Scientific Soil Feeding
Author: Sande Beddoe
Publish date:
Summary: Mineral deficiencies in soil, using a refractometer, and making the most of your garden are all discussed.

Today, we are becoming more and more concerned with toxic pesticides and chemical residues on our plants, but we're missing a very critical point; none of us knows for sure the nutrient value of the foods we are eating.

CC Jiri Brozovsky on Flickr

How many of us know what is the best type of food to eat? We may choose organically grown food, but do we know how many minerals it has in it? How do we know it's fertilized naturally?

The most toxic food in the world today has been grown according to unsatisfactory agricultural principles, and these principles affect both organically and commercially grown produce. The most toxic food in the world today is food that is calcium deficient.

Calcium Deficiency

Our foods today are largely calcium deficient. In 1990, there were over 7,000 articles on the importance of biological calcium in human health. Calcium is used more than any other mineral in biological life and nobody's telling us that we should go to our food for our source of calcium. I wrote the book, Nourishment Home Grown, to address the issues of nutrients that are lacking in all foods grown today. When those nutrients, especially calcium, are lacking, you're in trouble. Calcium is critical in every phase of cell function in your body. When calcium and minerals are missing, and you're not getting it from your food, this is where degenerative disease starts.

Row of sowed peas in greenhouse

When calcium is deficient, calcium acts as a relative excess, not an actual excess, but a relative excess which is just as damaging. Calcium is the key mineral which buffers or controls the chemical reactions in the cell. If calcium goes too high when you get a relative excess, the body's chemistry starts shifting.

As it shifts, the calcium that should be going into a tissue is shunted elsewhere, and when it's shunted elsewhere it becomes excessive in some areas and depleted in other areas. And this causes the other minerals, which are inversely proportional to it, to drop.

Calcium is pulled from other areas of the body to supply this need, and calcium drops and the other minerals go up. When that happens, something changes within the density and the structure of each tissue of your body. And you see concretions in the body in the form of kidney stones, bladder stones, gallstones, and arthritic concretions in joints. You see different types of mineral deposits, lateral sclerosis, and atherosclerosis. These are all related to mineral deficiency even though it looks like you are getting an excess of some mineral. When you get excess in some areas and deficiency in others, the tissue density changes, the colour and then the function changes. So, with calcium deficiency, a cell can actually start growing and then it will hit a certain stage and never mature properly. It stays in this stage and proliferates and that is called cancer.

I can't overemphasize how necessary calcium is and that food which is calcium deficient is toxic food. Learn to measure the quality of your food, and learn how to understand what you are getting, and this is related to the sugar content of that food.

Testing with a Refractometer

The Brix reading tells us the percentage of sugar within a juice or a fluid. You take the plant, whether it's the leaves, greens, or grains, and squeeze it out onto this instrument called a refractometer which is an interesting device to determine the quality of your food. They are customarily used in some agricultural industries but not widely used.

If every one of you had one available when you were purchasing food for your family, you could tell in a minute, with the reference charts we have, whether you are getting something that's poor or good or excellent in quality.

Two nights ago we held a session with a group called the Live Food Group. One of the members had purchased my book a few months back, and came to the meeting with test results of organic and commercial produce throughout Toronto. He'd gone around with his refractometer to the produce markets and sampled a broad section of commercially and organically grown produce and found that there was no difference in the mineral quality of the produce whether it was commercially or organically grown.

Remineralizing the Soil

If you're composting, how do you know whether you're making compost that contains the right nutrients? Have you stopped and thought about the health of the substance that you composted? What was the health of the tree that those leaves came from?


The organic concepts and their premise of non-toxicity is great, but we haven't addressed the major issue, and that is mineral content. Just throwing the minerals on the ground doesn't assure that they're going to be used. So we use biologic agriculture, taking the concepts of non-toxicity and the principles of soil physics.

