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Why Are Kids Killing Kids?

The Nutrition-Mind Connection


    "The fact that Johnnie can't read and that we have a $200 billion annual national medical bill both stem from the same cause - a poor delivery of elements from the soil in, both quality and balance.

    The above statement was made in 1979 by John Hamacker. It remains true today, except that our national medical bill is now closer to one trillion dollars per year. Despite the vast resources of our nation, our health status is deplorable. We rank on a par with third world nations in this regard due to a virtual plague of degenerative disease. The situation today is that every third person is allergic to something; every 5th person is mentally ill; every 30 seconds someone dies of a heart attack and every 55 seconds someone dies of cancer, which has now become our #1 childhood killer, barring accidents.

Academic Decline

    In 1981 Hamaker wrote, "Along with the rest of the country, Michigan's scholastic achievement scores have been dropping steadily for two decades." The downward spiral continues - and it is linked to nutrient deficiency. It is an established and accepted fact that impaired mental function results from nutrient deficiency. The brain requires a vast array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and amino acids to produce neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that pass messages from cell to cell) and other important brain compounds. Altered brain chemistry can result from deficiency of just a single nutrient, giving rise not only to diminished mental capacity, but also to mental/emotional disturbances and behavioral disorders such as hyperactivity, Attention Deficit Disorder, anxiety, depression, eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia), drug and alcohol addiction, autism and violence.

    If impaired mental function results from nutrient deficiency, then improving nutritional intake ought to result in improved mental function. The fact that it does indeed do so was demonstrated in a study described in a reprint entitled: "The Impact of a Low Food Additive and Sucrose Diet on Academic Performance in 803 New York City Schools." In 1980, '81 and '83 major "dietary policy revisions" were made with regard to the use of sucrose, fats and food additives. During the 4 year period in which these food factors were reduced in the diet of the school children, the mean national academic performance of the 803 schools rose from 41 to 51 percentile. This resulted in NYC schools moving from 11% below the national average to 5% above it. A "reduction in malnutrition" was cited by the researchers as the cause of the rise.

A War Zone

    Several years ago I did a lot of substitute teaching. Entering an elementary school classroom was like going into a war zone. At break time in the lounge I'd hear teachers complaining about the behavior and academic performance of their students. They'd discuss the possible causes and invariably conclude that it must be the influence of TV - the violence. "TV indeed," I thought to myself, "but surely it has as much to do with the radiation from the set as the programming (x-ray emissions from color TPs can result in fatigue, headache, loss of sleep and hyperactivity in children who view it excessively). And, how about other major variables: like food, lighting, color?"

The Light Link

    Most classrooms, like other institutions, are typically outfitted with fluorescent lights. Photobiologist John Ott has clearly demonstrated the adverse effect of such light on behavior and academic performance in the classroom. The wavelength pattern of fluorescents is vastly different than that of full spectrum (sun) light. This imbalance of frequencies has the same adverse effect as an imbalance of nutrients. Researchers working with laboratory rats have long known that it is necessary to remove the male rat from the cage before his pregnant mate gives birth, else he will cannibalize the newborn rats. This occurs in fluorescently lit environment; however, where full-spectrum bulbs (which duplicate the wavelength pattern of sunlight) are used, this will not occur. In fact, Papa Rat will then actually nurture his young! Can we generalize from such rodent behavior? I think so. Where full-spectrum lights have been used in the classroom there has been improved general attendance and behavior, as well as enhanced and academic concentration performance.

Color Me Hyper

    And then, there's the color angle: In my day, the classrooms and corridors were painted a pale "institutional green." The last time I substituted, the halls were decked out in bright oranges, pinks and reds. Now, it doesn't take an in-depth knowledge of color therapy to appreciate the fact that cool colors (blues and greens) are calming, while warm ones are stimulating. Not only do red hues stimulate, they can also engender aggressive behavior and agitation - they do, in fact, over stimulate. The traditional light green, on the other hand, has not only a calming, but a healing effect (that, no doubt, is why it is used in hospitals). Color therapy, used intelligently in the classroom would allow the use of some yellow to stimulate intellectual activity, but the dominate hues would be cool ones, especially where behavior problems predominate.

    Finally, there's the matter of food. School lunches, like hospital meals, are notoriously inadequate. Yes, they're planned by a dietitian. Realize, however, that it is the job of the dietitian to know how many cans of #2 beans it will take to feed 382 mouths: It is not her job to assure that nutrient-dense foods go into those mouths. Most institutions (and households) today make widespread use of processed foods. Food processing procedures like refining, pasteurizing and irradiating seriously deplete foods of their nutrient content. What's worse is that the foods are already seriously depleted before they ever get into the hands of the food processors.

