Better Food for a Longer Life


James Adrian

      We eat and drink in order to obtain lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, water, and dietary fiber. We get the amino acids by digesting proteins. These nutrients are comprised of a number of elements, but we typically consume many additional elements that should be excluded from our diet.

      All of the elements produced by stars are in the dust that falls from space through our atmosphere, onto the land, and into the sea. This has been going on since the Earth was formed 4.567 billion years ago.

      Except for technetium (atomic number 43) and promethium (atomic number 61), elements up to atomic number 92 (uranium) are widely distributed. Technetium and promethium are exceedingly rare because they have no stable isotopes and quickly decay to become other elements. Elements having an atomic number greater than 92 are very rare in nature. Of the remaining 90 elements, six of them are inert gasses that exclude themselves from the chemistry of plants and animals. Of the remaining 84 elements, 28 are known to be needed by the human body, but at least 61 are found in almost every person. The number of unneeded elements that we consume outnumber the ones we need. They are responsible for many late-onset medical problems. Although the amounts of these unneeded elements are small, they do us harm. Some of these toxic elements accumulate, never leaving the body.

      Why not eliminate all but the essential elements?

      Land plants and photosynthetic microorganisms can produce all of the nutrition that we need. To do this, they only need to be supplied with sunlight, air, and compounds that are water-soluble. Whether our diet is vegetarian or not, we cannot hope to exclude unwanted elements from our diet unless the life forms that we use for food are grown without these unwanted elements and their compounds.

      Uranium is not part of any human nutrient, but you can find it in sea salt and soil - just as you can find praseodymium, cadmium, aluminum, mercury, thallium, and a great many other elements that fall to Earth. They have nothing constructive to do with the growth of your children or your good health. How could this aspect of public health be so widely ignored? I suspect that it is because it is natural. It is high time that we took dominion over the plants that we eat.

      Hydroponic farming is a step in the right direction. Some hydroponic farms can exclude the unwanted elements; but some still use compost, manure, and natural soil as the basis for their plant nutrition. In the hope that gardeners and managers of farms will help further improve the quality of our food, this article offers a list of non-toxic sources of plant nutrients.

      The table below includes the atomic number and chemical symbol of each food element. Each entry is followed by one or more sources of the element. Each source is water soluble.

1 - H - Hydrogen - Water (H2O)

3 - Li - Lithium - lithium carbonate (Li2CO3), lithium chloride (LiCl), lithium chloride monohydrate (LiCl·H2O), lithium perchlorate (LiClO4), lithium perchlorate trihydrate (LiClO4·3H2O), lithium iodide (LiI), lithium iodide trihydrate: (LiI·3H2O), lithium hydroxide (LiOH), lithium hydroxide monohydrate: (LiOH·H2O), lithium sulfate (Li2SO4), lithium sulfate monohydrate (Li2SO4·H2O), lithium sulfide (Li2S)

5 - B - Boron - sodium borate (Na2B4O7·10H2O), boric acid (H3BO3), anhydrous borax (Na2B4O7), borax pentahydrate (Na2B4O7·5H2O), borax decahydrate (Na2B4O7·10H2O), calcium borate (Ca3(BO3)2)

6 - C - Carbon - carbon dioxide (CO2)

7 - N - Nitrogen - ammonia (NH3), ammonium phosphate ((NH4)3PO4), urea (CO(NH2)2), ammonium sulfate ((NH4)2SO4).
The ultimate source of nitrogen is N2 in the atmosphere. Some microorganisms on land and in lakes and oceans can fix atmospheric nitrogen to make nitrogen-bearing minerals available to other life forms.

8 - O - Oxygen - water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2)

11 - Na - Sodium - sodium chloride (NaCl), sodium silicate (Na2SiO3), sodium sulfate (Na2SO4), sodium decahydrate (Na2SO4·10H2O), sodium phosphate (Na3PO4),

12 - Mg - Magnesium - magnesium chloride (MgCl2), magnesium sulfate (MgSO4), epsom salt = epsomite (MgSO4·7H2O)

14 - Si - Silicon - silicic acid = orthosilicic acid (Si(OH)4), metasilicic acid (H2SiO3), disilicic acid (H2Si2O5), pyrosilicic acid (H6Si2O7)
These have been identified only in very dilute aqueous solution.
See this article, and this article.

