Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest: Jon Frank
Guest Bio: Jon Frank has been passionate about soil and food quality for 20 years. Speaker at the 2013 MOSES Organic Farming Conference, he owns a soil testing laboratory and educates gardeners as well as many large-scale growers across the country on how to raise nutrient dense produce. His forthcoming book is GROW YOUR OWN NUTRITION: How to Opt Out of Toxic Agriculture. Visit www.mineralizedgardens.com.
Jon Frank discusses some specific health issues associated with toxins in the soil. Also discussed is what he terms a “cultural war” when it comes to GMO’s. He discusses growing your own produce and teaming with people of the same mindset to help each other grow healthy food.
Health Professional Radio
Neal Howard: Hello. You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host, Neal Howard. Our guest is Jon Frank. Jon’s been passionate about soil and food quality for the past 20 years. He was a speaker at the 2013 MOSES Organic Farming Conference. He is the owner of a soil testing laboratory, educating gardeners as well as many large scale growers across the country on how to raise nutrient-dense produce. He’s got a forthcoming book called, Grow Your Own Nutrition: How to Opt out Of Toxic Agriculture. How are you doing today, Jon?
Jon Frank: I’m doing well, Neal. Thanks for having me.
Neal: Great to have you here. We hear a lot about our health and how it is related absolutely to what goes in our bodies, specifically the fruits and the vegetables that we’ve been eating. Now, as a soil testing laboratory owner and educator on gardening and things of that nature, what about the major health issues that are caused by genetically modified foods?
Jon: The whole issue of genetic modified foods is a raging culture war right now, and we have many people that are looking around. They’re seeing a lot of people in their community coming down with this disease, that disease and they’re saying our food system is broken. What we have here, even if you eat the right selection of foods, if you eat stuff laden with toxins, it’s working against you. I think this is a culture war that is far from over.
We have, on one side, a very large, very well-moneyed corporate with government approval and on the other side you have individuals and smaller organisations saying, “We want a choice here; we don’t want to be forced into this.” And they’re opting out of that kind of food system. So it’s an exciting time to be watching and to be alive but it’s also a little dangerous because our own health is at stake if we don’t make the right choices, right now.
Neal: Now, how difficult is it to make the right choice, say, on a family level? Not necessarily the nations or the society but what we can do right at home to avoid some of these health issues?
Jon: I think it’s a pretty big issue because the whole toxic and industrialised model of agriculture is ubiquitous, and so much of what’s in the store is coming from that. So I think it takes a little bit of work, a fair bit of work on a family scale. I see several ways that that could be done. One is to grow some of what you can on your own, even if an inexperienced situation, start with something.
There is so much information on the internet. Then more importantly, is you’re going to have to find sources that are committed to the same vision of clean, non-toxic foods with full complement of minerals in them or raised as healthy as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect but we need to start finding those producers.
Neal: Now, with the substandard quality of our produce and with us having generations of eating this, is there any way that one could, say, reverse the damage just in their own lives?
Jon: Yes, I think as long as we have breath, we still have a hope to improve ourselves. So if we begin to take good clean food, the body will begin a process of healing and of detoxification. It will take some time but if we can continue, we will gain health and energy and strength that will basically clean us up on the inside.
Neal: Okay. Now, in your upcoming book, you talk about some major health issues that are caused by these GMOs. Let’s talk about five of them and maybe discuss some of the minerals that are lacking in our produce that could prevent some of these health issues.
Jon: Well, I think let’s start with the biggest one here – with cancer. We find cancer everywhere around us. I think the key to cancer is to avoid what we know is food laden with toxins. There’s a very big toxin out there called glyphosate and that is a chelater. So what is does is it grabs hold of trace minerals and it immobilizes them. So now, they are no longer available for work within the body’s physiology. You can be consuming them but it’s not available. Let me give you an example of how that is used.
Jon: I talked to a grower of what we would think as a pretty healthy food – chick peas. Just before they harvest, they spray glyphosate in order to make the weeds dead and they have an even harvest that way. They do the same thing with wheat. Is it any wonder we have all this problem with celiac and relate it to wheat?
So every time you take wheat or even chick peas, if they’re not organic, if they’re grown on a large scale, the likelihood is they’ve been sprayed and they were sprayed just before harvest. This product is systemic, which means it goes all over in the plant and it particularly goes to the roots’ tips and to the food – the meristematic stem tissue which is the part we eat. Okay? It’s systemic, so it’s in it.
Then we have a tied up trace mineral system in our body, and I think that’s what leads to the cancer having the free access because our immune system isn’t supported with those trace minerals. Sorry for the long answer.