The Bottom Line

    This brings us back to John Hamacker's point: Poor soil quality is the bottom-line common variable responsible for widespread physical and mental deterioration. Poor soil quality makes for nutrient deficient crops, which in turn create weak bodies and minds. Diets lacking in nutrients especially trace minerals - lead not only to physical maladies and impaired learning, but also to antisocial behavior and even violence. It's no coincidence that both degenerative disease and crime are escalating, as IQ and nutritional status decline. These things are connected. And at the bottom of the chain is the connecting link of impoverished soil. A Global Problem

    From the global village perspective, if the earth's population was an even 100, then the percentage suffering from malnutrition would be 50 and the number unable to read would be 70. In this context, "malnutrition" is defined simply as inadequate food intake. If we revise that definition to encompass a state brought on by nutritionally depleted foods, then the percentage of people affected would approach 100. The citizens of our nation do indeed suffer from malnutrition - high calorie malnutrition. Nutrient depletion of soils is not just a domestic problem, however; it is a global one. We're all affected. And each succeeding generation is more deeply affected, resulting in their increased vulnerability to illness, both physical and mental. In this country, these results are reflected in an escalating rate of violent crimes committed by juveniles. It is now estimated by researchers that juvenile crime will probably double by the year two thousand!

The Juvenile Crime Scene

    Over the last 10 years, the number of kids under 18 arrested for homicides has more than doubled. According to FBI statistics, about 300 parricide (the killing of both parents) incidents occur annually. Children under 18 represent 17% of all reported arrests, 33.3% of arrests for "serious" crimes (crimes to property) and 16-17% of arrests for "major" crimes (crimes to persons). James Fox, dean of the Criminology Dept. of Northeastern University, predicts that by the year 2005 there will be 5000 murders per year committed by teens.

    This escalating violent crime rate among teenagers is not due primarily to drugs, broken homes or poverty, but rather to malnutrition. These kids typically exhibit pronounced deficiencies of such trace minerals as lithium, chromium and vanadium and are prone to develop a powerful salt or sugar craving. This craving, accompanied by licking and chewing behaviors is known as "pica" and it is brought on by mineral deficiency and corrected only by supplying the deficient minerals: No other class of nutrients can induce or resolve the condition. Satisfying the craving by eating commercial sugar or salt only worsens the situation, for refined sugar and salt leach from the body the minerals necessary to metabolize them and therefore deepen the deficiency. The cravings stem from a mineral deficiency that can only be rectified by providing the needed minerals.

Minerals Rule

    Minerals rule over all other nutrients. Vitamins, proteins, enzymes and amino acids, as well as fats and carbohydrates, require them for activity. Trace minerals (such as zinc, copper, chromium) are those needed in small or trace amounts by the body. They are no less important to the functioning of the body than are macro minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulphur and chlorine), needed in larger amounts.

    There are 84 known minerals, 17 of which are considered to be essential in human nutrition. If there is a shortage of just one of these, the balance of activity in the entire system can be thrown off. A deficiency of a single mineral can negatively impact the entire chain of life, rendering other nutrients ineffective and useless.

    According to Senate Document #264, 99% of Americans are mineral deficient. This document was published in 1936! The situation is even worse today, as minerals continue to disappear from our soils.

Where Have All the Minerals Gone?

    Modern agribusiness farming methods, including the widespread use of N-P-K (nitrogen-phosphorous potassium) fertilizer, over farming, loss of protective ground cover and trees, lack of humus - these are some factors that have made soils vulnerable to erosion (through drought, wind and flooding). The result is reduced nutrient content of crops.

    N-P-K fertilizer is highly acidic. It disrupts the pH (acid/alkaline) balance of the soil, as does acid rain. Acid conditions destroy soil microorganisms. It is the job of these microorganisms to transmute soil minerals into a form that is usable by plants. In the absence of these microbes, these minerals become locked up, unavailable to the plant. Stimulated by the N-P-K fertilizer the plant grows, but it is deficient in vital trace minerals. In the absence of trace minerals, plants take up heavy metals (such as aluminum, mercury and lead) from the soil. These toxic metals are then passed on to us through the food chain - and they are readily assimilated in the body deficient in protective nutrient minerals.

    When trace minerals are scarce in plant bodies, they're scarce in human bodies and we then hold onto toxic minerals and traces of agricultural chemicals. Also, plants deficient in trace minerals tend to be deficient in vitamins and in protein, as well. It is primarily the amino acid component of protein from which neurotransmitters are made. These neurotransmitters have a huge amount to do with our mental functioning, as well as our physical health. Mineral-deficient plants are also protein-deficient plants. Between 1950 and 1975, the calcium content in one cup of rice dropped 21% and iron fell by 28.6% and protein content dropped nearly 11%. In 1945, wheat was 17% protein. By 1985, its protein content dropped to 9%.

