We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat”.
For some of us, that means we’re a healthy rainbow of fruit and vegetables, minimally processed and bursting with nutrients. For others, we’re made up of brown foods- stodgy pastas, pizzas, fries, and takeaways, processed to the point they are almost not considered food anymore.
The foods you eat have a huge impact on your life- beyond your waistline and your health, they impact your mood, your energy, as well as your wallet. Not only do you pay for the food itself, but if your diet is unbalanced and you become unwell, you will end up paying more money to fix that than you would if you had a balanced diet to start with.
As Hippocrates has been famously quoted for saying, “let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”. Regardless of if he said this or someone else did, the idea remains the same- a good diet is helpful in preventing disease, and can even be used to treat ailments.
Where does a ‘good diet’ start though? Eating? Cooking? Preparing? Shopping? Even further back- growing. The healthier the soil is when a plant is growing (remember, the food you eat started as plants, and most animals eat plants!), the food is exposed to while it is growing, the more productive the pasture will be. The more productive the pasture, the higher the yield, but more importantly, healthier soil means that the end product for you has more nutrients in it. It just makes sense.
Current farming methods have pushed plants to grow bigger, faster, and produce more yield and with less lost to pests. This has come at a cost to the consumer, where there are now less nutrients in the fruits and vegetables that we buy from the supermarket now than there were 50 years ago.
- Witkamp, R. and van Norren, K., (2018) ‘Let thy food be thy medicine….when possible’, European Journal of Pharmacology, 836, pp.102-114.
- Meat & Livestock Australia (2019), ‘3- Build and maintain soil nutrients to improve soil fertility and health in all pasture zones’ [Online]. Available at: https://mbfp.mla.com.au/pasture-growth/3–build-and-maintain-soil-nutrients-to-improve-soil-fertility-and-health-in-all-pasture-zones/#
- Scientific American (2011), ‘Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?’ [Online]. Available at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-aND-NUTRITION-LOSS/
All sources were accessed on the 3rd of October, 2020