Neal: Okay. But I think I’ve got it. What you’re saying is, there are trace minerals that are present. However, this toxin that is sprayed on them, binds that mineral and makes it unavailable for use in the body. Therefore our immune system can’t fight off some of these… for instance, cancer. A cancerous cell: it doesn’t have the wherewithal or the oomph because of these minerals that were present, just not being able to be absorbed by the body, yeah?
Jon: That is correct. If the body has enough energy, it will detoxify it. So a lot of that occurs in the liver. If it is detoxifying, it actually uses up a lot of those trace minerals in the process of detoxifying. So you sometimes get a double whammy. You get short to begin with and then it takes extra trace minerals just to detoxify those residues. If we continue to do that and don’t replenish, eventually our immune system goes down and now cancer can walk right in.
Neal: What are some other health issues?
Jon: Well, I see obesity and underneath of that is inflammation. So whenever you have obesity, you have inflammation. So I think that we are having chronic levels of inflammation in our body. So we’re kind of always in the state of not really feeling good and not really having the health that we need.
Neal: Okay. So when you’re talking inflammation, it could be anything from the sinuses to the joints to bodily organs. Is that what you’re saying?
Jon: That is correct. I know, for example, the fat that’s around the organs – the adipose fat tissue itself – just gives off signals as hormonal signals saying, “There’s a problem here. There’s a problem here.” And yet the body can’t fix it because the presence of the fat there does that. So this is a little indirect, but it still goes back to the food supply. We need a better food supply so we don’t carry that kind of fat in our system.
Neal: When you’re a gardener or you’re beginning to start your garden and you’re looking for soil, you go and you get a dump truck and you get a big load of soil. What should somebody look for in the soil that they buy from someone?
Jon: Well, my top recommendation, if this is available, is to go out into the woods or a hardwood forest and sift top soil from the woods. That’s going to be not having the toxic sprays. It’ll have good crumb structure or good soil structure. It may need some minerals but it’s going to be pretty clean. So that would be my top. Beyond that, it’s very hard to just look at or touch and see.
Many times what looks like the very best, what feels really good, is very overloaded with phosphorous and potassium. I’m talking more the organic-rich material that seems like, oh it just feels so nice on your hand. Be careful because then it’s probably low calcium and low calcium with high phosphorous and potassium is a recipe for low quality produce.
Neal: Now, you’ve got a forthcoming book called, Grow Your Own Nutrition: How to Opt out Of Toxic Agriculture. You’ve got a free report that people can view. Could you tell us a little bit about that?
Jon: Yes. This is a preview of the book and it’s called the same title and it’s available at Jonsfreereport.com. You can download it for free. It’s 30 some pages and it’s kind of detailing how did their foods get so bad, and begins to look at how can we get out of this problem and start back up the hill to health and nutrition.
Neal: You actually test soil for large scale growers and individuals?
Jon: Yes, we do.
Neal: I guess you give them the thumbs up or the thumbs down on their samples, yeah?
Jon: We give very specific recommendations of what they’re to do. So we would say, “Broadcast these minerals. Foliar spray.” That’s nutritionally feeding your plant through the leaf. We would say, “Foliar spray this.” On a very small scale, we do the same thing for gardeners. So we give the very specific recommendations about what to do.
Neal: Now in your book, Grow Your Own Nutrition, you’re talking about opting out of agriculture. That’s kind of almost like opting out of the system. How can we do that without breaking the bank, as it were?
Jon: We first of all start with what we can do. That’s usually starting a small garden and beginning from there. As we get more experienced with that, we can add fruit trees and some nut trees, depending on where people live, that expands it. Beyond that, we’re going to have to either barter with other people who are raising something else or begin to buy outside of that. However, I would say that it is better to slightly narrow your diet than it is to have a very wider diet of low quality.
Neal: Okay. So quality rather than quantity, yeah?
Jon: As far is this, yes. You want quality and you can give up some of the other foods if you can’t find them in quality.
Jon: Eventually, because we’re such a connected society, we can find those eventually. It’s just a matter of how much dollars do we have for our food budget.
Neal: Absolutely. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio. Our guest today has been Jon Frank. He is very passionate about soil and food quality. He also educates gardeners and many large scale growers across the country on raising nutrient-dense food. He’s got an upcoming book, Grow Your Own Nutrition: How to Opt out Of Toxic Agriculture. You can also find more about Jon at mineralizedgardens.com. It’s been great having you here with us today, Jon.
Jon: It’s been good to be here, Neal. Thank you for having me.
Neal: Transcripts of this programme are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au.