Published in The Kohala Mountain News, Story and photo by Dr. Frederick Kennedy
Dr. Jana Bogs and Sustainable Kohala will host an evening presentation on February 13 to discuss a fundamental paradigm shift in farming and gardening–to a focus on growing more “nutrient rich” foods.
Bogs will describe the history which explains how the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables has suffered dramatic losses over the past 60 years due to the influence of big agribusiness. She will show how nutrient density can be regained.
Due to the ‘unsustainable’ practices of agribusiness farming, the nutritional value of fruits, vegetables is much lower than it was early last century. USDA documentation and several scientific studies prove this claim.
Nutrient testing of produce reveals that, in some cases, organic produce has a higher nutritional value. However, this is not a consistent finding, and, unfortunately, sometimes organics have lower nutrient levels than conventional. An apple can be perfect by organic standards (no bug or weed killers) and yet be significantly lower in nutritional value than a conventionally-grown apple. Soil mineral balance is a critical factor which is often overlooked.
Bogs explains, “In the 1970’s, as some people became aware of what big agribusiness was doing to our fundamental sources of nutrition, our fruits, vegetables and grains, the need arose to distinguish healthy food from plants that were grown expressly for profit margin. That need was filled by establishing standards and practices that would assure food buyers they were not getting pesticides, herbicides, chemicals (such as left-over bomb materials) and, later, genetically modified organisms in their food. It was a new movement and direction in farming and gardening, and it was called “organic.”
Today’s organic standards and practices tell the farmer/gardener what he/she cannot do, in order to earn the label “organically certified.” The standards and practices are ‘restrictive’ rather than ‘prescriptive.’
Bogs will explain how a new paradigm in gardening and farming is going “beyond organic” to “nutrient rich” standards and practices. This is a perspective that, while it meets and exceeds organic standards, it is prescriptive rather than merely restrictive. It looks to see what is needed to optimize the genetic potential of the plant. Rather than telling the farmer/gardener what he/she cannot do, it prescribes for them what they need to do to grow the very best quality food.
Bogs defines “best” for the consumer as the best tasting, the highest nutritional value, the most appealing and beautiful; for the merchant as the longest shelf-life and the most desirable product; for the grower as the highest yield, the lowest insect pressure and the most disease resistant; and for the environment as practices which ensure clean air, water and soil.
The February 13 presentation will take place at 7 p.m. at the Kohala Intergenerational Center (KIC) located behind the Hisaoka Gym in Kamehameha Park. The event is free and open to the public. Dr. Jana Bogs is a nutritionist, food scientist, and horticulturist.
Be a Part of It!!! We’re growing the BEST FOOD EVER!
Check out the following website–
Just click on the “Nutrient Dense” link below–
Growing better quality, Nutrient-RichTM foods can make differences in the lives of producers, marketers, and consumers, as well as the environment. Scientific studies confirm significant declines in nutrient content of produce since 1940. Greater quality is achievable through sustainable production methods, utilizing soil and plant tissue testing for determining nutrient inputs. The aim is to give the plants everything they need to achieve their genetic potential and provide highly nourishing, nutrient-dense foods for humans and animals.
In addition to quality improvements, producers can realize greater crop production yields with soil balancing programs. Producers may also experience less pest and disease pressure without the use of expensive toxic “rescue” chemicals. Why is that? Healthier plants are more resistant to pests and diseases. Greater crop yields and fewer losses will, of course, equate to greater income. Furthermore, better tasting produce sells for premium prices.
Produce marketers can easily sell this great tasting, high brix produce, which has a long shelf life. Brix refers to the amount of naturally-occurring sugars in the plants. It has been observed that increased plant brix may be related to plant health, produce flavor and shelf life. The long shelf life equates to fewer storage losses and therefore higher profits.
Consumers delight in produce of unsurpassed quality in flavor, full-spectrum nutrition, and extended keeping qualities, while comforted by the fact that no harmful chemicals were used in production. Humans and animals need a broader range of nutrients than do plants for optimal health. Therefore, adding a few elements, like the typical N-P-K, may improve apparent plant health while falling short of producing well-rounded nutrition for consumers. Broad-spectrum plant nutrition may also help the plant to produce a wider range of flavor compounds which may result in award-winning produce.
Finally, with conscientious organic production systems the environment is spared the consequences of toxic chemical production methods—water contamination, soil degradation and erosion, air pollution. Instead, Our World is refreshed by wholesome products and thoughtful practices.
What can the growing of Nutrient-RichTM foods mean for Hawaii? We can improve food sustainability while improving the health of our people and caretaking the aina. We can set quality standards for the world while creating a clear marketing edge for our agricultural products. Nutrient-RichTM demonstration farms will educate all sectors of the populace, and encourage agri-tourism and eco-tourism.
