Another Hidden Source of Radioactive Polonium
You can also consume polonium by drinking fluoridated water, courtesy of the fluorosilicic acid used. While pharmaceutical grade fluoride is a harmful-enough drug, this is not the type of fluoride being added to drinking water. If it was, at least then it would be a pure, uncontaminated form.
Rather the fluoride that is typically used to fluoridate local water supplies is a frequently contaminated chemical byproduct created during the phosphate fertilizer manufacturing process. It's a concentrated, highly toxic chemical riddled with hazardous impurities, making it extremely expensive to safely dispose of when not sold for profit as a water additive.
Uranium and radium are two known carcinogens found in fluorosilicic acid used for water fluoridation, and polonium-210 is one of two decay products of uranium. Furthermore, polonium decays into stable lead-206, which also has significant health risks—especially in children—and research has indeed shown that drinking fluoridated water increases lead absorption in your body.
Back in 1983, the Deputy Administrator of the EPA Office of Water, Rebecca Hanmer, summarized and defended the EPA's policy on adding toxic fluoride to drinking water in the following manner,10 which is quite telling once you know where the fluoride comes from, and the origins of the idea behind water fluoridation as a public health policy:
"In regard to the use of fluosilicic (fluorosilicic) acid as a source of fluoride for fluoridation, this agency regards such use as an ideal environmental solution to a long-standing problem. By recovering by-product fluosilicic acid from fertilizer manufacturing, water and air pollution are minimized, and water utilities have a low-cost source of fluoride available to them." [Emphasis mine]
Phosphate Fertilizers Also Used in GMO
Phosphate fertilizers linked to lung cancer in smokers,
via the route of inhaling the smoke from contaminated tobacco leaves, are also used on food crops. Granted, food-borne polonium may be absorbed and react differently in your body than that in tobacco smoke.
Still, as stated by the International Atomic Energy Agency,14 internal exposure, which is more or less the only dangerous form, does occur primarily through food, water, and inhaling contaminated air. So it's possible that you might be exposed to greater levels of this (and other) radioactive elements than was previously thought, through the aggressive use of phosphate fertilizers in food production.
While we may not be able to estimate the potential cancer risk from contaminated foods, and GMOs in particular, research has shown that dietary calcium phosphate has a detrimental effect on your gut health. According to a 2002 study in the Journal of Nutrition:15
"Most Gram-positive bacteria are susceptible to the bactericidal action of fatty acids and bile acids. Because dietary calcium phosphate (CaP(i)) lowers the intestinal concentration of these antimicrobial agents, high CaP(i) intake may enhance intestinal colonization of Gram-positive pathogens and the subsequent pathogenesis."
Interestingly, the adverse effect of dietary calcium phosphate was found to be dependent on the type of dietary fat consumed. In rats given diets containing corn oil, the calcium phosphate stimulated colonization of pathogenic bacteria, whereas this adverse effect was not found in animals given a diet with milk fat. There are many drawbacks to conventional fertilizers, and radioactive food can perhaps be added to that list (with or without radioactive fallout from Japan, which is a whole other story). While modern agricultural methods may appear to be the most cost effective and efficient strategy at first glance, it quickly becomes one of the most costly ways to produce food once you take into account the environmental and human health consequences.
There Are Better Alternatives
Modern fertilizer consists of varying amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). But both phosphorus and potassium, neither of which can be synthesized, are becoming increasingly sparse.16 According to the Swedish-run Global Phosphorus Research Initiative,17 we could hit "peak phosphorus" as early as 2030. Without these fertilizer ingredients, the entire world would quickly be in trouble—unless we change our ways, that is. And there are more than a few good reasons for making a U-turn back toward time-tested biological growing methods.
Calcium phosphate, mined primarily in the Western Sahara, Saskatchewan or Florida, typically contains polonium and that's the type of NPK fertilizer typically used on tobacco fields. Ammonium phosphate is typically used in the growing of GMO crops, and as mentioned earlier, the toxic byproduct from that process is fluorosilicic acid, used for water fluoridation. Now, it's possible that ammonium phosphate has very little polonium, since it tends to end up in the fluoride (and hence drinking water around the US). But it all has to end up somewhere...
As I've started writing about lately, biological agriculture can be profoundly efficient, out-performing virtually any conventional farming strategy, including genetic engineering. I've been implementing organic, biological farming strategies in my own garden, and the leaves on some of my plants, like fruit trees (limes, figs, mango, orange, tangerine, cherries, peach, plum, and banana), have a number of leaves that are literally 300 to 400 percent bigger than the typical leaf of these plants. You wouldn't even imagine that a leaf could grow this big—all without ANY chemicals, just using strategies that optimize soil health, such as using rock dust powders, compost teas and biochar. These strategies seem to maximize the hidden genetic potential of the plants.
Sustainable Soil Science to the Rescue
Earlier this year, I interviewed Dr. Elaine Ingham, an internationally recognized expert on the benefits of sustainable soil science. I also visited her at her new position at the Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania. According to Dr. Ingham and other soil experts, a key component of successful agriculture lies in having the right helper organisms in the soil; beneficial species of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, beneficial nematodes (not the weedfeeders), microarthropods, and earthworms—all of which contribute to plant growth in a number of different ways.
Nutrient cycling is another major issue. According to Dr. Ingham, there's no soil on Earth that lacks the nutrients to grow a plant. She believes the concept that your soil is deficient and needs added phosphorus or nitrogen, etc. in order to grow plants is seriously flawed, and largely orchestrated by the chemical companies, because it's based on looking at the soluble, inorganic nutrients that are partly present in your soil.
The real nutrition your plants require is actually derived from microorganisms in the soil. These organisms take the mineral material that's in your soil and convert it into a plant-available form. Without these bioorganisms, your plants cannot get the nutrients they need. So what you need is not more chemical soil additives, what you need is the proper balance of beneficial soil organisms. According to Dr. Ingham:
"It's very necessary to have these organisms. They will supply your plant with precisely the right balances of all the nutrients the plant requires. When you start to realize that one of the major roles and functions of life in the soil is to provide nutrients to the plants in the proper forms, then we don't need inorganic fertilizers. We certainly don't have to have genetically engineered plants or to utilize inorganic fertilizers if we get this proper biology back in the soil.
If we balance the proper biology, we select against the growth of weeds, so the whole issue with herbicides is done away with. We don't need the herbicides if we can get the proper life back into the soil and select for the growth of the plants that we want to grow and against the growth of the weedy species."
Interestingly enough, you can use a starter culture to boost the fermentation and generation of beneficial bacteria much in the same way you can boost the probiotics in your fermented vegetables. For compost, this strategy is used if you want to compost very rapidly. In that case, you can use a starter to inoculate the specific sets of organisms that you need to encourage in that compost. For optimal physical health, you need plant foods to contain the full set of nutrients that will allow the plant to grow in a healthy fashion, because that's the proper balance of nutrients for us human beings as well. Dr. Ingham has written several books on this topic, including The Field Guide for Actively Aerated Compost Tea, and The Compost Tea Brewing Manual.
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