    Tables showing nutrient content of foods can no longer be relied upon, for minerals are disappearing faster than updated charts can be published. And, there is great variation in mineral content of foods grown in different locations and under different conditions.

    Trace minerals, rapidly disappearing from our soils, play a major role in electrolyte formation in the body.

Electrolyte Loss

    Electrolytes are mineral salts which conduct electricity when dissolved in solution. In the body, the bloodstream provides the fluid medium for electrolyte formation. Electrolyte deficiency or imbalance results in energy loss and fatigue. The disruption of balance or homeostasis that results leads invariably to disease.

    Nature forms electrolytes through a transmutation process wherein inorganic colloidal minerals are changed into a more usable crystalloid form. This occurs when water cascades over rocks, picking up minerals from the soil, tumbles over the terrain and forms vortexes. Most of us today, however, cannot look to our drinking water as a source of electrolytes. We drink, by and large, from stagnant, polluted sources.

    Such water is not only mineral deficient, but the minerals it does contain remain in the difficult-to-use colloidal form. Therefore, our best bet for obtaining unpolluted water that contains usable (crystalloid) electrolyte minerals is to purify our water mechanically (preferably through reverse osmosis) and add back the electrolytes. Be sure to select a true electrolyte formula, one that contains trace minerals in crystalloid form.

    Replacement of electrolytes will balance pH and stabilize osmotic pressure (the force on the inside and outside of cell walls). This will result in significantly lowering the risk of infection, increasing digestive efficiency, restoring peristaltic action, increasing oxygen to the cells, reducing water retention, correcting neuromuscular imbalances, improving enzyme production, regulating blood sugar levels and hormonal production, "chelating" (removing) heavy metals from the body and increasing energy levels.

The Ultimate Solution

    The ultimate solution to the demineralization problem does not, however, lie in supplementation. It lies in soil remineralization. We must abandon the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that lock up soil minerals and poison both the soils and our bodies. According to a 1993 study conducted by the Environmental Working Group, by age 5, children in this country consume more pesticides than is considered safe for a lifetime. While we're harming ourselves gravely with the use of pesticides, we don't seem to be making much of a dent in the insect population: Over 500 species have now become pesticide-resistant. The answer to the pest problem is to change the terrain of the soil, from one that produces sick, nutrient-deficient plants to one that produces healthy, nutrient-dense ones, for insects only feed off sick plants.

Changing the Terrain

    The desired change in terrain is accomplished by restoring minerals to the soil. This can easily and inexpensively be done through the use of rock dust (ground up rock). When chemicals are withheld and rock dust is applied, food is provided for the microorganisms who will resume their job of supplying usable minerals to the plants, who in turn will nourish us.

    The use of rock dust to enliven soils was first proposed in 1840 by Julius Hensel, author of Bread from Stones. His message was suppressed by the chemical trust that was profiting handsomely from the sale of N-P-K fertilizers. Rock dust was not heard of again for more than a century when the late John Hamacker made repeated efforts to warn the people and governments of the planet of imminent disaster (glaciation, the net result of the "Greenhouse effect") if soil remineralization were not speedily accomplished.

    The world was deaf to Hamacker's warnings - or so it seemed. But out of the darkness comes a ray of light. Last summer in Beltsville, MD the USDA sponsored a conference that brought together representatives from government, industry, and the private sector to explore the potential of using rock dust to remineralize the earth. Attending this conference was one of John Hamacker's final activities before leaving the earth plane last year at age 80. It is imperative that we follow his lead, understand and apply his teachings and renew the soils of Mother Earth before she does so herself through the violent natural process of glaciation which will effectively grind up rock to remineralize the soils.

After the Dark

    Once soil remineralization is accomplished, we can begin to reverse a downward spiral in our civilization. As Hamacker understood, health, behavior, intelligence, even weather patterns and survival - are ultimately determined by the health of our soil, which in turn is dependent upon microorganisms. Health and survival are therefore not about conquering microbes, but nourishing them. What we do to them, we do, in a very real sense, to ourselves.

    An escalating crime rate, social unrest, falling IQs - They all relate to the disappearance of soil microorganisms, which in turn results from man's attempts to conquer and control Mother Nature, rather than to honor her and work in harmony with her laws.

Dr. I. Gerald Olarsch, ND Susan Stockton, MA, CRC




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