In 1978, I began teaching individuals and groups the importance of mineralizing the soil. I cannot emphasize too much that if you are not growing your own food in your home garden, you are subjecting your health to the ignorance of agriculture, regardless of where that food may come from. We follow the principles of Dr. Charles Northern and Dr. Carey Reams. In the late 1920s, Dr. Northern began to address the importance of remineralizing the soil to improve human health. Dr. Northern was a medical doctor who specialized in digestive disorders and he found that the only way that those digestive disorders could be handled was by going right back to the soil and addressing the quality of the food we are consuming.

Dr. Carey Reams operated a soil research lab in Florida, and began to see the beneficial effects of soft rock phosphate on crops during the 1930s. Dr. Northern contracted Reams to find out what was in the waste phosphate, and Reams became the main authority on the value and use of soft rock phosphate. Northern patented two compost formulas using soft rock phosphate. The phosphate and other nutrients in soft rock phosphate are in colloidal form.

What's unique about this compound colloid is that because of its electrostatic properties, it allows mineral nutrients to go into a plant without interference or resistance. About every trace mineral that man knows is carried in this colloid structure. It is so unique that it cannot be manufactured by man, and it cannot be tampered with in the sense of modifying the molecular structure.


Your food should be the chief source of your minerals, and the best supplement in the world is a highly-mineralized calcium-based food. I believe in supplements only because the food quality is so poor. Calcium and mineral supplements are indispensable. We use mineral supplements as the heavy artillery in body chemistry for people whose mineral reserves are very depleted and they're having disease problems. We have to bring those mineral reserves back up, and we can't do it with the foods the way they are today, even organic foods unfortunately.


There are many products available on the market to supply minerals to you: liquid, powders and every other kind. But I see the same mistakes made in human supplements that have been made in agriculture, and this has not really been addressed by the organic movement. We must do more to get the calcium to go with it. Women require 7 times more minerals than a man does. And 80% of that should be calcium.

How many of you believe you're getting that in your diet? You're not, not if you're depending on the food on the market.

Calcium is so critical that if you take it in a mixture with a lot of other minerals you aren't going to get the benefit to improve your body chemistry. You may stabilize your chemistry but not necessarily improve it from a mineral-balance standpoint.

That's why we use various concentrated types of calcium, and by the way, calcium of one type is not the same as calcium of another type. A sulphur-group type calcium reacts acid-wise in your body and creates a lowering of the pH. Calcium associated with a hydroxide molecule produces an alkaline reaction. Calcium gluconate is an excellent calcium which we use a lot because it reacts neutrally. In other words it won't push your chemistry alkaline or acid. It's what we call a sweet calcium versus a sour-like calcium lactate. Of course we rely upon specific testing procedures for the individual to help them know what ratios of calcium are important for their body.

Dolomite is a natural form of calcium out of the ground but unfortunately we do not recommend it because a lot of dolomites have lead bases from where they're mined. In addition, dolomite is joined with magnesium, and magnesium can be a problem. We do not give calcium-magnesium supplements or multiple vitamins and minerals. We give individual calcium. We do the same with the soil. Dolomite is not a form of calcium that should be used on your garden, and yet it's being used quite a bit in some areas.

Calcium is a very mobile mineral within the body and magnesium is a stable mineral within the body. You get plenty of magnesium from your green vegetables. It comes from chlorophyll. That should be your basic source of it.

Phosphorus is an important mineral but not by itself. It must be in the complexed forms we call phosphates, and especially in the colloidal phosphate form which comes from colloidal phosphate clay. This substance is critical because it helps move minerals into your system. Soft rock phosphate is our main source for the soil and we also have a supplement made from this for human use. This is called Min-cal and I use it for my patients. In the back of the garden book, I tell you how to make your own. You can sprinkle it by the half teaspoon on your cereal, put it in your breads etc.

Blackstrap molasses is one of the best sources of calcium and copper. Use it in your food and your recipes. We recommend using it in the ratio of 1 part molasses to 3 or 4 parts of another lighter sweetener like maple syrup or honey.

Adapted from Scientific Soil Feeding by Dr. Sande Beddoe. Read the original article.

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