For more information on Nutrient-RichTM food production, soil/plant testing and sustainable production practices contact:
Dr. Jana Bogs (located on the Big Island of Hawaii)
The focus of my research is “Creating Health from the Soil Up”.
Sustainable agriculture encompasses many aspects of raising food, fiber and fuel products. We must care take our soils, water and air while monitoring impacts of methods of production on agricultural workers and consumers. Ideally, we as a global community should be able to produce high quality, abundant agricultural products which enable humans and animals to thrive from generation to generation without damaging our environment. I felt compelled to study the problems in detail in a university setting and build on the work of other researchers in discovering solutions. Research done with appropriate controls and approved methodology is important for broad acceptance.
My research focuses on bridging an understanding from soil health, through plant health to animal and human health. I have been encouraged by various professors and agriculture professionals around our country and the globe who are excited about my research of comparing sustainable organic/biological cultivation systems to conventional systems and testing the effects in humans. My aim is to highlight differences that production management systems have on produce quality, emphasizing nutritional differences and direct effects on human metabolism.
For example, field observations and pilot data suggest that human blood glucose responses differ between fruits of the same cultivar grown under these different methods. It is reported that diabetics can eat high quality, biologically-produced fruit without a large glycemic fluctuation, yet the same cultivar conventionally grown causes a spike in blood glucose. What makes these observations even more intriguing is that the biologically-produced fruits typically have a higher percentage of sugars than the conventional counterparts. In addition, the biologically-produced fruits are reported to taste better and have a much longer shelf life.
The implications of this research are vast. The underlying principles can be applied to any crop.
The roadmap to sustainability starts with soil health, which implies balanced, full-spectrum minerals, active microbial and earthworm populations, and high organic matter content. Some attributes of healthy soil are:
- Healthy soil supports healthy plant growth. An ideal microbial population helps make nutrients available to the plants.
- Microbes “glue” soil particles together which decreases erosion and toxic run-off, decreases needed inputs, decreases costs, and saves our top soil. The producers will have good land to pass on to their heirs.
- Selected microbes trap nitrogen from air which decreases nitrogen inputs, decreases costs, and decreases pollution.
- Microbial activity keeps the soil temperature more constant (warmer in winter, cooler in summer) which equates to longer growing seasons. More stable ground temperatures may also influence the stability of the air temperature over the land. This may equate to less extreme weather patterns, which would bring better farming and living conditions. Currently, due to extreme weather patterns, some producers are feeling forced to expend large sums of money for greenhouses to protect their crops.
- Selected microbes clean up toxic conditions, such as “chemically-burned” fields.
- Microbes and earthworms recycle nutrients in the soil and improve soil tilth.
- Beneficial microbes and soil organic matter help modulate soil moisture content allowing crops to better withstand fluctuations in moisture.
Moving on to plant health—
Through superior farming practices and wise choices of cultivars, some producers have been able to produce abundant, award-winning crops without harmful chemicals. These truly healthy crops exhibit ideal tissue pH levels, soluble solids concentrations, and mineral balances, along with low nitrates, ammonia, free amino acids and reducing sugars. Fortunately, technology has provided producers with affordable, easy-to-use tools and tests for monitoring soil and plant health. When superior plant health is achieved, then:
- Insects are less attracted to the plants, so fewer pesticides are needed. This equates to less expense, decreased crop losses, decreased environmental pollution (air, water, soil), and fewer health risks for agricultural workers. Pesticide-free produce may also bring premium prices.
- Plants are more disease and pest resistant, so fewer sprays will be needed. Again, less expense, decreased crop losses, decreased pollution, and fewer health risks, along with possible premiums.
- Plants may realize their genetic potential with increased yields (increased profits) and higher quality produce (which brings premiums for the producers, sometimes huge premiums).
Quality produce has:
- High antioxidant and nutrient density which makes it healthful and satisfying.
- An exceptionally long shelf life which decreases losses for producers, packers, shippers, and consumers.
- Superior taste and sensory appeal, which increases consumer demand and, again, brings premium prices.
- A proud producer who feels good about what he does for the world as he leans against his well-padded wallet. 😉
High quality feedstuffs for animals equate to:
- Healthier, happier animals resulting in decreased need for medication and decreased losses.
- Increased production and profits.
- Healthier animal food products for consumers.
- Improved food flavor and satisfaction.
- Better-tasting produce may increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, which may in turn equate to better health.
- Decreased levels of harmful agricultural chemicals means decreased toxins in food and the environment.
- Longer shelf life leading to decreased losses after purchasing foods.
- Full-spectrum nutrition equates to better health. This decreases healthcare costs while increasing human productivity and quality of life.
