At Moms Across America, we focus on the impact of industrial chemical farming on the health and safety of our food supply. One area of impact is the nutrient density of the food crops. Toxic agrochemicals can reduce the soil quality, microbiota, and nutrient density of our food. We have been learning a lot about regenerative organic agriculture and how it does not utilize frequent deep tilling, and can often be no-till (with cover crops), which means the soil is undisturbed and soil quality improves over time. Theoretically, the nutrient density of the soil of regeneratively and organically grown crops would increase and improve.
We decided to do some preliminary testing on nutrients to see if supporters would be interested in finding out more. We wondered, is regenerative and organically grown food more nutritious than organic and conventional? We decided to go with common food, black beans.
We purchased samples of the most common black beans in local grocery stores. Although we cannot be sure, farmers tell us that the majority of the black beans, even organic, in American grocery stores are from China. We also ordered black beans from an American regenerative organic farmer.
The test results showed that the regenerative organic black beans were mostly more nutritious than the organic and conventional. The levels of minerals Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Magnesium were anywhere from 8 - 50% higher. Sulfur and Potassium were slightly lower in regenerative organic than conventional and this is likely due to the high levels of chemical fertilizers conventional farmers use. Organic beans were also mostly higher in nutrients than conventional.
What we are noticing about the nutrient density is that in general, the nutrients in our food are lower than they could be. This shows us how important it is to revert to regenerative organic practices which will, over time, improve soil quality and nutrient density.
We have also been concerned about heavy metal levels in black beans and ran the same samples through heavy metal testing.
The link to the lab reports is here.
The samples as listed in the lab report were:
A100 is organic - canned A200 is regenerative organic - dry A300 is Conventional - canned A400 is conventional - dry
We were happy to see that all the concerning ones were below detection levels.
From our farmer advisor Dr. Don Huber, "They all look quite good. All of the nasty ones like lead, chrome, etc. are below the detection levels. The nutrient ones are higher and beans are a recognized source for essential copper and molybdenum. I don’t know what the sufficiency range is for Mo, Ni, Cu, but anticipate it is much higher than these except possibly Cu which is important considering its importance in preventing CJD and some other serious diseases/conditions. Looks like there may be some small loss of Cu in canning but that may just be by dilution. Mn (considered a heavy metal, but critical essential mineral not measured here) is probably also below detection levels and yet is an essential nutrient that is associated with infertility, stillbirths, and birth defects besides liver function, immunity, etc. and its possible absence in these beans would be a concern for nutritional sufficiency (where about will it show up in the diet to compensate for the possible severe potential deficiency here based on similar mineral levels?)
As usual, testing 1 sample of each only brings up more questions. We feel that nutrient testing is crucial for raising awareness about the different types of farming methods and their impact or benefits. Do you?
We invite our supporters to invest in nutrient testing, support Moms Across America to do more testing, with a statistically significant number of samples, such as 40 of each, to get a better, more accurate understanding of nutrient density.
Without sufficient minerals, our bodies will not absorb vitamins.
Without vitamins and minerals, we cannot fight cancer or chronic illness and have the capacity for decision making.
The nutrient density of our food is the primary contributing factor to our physical health and mental health.
Will you support further nutrient testing with a donation today?
We will send a special message to those donors.
Thank you for considering being in partnership to create healthy communities!
Zen and the MAA Team