In the west especially there is so much food available, we can go to a variety of supermarkets and buy foodstuffs from all over the world. Others are not so fortunate; but how great is this apparent freedom of choice?
Until the nineteen-forties, farmers would return essential nutrients to the soil by mulching, manuring and crop rotation. At the end of World War Two, chemical companies making nitrates and phosphates for weapons were left with few buyers for their stockpiles of chemicals.
Experiments showed that many plants would grow on a mixture of just three minerals: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, (NPK). War chemical manufacturers began selling NPK fertilizer to farmers at attractive prices that made traditional soil enrichment methods uneconomical. By the nineteen-sixties, almost all farms had become dependent on NPK products.
NPK grows fine looking crops but your body needs more than just nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. As the minerals we need are taken from the earth and never replaced, the soil becomes deficient and so do we. The body cannot produce minerals - it has to get them from food.
So, all this variety of food is available, but what about its quality? Medical statistics state that many of us are suffering from dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until depleted soils are brought into proper mineral balance. The alarming fact is that foods (fruits, vegetables and grains) are now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain minerals. We are being deprived of these essential minerals. No matter how much of this low-grade food we eat, it will never be enough to give us the nutrition that we require.
Poor standard of soil is just the first link in a chain of degradation which our food undergoes on its way to our tables. A large amount of nutrients are lost from food due to oxidation after picking. For example, an orange contains vitamin C but once it is picked that vitamin C goes to work as an anti-oxidant to stop the fruit decaying. By the time the fruit has been stored, transported, distributed to supermarkets and finally reaches your table, there is very little or no vitamin C left. And that is just a natural process. Exposure of food to heat, light, oxygen and processes of preservation seriously damage the actual goodness contained within.
The post-war farmers took an option because of short term economic gain, but now the reality is that of vast expenditure for low-quality produce based on a system of artificial fertilizers. Many road miles are unnecessarily travelled to bring malnourishing foodstuffs to a minority!
It's not difficult to see that this is a totally ridiculous system. It may sound like an uncompromising or extremist attitude to say that, but the veracity of the situation really is such. Recent developments of Organic foods have helped improve things somewhat, but not enough; especially when most people cannot afford the extra cost.
So, what can we do? If the supermarkets are not supplying good produce, from where can we get the nutritious foodstuffs we require for our health? During the war, people were instructed to 'dig for victory' - to grow their own food. It is not difficult to grow some nutritious vegetables. Survival was tough and many lost their lives, but in the most part not from malnourishment.
Vedic Science teaches us that prosperity comes by way of nature's gifts and not by gigantic industrial enterprises. If life were simpler as it previously was, we would find that we would actually have more time, do less work, be in better health and consequentially be much happier.