I see this as a win-win-win-win situation—for producers, animals, human consumers, and the environment. Already, in several parts of the world, some producers are “nutrition farming” and contracting with grocery stores to market their superior products to grateful consumers.
Plans for the future include:
- expansion of on-farm and university-associated research
- labeling program for “Nutrient-Rich” foods that have met high standards of quality including nutrient content, sensory perception parameters, shelf-life values and freedom from toxic contaminants
- establishment of a model farm for educational purposes
- commercial production of nutrient-rich foods
- marketing and distribution of these high quality foods
- involvement with industry and governmental leaders in promoting nutrient-dense sustainable agriculture
My vision is that more educators will share vital crop-improvement information in an effective manner to many producers, who will in turn supply improved nutrition within a sustainable context, making a positive impact on the health of a multitude of people and animals.
For a Healthier World, Jana D. Bogs, PhD
For more information on soil/plant testing and sustainable production practices contact:
Dr. Jana Bogs (located on the Big Island of Hawaii)
Problem: Scientific studies show the nutrient density of fruits and vegetables has significantly decreased since 1940, with nutrient losses as high as 81%.
Solution: Grow and consume Nutrient-RichTM produce. Think of the possibilities! What if one could select and grow a variety of food plants with genetics that produce maximum nutrition, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants? Then, what if one could give these plants everything they need to be able to express their genetic potentials? Wow! We could have some truly great food!
Fortunately, this work is beginning to be done. Some produce is being selected on the basis of phytonutrient density. And, yes, we have the technology to test for what the plants need to help them produce optimally. The resulting plants produce huge yields of wonderful tasting, Nutrient-RichTM food. Beyond that, some people have noticed that the produce has an incredibly long shelf life. Also, this is all accomplished in a very environmentally-friendly way.
Now let’s take this produce (which tastes so good that children select it over junk food) and feed it to humans. What are the possibilities? We start with full-spectrum mineral nutrition. Not just the minerals you read about on One-A-Day® and Centrum® bottles, but also many trace elements such as vanadium and strontium—elements often overlooked, but important for optimal health. Vitamin and antioxidant content is also higher in Nutrient-RichTM foods. There are many components to food—thousands of phytonutrients—many of which act as antioxidants, or perform other functions in the body such as assisting with cellular communication. The production of healthful and flavorful food compounds is maximized by the careful process of growing Nutrient-RichTM foods.
One interesting phenomenon shown in field reports and preliminary data is a difference in blood glucose response to fruits grown under the varying cultivation techniques. The fruits from the nutrient-balanced system showed a much flatter glucose response curve than the same cultivar of conventional fruits, which displayed the typical rapid glucose spiking and subsequent fall to a below-baseline hypoglycemic reading. The implications are especially important for people with diabetes and weight problems. One long-time researcher in the field feels that 70% of diseases could be prevented by regular consumption of nutrient-balanced foods.
This is an emerging field, ripe with possibilities! However, the research has only just begun. Funding of detailed, controlled research is needed to move Nutrient-RichTM foods forward into the mainstream so that millions of people and our environment will benefit.
For more information on Nutrient-RichTM foods contact:
Jana Bogs, DN, PhD (located on the Big Island of Hawaii)
Having a Doctor of Philosophy degree should allow one the philosophize (to speculate or theorize) on subjects related to one’s degree, in my case Horticulture and Food Science (with prior training in Nutrition). This may seem to be moving away from my typical scientific approach to problems, but I believe that great things can come from “thinking outside of the box”.
The pineal gland is is thought by some to be the “seat of spiritual consciousness”. It is associated with the “third eye”. The pineal gland is also known as the epiphysis. Perhaps this is hinting at something important.
–noun, plural -nies.
1. ( initial capital letter ) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
2. an appearance or manifestation, esp. of a deity.
3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
4. a literary work or section of a work presenting, usually symbolically, such a moment of revelation and insight.
Perhaps one experiences more epiphanies when one’s epiphysis is working optimally. Such is taught by David Wilcock and others. As people age their pineal glands tend to calcify—as do some other soft tissues in the body. This may decrease functionality. It seems that people dream less as they age, and general cognitive ability declines.
Are there certain nutrients that may impact pineal gland functionality? David Wolfe, among others, has explored the use of calcium supplements claiming that they cause calcification of soft tissue, such as the pineal gland. This is thought to be due in part to nanobacterial contamination in the calcium sources. Certain forms of calcium, such as calcium phosphates, may prove more hazardous than others. Unfortunately, I see various forms of calcium phosphates (i.e. monocalcium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, tricalcium phosphate) added to many food products, such as nutritional bars, as well mineral supplements. Calcium carbonate is another form of calcium often seen in food products, such as soy milk. Obtaining calcium from food sources, not mined rocks, is the way nature intended for us to be nourished. Getting enough calcium from the diet is possible if one consumes high quality foods and is careful to maintain the appropriate pH balance by consuming predominately alkaline-forming foods (typically vegetables and fruit).
