Most of the foods we partake are deficient in essential micro nutrients like Iodine, Selenium, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Molybdenum, Vanadium etc.
Organically grown foods are not of much help either- because of commerce driven farming practices ( Focus on Quantity rather than on Quality)
Is supplementation the only way out? Do we need to take multiple supplements to address these deficiencies?
How can we use a technique called as Bio-fortification for improving the nutritional profile of foods ( Without resorting to Gene Pool Modification or Genetic engineering that is a part of Classical Bio-fortification )?
Modified Bio-fortification: In layman terms , it resorts to using organic and inorganic supplements in the lowest possible dosages so to supply the missing ingredients and to grow healthy foods that will act as Natural Supplements.
So far we have been using Natural Farming practices on our farm. This year we decided to add the missing elements to the soil, make changes so as to improve the quality of the soil microbiome and use certain fertigation techniques in a manner where we could optimize nutrient delivery and absorption.
The end result- Yummy, Bio-fortified mangoes.
These Mangoes are for everyone. Since we do not sell any of our farm produce, feel free to request for your share of fruits. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
( As of now you would have to arrange for a pickup from Bangalore or Puttaparthy )
Our lifestyle today, places a lot of demand on our body. To meet the demands, our body has to rely on the foods that we consume (for the building blocks / raw materials).
However, the foods that we partake have been grown with an intent to optimize space by increasing productivity. When more grows in less space, then you can expect that there will be a fight for the necessary resources. The foods grown in such an environment would be deficient in many nutrients. The reason being that the soil is not able to replenish those minerals that have been taken up by the plant.
Part of the problem is the fact that in our pursuit to grow more food, we have destroyed the soil microbiome. These micro-organisms present in the soil, help the plant absorb nutrients. The plants in turn provide protection and phytochemicals for their survival. It’s a give and take, live and let live arrangement.
In our short-sighted pursuit to grow more in less space we have used pesticides, insecticides, GMO crops, hybrid variants etc- that give more yield at the cost of nutritional quality. Moreover, to achieve high yields the fertilizer overdoses being used are leading to soil toxicity ( both inorganic and organic fertilizers). Over a period of time this has impacted the nutritional profile of the soil. The biggest damage however, is the negative impact that these practices have had on the Soil Microbiome.
Would a purely organic farming approach help address this issue?
To understand this you need to consider the following: How can organic matter that has been grown on deficient soils provide the required minerals that it does not even have? Before I go on to explain as to why Organic matter from deficient soils will not help fix the issue, here is an example that you might be able to relate with.
Expecting mothers are given supplements like Folate, Iron etc. Why? Well, if there is a deficiency of Iron or folate in daily diet, the mother needs to get them from external sources. So also if the very organic matter from which you make Compost / food for the plant, is deficient in certain minerals, then you need to provide these missing ingredients to fill in the gap ( deficiencies).
Now, if there is a deficiency of Selenium in the soils, all the plants that grow on such soils would also be deficient in Selenium. Organic fertilizers made from these plants would not have sufficient quantities of Selenium. In fact over a period of time more and more selenium would be lost from the soil ( as not all the plant material is returned to the soil ). To replenish the lost selenium, the best way would be to introduce it in a manner that is gradual and in doses that does not cause soil toxicity. To this end, if you ensure that most of the selenium is incorporated within Organic matter, then you will have wholesome and full spectrum compost/ organic fertilizers. These fertilizers in turn will help support a healthy microbiome. As you set right this delicate balance between the Microbiome and Plants you will, over a period of time, be able to grow healthy plants. Until and unless we change our focus from high yield to high quality, it will be necessary to provide additional nutrients in an optimal manner so that we get the best of both worlds- High Productivity as well as High Quality.
What is this Soil Microbiome?
The soil microbiome works as an intermediary and helps the plant get access to minerals locked within the soil. They are small living micro-organisms that live in the soil and help provide the necessary nutrients to the plants by converting them into forms that can be easily absorbed by the plants. The soil microbiome is essential for every plant (just like a balanced gut microbiome is necessary to keep us healthy).
