Unhealthy Soil Is Making You Malnourished!

Around 190 million human lives are malnourished In India. Which means, 14% of the Indian population is fighting with malnutrition. It is devastating that 38% Children of age group 0-5 are undernourished. India declared September 2018 as a Nutrition Month.

Arvind ShuklaArvind Shukla   16 Oct 2018 5:59 PM GMT

Unhealthy Soil Is Making You Malnourished!

Your doctor prescribes Vitamin and Iron tablets regularly? It's not the fault of your doctor, it's because of the food you take. Undernourished food is reaching our plates after growing in unhealthy soils.

If you'll pay attention to your medical prescriptions of the last few years, you'll find out that other than the regular medicines, Vitamin and Zinc tablets are prescribed. Doctors know that your food is deficient of these necessary vitamins and minerals. Primarily, this happens due to unhealthy soil. Food grown in malnourished soil is just helping to suppress hunger but not giving nutrition to your body. It's making you malnourished.

Healthy Soil Healthy Body

"Soil is directly responsible for malnutrition. Fruits, flowers, grains grown in undernourished soil would certainly be deficient of nutritious elements. Same goes to non-vegetarians because the animals are also grazing the grass grown in the same soil. The medical report would undoubtedly show Iron, Vitamin, Zinc and other deficiencies if you eat nutrition deficit food. Doctors prescribe nutrition supplements to balance it in your body." Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Lucknow's Director, Dr Vinay Mishra explains.

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CSSRI is a government organisation which is known for soil research and development.

Today, Malnutrition is a worldwide problem. United Nation's report, State of food security and nutrition in the world -2017 has revealed striking facts. It says, "A large proportion of the world population is affected by micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) deficiencies. This is often called "hidden hunger" because there may be no visible signs."

Undernutrition Is Rising

According to the data provided by this report undernutrition is on rise. "For the third year in a row, there has been a rise in world hunger. The absolute number of undernourished people, i.e. those facing chronic food deprivation, has increased to nearly 821 million in 2017, from around 804 million in 2016. These are levels from almost a decade ago." The report concludes.

Our of these 821 million undernourished people 190 million are Indian. It means that around 14% of the Indian population is fighting against malnutrition. It is devastating that 38% Children of age group 0-5 are malnourished in India. It impacts their mental and physical growth.

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Mission Nutrition

To erase malnutrition, central Government started nutrition mission in 2018. It allocated a budget of 1.40 billion for this purpose which will be used over the next three years. Various Ministries, Departments, and organisations are included in this mission but It is ironical that agriculture is not included.

Dr Vinay Mishra pointed a common soil health check indicator known in rural areas. He said, "Often we talk about the fragrance that comes from soil when rainy season starts, this fragrance is an indicator of the good microbes present in soil. But, nowadays this fragrance is vanishing as the microbes are dying due to excessive use of chemical insecticides."

How To Curb Malnutrition?

Herbal specialist, Deepak Acharya can see a solution to this problem. He told, "Over the last few centuries we are growing only 15-20 varieties of grains whereas there are more than 400-grain varieties available in the world. To curb malnutrition, we need to find new resources. We need to follow crop cycles to maintain the fertility of the soil. We would be nourished if our farm soil would get nutrition."

In the year of 2015, Narendra Modi Government started Soil Health Card Scheme. Under this scheme, any farmer can get his soil tested. Dr Vinay mentions this scheme and he says, "Soil Health Scheme has been very beneficial for farmers and people in general. It tells about the deficiency of the soil and advises farmers about the correct use of fertilizers. It is giving results. Indian Council of agricultural research and associated organisations are also developing nutrition rich grains, fruits and vegetables."

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