Adequate magnesium intake plays a large role in proper calcium utilization and bone tissue building in the body. Typical recommendations call for twice as much calcium consumption as magnesium, but some researchers have found the ideal ratio to be the opposite—twice as much magnesium as calcium. I have personally witnessed osteoporotic patients consuming 1500mg of calcium in the form of supplements per day and still experiencing further degradation of their condition. What are good sources of magnesium? Green vegetables in particular. There is a magnesium ion at the center of each chlorophyll molecule. Obtaining adequate magnesium is reported to help prevent and reverse calcification of soft tissue.
Organic sulfur in the form of MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) also appears to be helpful in decreasing soft tissue calcification. MSM occurs naturally in foods and is well utilized. MSM powder has a mild flavor and is easily consumed mixed in water. Many users report relief from pain and inflammation. The sulfur-containing vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower should be good sources especially if grown on sulfur-rich soil and eaten fresh.
Silicon is another element which appears to be helpful in getting calcium to the bones and teeth while keeping it out of the soft tissues. Silicon is available in fruits, vegetables and nuts grown on silicon-rich soils. Watermelons are typically grown on sandy, silicon-rich soil. Springtime horsetail herb is a favorite silicon supplement.
Strontium and boron also deserve mention here as important for bone growth and maintenance, as well as other functions in the body. Vegetables should also be a rich source of these minerals, if they are grown well in soils rich in these elements.
To be continued…
I have been interested in health and fitness since I was young, so I decided to become a nutritionist. After working in that field for a while, I realized that our foods are not as nutritious as they once were (there are several scientific studies proving this). Always being one to optimize, I decided to “go back to the dirt” and learn how to “create health from the soil up”. My thought is–“Perfect Soil, Perfect Food, Perfect Health”. I term my research “Going Beyond Organic to Nutrient-Rich”.
How does this relate to weight loss? My theory is that if the body is ideally nourished, it will be able to function optimally. We will feel great and not crave excessive food because we are nourished!
Every nutritional products company needs truly innovative products that make real differences in people’s lives. Nutrient-Rich Foods are what will take nutrition to the next level for improving human health and longevity.
Agricultural practices have resulted in a decrease of nutrient density in foods. There has also been a concomitant increase in toxic chemical content, not only from agricultural chemicals, but also from poor plant metabolism which may result in harmful constituents such as mycotoxins. As a clinical nutritionist I became keenly aware of these problems. This ignited my passion to “create health from the soil up”. To accomplish this I delved into how soil science, horticulture, and food science affect human and animal nutrition. I am well educated in and out of universities. I was spurred to get a PhD in Horticulture and Food Science & Safety to become a research scientist and consultant. I explore the cutting edge of what is possible in nutrition, for example, examining the differences in blood glucose response from fruits grown under varying cultivation systems. Optimal cultivation systems produce healthy plants which produce healthy humans and animals.
I focus on techniques which help plants to fully express their genetic capacity. Careful growing practices which allow for full genetic expression may result in production of plant tissue compounds with extraordinary human health benefits. I term this “Going Beyond Organic to Nutrient-Rich”. Nutrients which are “life-complexed” by plants may be better utilized at the cellular level. For example, mined calcium products may contribute to calcification of soft tissue—aging(!), whereas calcium complexed through plant metabolism may be properly utilized by the body. Furthermore, a larger percentage of the nutrients in plants grown in optimally-balanced soil versus poorly-balanced soil may be incorporated into body tissue as opposed to being excreted.
Beyond the resulting full-spectrum, balanced nutrition, additional benefits include improved flavor and greatly extended shelf life. With proper growing techniques, plant pest and disease pressure are naturally decreased without the use of toxic chemicals, which then results in a cleaner environment. So it is truly a win-win-win-win situation for all concerned—the food producer, the marketer, the consumer and the environment. I believe it is possible for our world to sustainably produce high quality food which supports all life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
With the advent of the continually growing market awareness of the value of organic nutritional products, the time has come for the next step—“Beyond Organic” foods and supplements. Some farmers understand how to grow “Beyond Organic” foods, but they need a better marketing system. I will enjoy working to procure these authentic “Beyond Organic” ingredients and, together with a team, perform analytical and clinical trials to further establish their efficacy. We will then use these superior ingredients to create supreme quality, nutrient-rich products with which we will create the next wave in the nutrition world marketplace. My broad background in agriculture and nutrition, including sales, marketing, clinical work, and R&D have given me the expertise and connections to make this happen. I still need a great team and funding to make it happen. If you, or some people you know, are interested in being part of this exciting ride, I look forward to speaking with you on how we may work together.
Jana Bogs, PhD