15 - P - Phosphorus - ammonium phosphate ((NH4)3PO4), sodium phosphate (Na3PO4), potassium phosphate (K3PO4), urea phosphate (CO(NH2)2·H3PO4).

16 - S - Sulfur - ferrous sulfate (FeSO4), potassium sulfate (K2SO4), potassium magnesium sulfate (K2SO4·2MgSO4), langbeinite (K2Mg2(SO4)3), zinc sulfate (ZnSO4), zinc sulfate heptahydrate (ZnSO4·7H2O), manganese sulfate (MnSO4), manganese sulfate hydrate, cupric sulphate (CuSO4), cobalt(II) sulfate (CoSO4), nickel sulfate (NiSO4), nickel sulfate hexahydrate (NiSO4·6H2O), sodium sulfate (Na2SO4), sodium decahydrate (Na2SO4·10H2O), tin(II) sulfate (SnSO4), vanadyl(IV) sulfate, (VOSO4), ammonium sulfate ((NH4)2SO4).

17 - Cl - Chlorine - sodium chloride (NaCl)

19 - K - Potassium - potassium carbonate (K2CO3), potassium chloride (KCl), potassium sulfate (K2SO4), potassium magnesium sulfate (K2SO4·2MgSO4), langbeinite (K2Mg2(SO4)3), caustic potash or potash lye or potassium hydroxide (KOH), potassium chlorate (KClO3), potassium nitrate (KNO3), potassium permanganate (KMnO4), potassium phosphate (K3PO4)

20 - Ca - Calcium - calcium chloride (CaCl2),

23 - V - Vanadium - vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), vanadium chloride (VCl3), vanadyl(IV) sulfate, (VOSO4)

24 - Cr - Chromium - chromium chloride (CrCl2)

25 - Mn - Manganese - manganese sulfate (MnSO4), manganese sulfate hydrate (MnSO4·xH2O), manganese(II) chloride (MnCl2), manganese(II) chloride (MnCl2·H2O), manganese(II) chloride (MnCl2·2H2O), manganese(II) chloride (MnCl2·4H2O)

26 - Fe - Iron - ferric chloride (FeCl3), ferrous sulfate (FeSO4)

27 - Co - Cobalt - cobalt (II) chloride (CoCl2), cobalt(II) nitrate (Co(NO3)2), cobalt(II) sulfate (CoSO4)

28 - Ni - Nickel - nickel(II) chloride = nickel chloride (NiCl2), nickel chloride hydrate NiCl2·6H2O, nickel sulfate (NiSO4), nickel sulfate hexahydrate (NiSO4·6H2O)

29 - Cu - Copper - copper chloride (CuCl2), cupric sulfate (CuSO4), cuprous chloride (CuCl),

30 - Zn - Zinc - zinc chloride (ZnCl2), zinc sulfate (ZnSO4), zinc sulfate heptahydrate (ZnSO4·7H2O), zinc nitrate (Zn(NO3)2), zinc nitrate hexahydrate (Zn(NO3)2·6H2O)

33 - As -Arsenic

According to this site the following is known about arsenic:

Studies in animal species provide strong evidence that arsenic is an essential trace element - at least for birds and mammals. When researchers completely eliminated arsenic from the diets of animals in experiments, the animals became ill; some developed reproductive problems. The offspring of these arsenic-deprived adults were born with developmental problems. Putting a small amount of arsenic back into the animals' diets completely reversed these effects.

Dietary requirements for arsenic in humans are still controversial. There are trace amounts of arsenic in almost all food and water, air and soil, so it is difficult to find humans who are isolated from all sources of arsenic. There are no known human health effects of arsenic deficiency, if such exist, and the effects observed in arsenic-deficient animals would be hard to detect and characterize in humans. Most investigators believe that it is likely that we receive all the arsenic we need from a normal diet, and there is currently no recommendation for a daily dietary intake for humans.

