....Many thanks to constantwonder for taking up the opposing side to this debate....
First, I will address my opponent's questions:
(Question 1) Do you believe methods or resting and regenerating soil that most farmers already subscribe to are not enough?
If they actually did that, yes. But, most
farmers don't rest their land.
They regenerate it by adding artificial fertilizers. And, most high-yield farms use inorganic fertilizers.
There are advantages to inorganic fertilizers:
* Nutrients are immediately available to the plants
* Exact amounts of any given element can be calculated and given to specific plants accordingly
But, there are definite disadvantages to inorganic fertilizers, as well:
* Nitrogen-based inorganic fertilizers can easily be washed away from the level of the plant's root system via rain and irrigation
* If the application of inorganic fertilizer is too heavy or is too close to the root system, the roots can burn
* Heavy applications of inorganic fertilizers can build up toxic concentrations of salts in the soil; this creates a chemical imbalance in the soil,
hence a chemical imbalance in the plants
The use of organic fertilizers would be better for the soil and the plants, but it is not used by high-yield farms most of the time due to the
difference in cost between organic and inorganic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are less likely to cause over-fertilization, it provides a slow
release of nutrients into the soil, it improves soil structure and workability, and it vastly improves the water-holding capacity of sandy soil.
Inorganic fertilizers are cheaper and more readily available (not to mention less messy), so inorganic fertilizer is used more. But, with it being
used more, there is a greater chance of an over abundance of certain chemicals in the soil and/or a greater chance of lack of certain minerals in the
soil. With that comes the risk of a chemical imbalance in the soil. That leads to a chemical imbalance in our plants.
Add to that the chemical that are in the pesticides that are used by high-yield farms and the end result is contaminated soil.
Good, healthy food does not come from whacked out soil.
(Question 2) Why would you reccommend to anyone to take inafective expensive supplements when it has been proven that a healthy diet will give you all
Well, as shown above, the soil that we are growing our food in is not always healthy due to the fact that the soil is not always healthy. And, since
we are debating the vitamins and minerals, the nutrients or lack thereof in the food we grow in depleted soil, and not eggs, beef, chicken, or fish,
we have to look at where we get the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that our plants no longer contain.
Supplements are not bad, they are not ineffective, and they are not always expensive. Natural, nutritional supplements are best for our bodies. My
opponent points out that an excess of vitamins
are excreted or stored by the body. Who is talking about an excess?
If the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are no longer in the plants that are grown in depleted, unbalanced, and contaminated soil, we need to replace
what we have lost. We don't need to down 50 multi-vitamins and 30 nutritional supplements per day. We need to ingest
the optimum amount of
certain vitamins and minerals per day in order to be our healthiest 
. Not all of
these are available in the food that comes from our soil any longer.
Supplements are safe and provide our bodies with what we need for optimum health. They give us what the plants grown in our soils no longer can.
Just don't go overboard. Use a little common sense and take only what you need to replace what isn't in what you eat.
(question 3) You say your an enviromental specialist, tell me why you would recommend the use of manure or compost when manure and the animals that
produce it are the leading emmiters of green house gases, and compost is known to carry a multitude of micro organisms that are harmfull and
potentially fatal such as e-coli giardiaosporidium and giardia?
Organic fertilizer is better for the soil and better for the plants, as pointed out in my answer to your first question. It makes the soil easier to
work, more stable, and organic fertilizers break down inorganics in the soil in a more natural way, making it easier for the plants to absorb them.
There are disadvantages to organic fertilizers, though. I mean, it is more expensive and it is slow release (which is better for the plants). I
mean, these high-yield farms want to keep their costs low and their profits high. They don't seem to be too concerned with what is best for their
soil and their crops.......organic fertilizer is slower and more expensive. But, it is better.
Compared to synthetic fertilizer formulations,organic fertilizers contain relatively low concentrations of actual nutrients, but they perform
important functions which the synthetic formulations do not. They increase the organic content and consequently the water-holding capacity of the
soil. They improve the physical structure of the soil which allows more air to get to plant roots. Where organic sources are used for fertilizer,
bacterial and fungal activity increases in the soil. Mycorrhizal fungi which make other nutrients more available to plants thrive in soil where the
organic matter content is high. Organically derived plant nutrients are slow to leach from the soil making them less likely to contribute to water
pollution than synthetic fertilizers.
As for harmful micro-organisms, like giardia (which mostly comes from contaminated water, by the way) or e-coli (which mostly comes from undercooked
meat, unpasteurized milk, or contaminated water), those risks are low, very low. If plants are grown in soil treated with organic fertilizers, most
problems with any micro-organism can be easily avoided with proper and thorough washing of the plants, fruits, and/or vegetables or cooking them
The same cannot always be said of plants, fruits, and vegetables that are grown in bad soil, treated with chemical pesticides, and grown on high-yield
farms that are more concerned with low cost and high production than with good soil and healthy foods.
The fact is that the nutrients in our soils are no longer at the levels where they use to be. Even the best fertilizers have their drawbacks and
don't always provide our plants with what they need to be their best. If the soil can't provide those nutrients to the plants, how can those plants
provide those nutrients to us?
Supplements, when taken properly to replace what our food no longer contains, give us what we need to be our healthiest.
1. Do you have any evidence that supplements, when taken properly to replace only what vitamins, minerals, and nutrients our plants no longer contain
(not taken in excess) are ineffective in what one is taking them for?
2. Do you have any evidence that supplements, when taken properly to replace only what vitamins, minerals, and nutrients our plants no longer contain
(not taken in excess) are bad for the human body?
3. With the depletion of the soil and the problems with various fertilizers, what is the best way to replenish vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in
the human body that our plants no longer contain in proper amounts?