Did you know that Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, was first patented as an industrial descaler for boiler pipes? The chemical acts as a chelator, which means that it binds to essential minerals like iron, calcium and zinc and strips them away.
For a moment, let’s set aside the first (very legitimate) concern that pops to mind: Why are we putting a chemical that was designed to descale industrial boiler pipes onto food we are planning to eat?
Human health consequences aside, the chelating properties of glyphosate create serious problems for something that you might not think much about: Dirt.
Why be concerned about dirt? Soil is the unsung hero of the food chain, the very foundation on which good nutrition is built. Plants absorb nutrients from the soil, and the makeup of the dirt they grow in has a huge impact on the plant’s health and nutritional value. Dirt that’s been stripped of nutrients produces plants that are stripped of nutrients, as this study on the calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium content of seeds exposed to glyphosate clearly shows.
Seeds that have been genetically modified to resist Roundup (seeds patented by…you guessed it…Monsanto) are grown with a large amount of glyphosate, which leaches into the soil and binds with minerals. This results in soil with low mineral content, which then produces plants that are deficient in the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
The old saying, “you are what you eat,” applies to plants, too. Poor soil quality leads to poor plant health, which works its way up the food chain and onto your dinner plate. As a result, much of the food we are eating today (as well as food being consumed by the livestock that produces our eggs, milk, and meat) is poor in minerals that are essential to our health.
How important are these minerals to human health? Rates of hospitalization due to osteoporosis-related injury have increased by 55 percent between 1995 and 2006, and bone fractures are a leading cause of hospitalizations for the elderly. Iron deficiency causes developmental problems in children, and manganese affects the breakdown of fat, regulates blood sugar, and assists in calcium absorption.
In short, with the widespread use of glyphosate on GMO “Roundup Ready” crops, we’ve created a dirt-poor foundation for our food supply that may have unforeseen consequences for generations to come.
And mineral chelation isn’t the only way that Roundup destroys our soil…watch for another email about soil quality and your health in the next few days.
The more we understand the effects that GMOs have on our environment, the better equipped we are to raise awareness and fight for change!