Humanity’s hallmark endeavors of agriculture and medicine emerged from our understanding of the natural world―and still depend on it. Montgomery and Biklé update this fundamental reality and show us why what’s good for the land is good for us, too
As professor and MacArthur fellow Montgomery and biologist Bilké explain, crops should be grown for their nutritional values, paying attention to basic vitamins and minerals and less-considered properties such as flavonoids and phytochemicals...Experts in food science and soil biology, the authors examine ways in which both conventional and innovative farming practices help determine nutritional qualities...In analyzing everything from butter to beets, the authors reveal microscopic micronutrient deficiencies in fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats and profile farmers successfully implementing mindful practices, such as regenerative farming, to create richer growing environments... Although certainly helpful to health-conscious readers, the granularity of information provided will especially engage those versed in or curious about food science.
Montgomery and Biklé explain that we are suffering from micronutrient malnutrition...As in their previous book, Montgomery and Biklé offer highly readable prose, extensive research, and convincing evidence, including pertinent information on farms that have successfully implemented regenerative practices...They also share test results from gathered soil and crop samples indicating healthier soil and higher nutrient density...They take readers on a fascinating tour of a wheat mill in Washington state that bred wheat for flavor while utilizing organic techniques and point to a study that shows how wheat loses almost three-quarters of its vitamins and minerals when milled into white flour...Further, the authors explore the health benefits of consuming a diet rich in nutrients, particularly phytochemicals, from fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, which include reduced risks of dental problems, birth defects, and infectious and chronic diseases...An engaging and compelling argument for implementing regenerative farming practices.
Geologist Montgomery and biologist Biklé bemoan the loss of soil nutrients in this insightful look at regenerative farming...The authors offer a bevy of ideas for reviving soil, namely no-till planting, the usage of cover crops, and crop rotation...Trips to farms in Connecticut and California show regenerative farming in action (at one farm, it took just one year of not plowing for the soil to begin improving), and the authors make a case for subsidizing farms that use such practices...The result is a deep dive that’s convincing and well reported.