.) The result is
food of lower nutritional value.
- Heirloom plants and animals are bred for flavor and sturdiness, and
as a result tend to be more nutritious. The best way to get increased
nutrition is to save your own seeds from the tastiest (high brix) and
healthiest plants in your carefully tended garden. Barring that,
select heirlooms from areas of the country similar to your own.
- Realize that high quality food must command a higher price, but you
will meet your nutritional needs and be satisfied with less food, so
it may not cost any more. (Lower quality food tends to be fattening as
your body consumes more food looking for the nutrients it needs.) And
think of the potential savings in health (illness) care costs, as high
quality food brings vibrant health.
- Additional principles - A coarser grind of rock dust is better
because it gives residual fertility, lasting through the growing
season and longer
From Agriculture and Nutrition by Gary Wilson, Wise Traditions, Winter,