Generations of reliance on and insistence on the use of chemicals has rendered farm ground across the U.S. dry and literally lifeless, unable to hold either nutrients or water. The problem negatively impacts not only farmers but our food supply and, ultimately, your health in many ways many have never considered or realized. Drifting topsoil laden with chemical residue is even causing respiratory illnesses in rural areas.

Pesticides leaching into drinking water have exposed thousands to levels the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deems troubling. In fact, the water that 210 million Americans drink is contaminated with nitrate, a routinely used fertilizer chemical linked to cancer and serious developmental problems in children.

As if those problems weren’t bad enough, instead of retaining it, soil depletion is releasing carbon, which morphs into the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, which is considered by the United Nations (U.N.) to be a grave threat to human health, especially in the next few decades. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies maintains it’s responsible for:

“A massive loss of soil carbon into the atmosphere. The importance of soil carbon — how it is leached from the earth and how that process can be reversed — is the subject of intensifying scientific investigation, with important implications for the effort to slow the rapid rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Another incident related by Politico is of a group of scientists in a lab at Arizona State University in 1998. Amid luminous glass containers of bright green algae, a biologist told Ph.D. candidate Irakli Loladze they’d discovered something odd about zooplankton, the microscopic critters floating in the world’s oceans and lakes that eat tiny algae.

The scientists found the algae grew faster when more light was shined on them; it increased their food supply. The zooplankton should have flourished, but as the scientists focused more light on the algae, even though it grew faster and supplied more food, the tiny organisms were beginning to decline. It turns out that the algae, while plentiful, were greatly diminished in nutrition, essentially becoming a junk food.

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