Soil Microbiome is applied Natural Bio Nanotechnology that has been there long before man even invented the word Nanotechnology ! To put it succintly: The Soil Microbiome consists of trillions of invisible Fertilizer companies that create fertilizer on demand!
The microbiome however needs support too. It needs certain nutrients from the soil and if these are missing, the microbiome will not be able to work in an optimal fashion. This is where our modified Bio Fortification program helps bridge this gap. We culture these microbes and also provide the missing nutrients in a manner that can help these organisms absorb the nutrients optimally. Since more is not necessarily better, we also provide extra nutrients to the plant using various techniques that enable us to deliver the minimal dose for maximum absorption.
With increasing demands for food, we do not have much choice but to grow more food in less space.
However we have seen that when More is grown in Less space it does impact the quality of the produce. Moreover, we are also forced to introduce certain toxic chemicals like synthetic hormones, pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers that impact the ecosystem.
An unstable ecosystem will not support life and once you have crossed the tipping point the land is going to be useless and will become a barren wasteland.
In this post we discuss as to how we can gently supplement the soil with necessary minerals, balance the soil and plant microbiome by adding healthy soil microbiota to our soils and to supplement the plant with the necessary nutrients in a way an expectant mother is given the necessary supplements in an optimal dose ( Only as long as it is required)
On our Prehealing farm we have adopted all of the above practices and seen wonderful results.
We will post more results after conducting tests on the nutritional profile of various Bio-fortified fruits and vegetables
Note: For those who have received Prehealing Farm Mangoes.
Most of the Mangoes that you buy from the market are being harvested when they are only 65-70% mature. They have to be harvested early, since the time it takes for the mango to travel from the farm to your house can be as long as a month! So the Mangoes you get from the market, organic or otherwise have been harvested prematurely and some are even forced to ripen. Hence these mangoes would not be able to provide a complete and healthy spectrum of the required nutrients.
On the other hand we are more concerned about the health profile of our produce. We harvest the mangoes when they are almost ripe. We don’t sell our produce as it is priceless. That is exactly the reason as to why we distribute these precious fruits for free. Please do not confuse priceless with useless. Do remember that a lot of people have worked hard to grow and nurture these mangoes for you.
If you are a fortunate recipient of the Mangoes, please do put them to good use. There are many varieties of Mangoes on our farm and not all might be to your liking. Do remember that these mangoes are meant to provide the missing nutrients in your diet and hence it would not be wise to discard them or waste them just because the taste is not to your liking.
If you do not like the taste here are a few things you can do.
Use the Mango pulp to make juice
Use the Mangoes to make chutneys.
Make a paste of the mangoes with some Pink Himalayan salt as a preservative and store in your freezer. You can use this paste as a replacement for Tamarind.
Try your hand at making Aamras.
Get in touch with us for suggestions as to how you can use them.
If possible: Do not waste the seeds either.
I know this might be too much to ask for. I do hope that you will be able to muster up the required patience. Here is how you can extract the seed from the shell and as to why the effort will be worth it.
If you break the outer covering of the Mango seed, you will find a soft white seed inside. You can chop this up into small pieces and dry it. Once it is dry, you can powder it and keep it in an airtight container.
This seed powder is very good for a variety of disorders- Here is a list of few issues that the seeds can help you with:
2. Cardiovascular issues.
3. Gastrointestinal disorders.
5. Hair fall, Dandruff, premature greying of hair....
6. Overall skin health. Helps prevent and heal Acne, Pimples and skin eruptions
7. High cholesterol.
8. Prevention of Neuro-degenerative diseases like Parkinsons, Alzheimer, Cognitive dysfunction etc
9. Improves eyesight.
10. Protection from Cancer. ( Can also help those who are suffering from Cancer)
These are just some of the many benefits of using Mango seeds.
Do feel free to reach out to me at Feedback@prehealing.com if you need further guidance.