34 - Se - Selenium - sodium selenite (Na2SeO3), selenium dioxide (SeO2), selenium trioxide (SeO3)

35 - Br - Bromine - methyl bromide (CH3Br),

See this link.

42 - Mo - Molybdenum - sodium molybdate (Na2MoO4), sodium molybdate dihydrate (Na2MoO4·2H2O), potassium molybdate (K2MoO4)

50 - Sn - Tin - potassium stannate anydrous (K2SnO3), potassium stannate trihydrate (K2SnO3·3H2O), sodium stannate anhydrous (Na2SnO3), sodium stannate trihydrate (Na2SnO3·3H2O), tin(II) chloride = stannous chloride (SnCl2), tin(II) fluoride = stannous fluoride (SnF2), tin(II) sulfate (SnSO4)

53 - I - Iodine - potassium iodide (KI), sodium iodide (NaI)

      There are elements needed by some life forms on Earth that should not be in our diet:

      Cadmium (Cd - atomic number 48) is toxic to humans and is a major pollutant in soil, water, and air. It is excreted very much slower than it is acquired. Older people have much more cadmium in their bodies than do younger people. It has no value as a nutrient for us, but marine diatoms (a type of phytoplankton) are dependent upon cadmium. They should not be eaten unless the cadmium is first removed. Shell fish also contain cadmium.

      Tungsten (W - atomic number 74) is in the enzymes of a few species of bacteria and archaea. According to this article, "Tungsten interferes with molybdenum and copper metabolism, and is somewhat toxic to animal life."

      Acantharea, a relative large group of marine radiolarian protozoa, produce intricate mineral skeletons composed of strontium sulfate, but strontium is not an essential nutrient for the human body.

      This means that land farms, hydroponic farms, and water farms must not cultivate plants or photosynthetic microorganisms that require elements that we don't need unless further processing excludes these elements. Fortunately, the vast majority of food sources need the same elements that we need.

      This also means that the practice of obtaining fertilizer from compost and manure must be displaced by the assembling of minerals in balanced quantities for use in artificial soil, artificial sea water, and artificial lake water. Compost and manure contain all of the stable elements, a great many of which are toxic.

      The business of supplying nutrients for photosynthetic marine microorganisms, land plants, and food animals, either for your own cultivation or for sale to other growers, acquires a great competitive advantage if elements not on the list of essential elements are excluded from nutrients. Many health problems are avoided by excluding these elements.

      A provisional qualitative recipe might include Ammonium Sulfate, Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Urea, Urea Phosphate, Boric Acid, Copper Sulfate, Iron EDTA, Manganese EDTA, Sodium Molybdate, Zinc Sulfate, Lithium Chloride, Orthosilicic Acid, Calcium Chloride, Vanadium Chloride, Chromium Chloride, Cobalt(II) Nitrate, Nickel Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Methyl Bromide, and Potassium Iodide. No recommendation is yet made here for arsenic.

      Arsenic has been found in drinking water as claimed here. These are the forms described:

Arsenous acid (arsenite), As(OH)3
Arsenic acid (arsenate), AsO(OH)3
Monomethylarsonic acid, CH3AsO(OH)2
Monomethylarsonous acid, CH3As(OH)2
Dimethylarsinic acid, (CH3)2AsO(OH)
Dimethylarsinous acid, (CH3)2AsOH
Trimethylarsine oxide, (CH3)3AsO

      The amount of arsenic in food has been too high. At some point, when there is no arsenic in our food and when it is finally proved that a tiny amount is needed for good health, there will either need to be an arsenic choice for plant food or a dietary supplement made available.

      Here is an article on the subject of human mineral needs that was last modified at least as recently as November 10, 2015.


      Please feel free to write to me directly for more information or to make suggestions or comments. My email address is jim@futurebeacon.com. You can also go to my contact page to get my full contact information. Suggestions, questions, additional information and critiques are very welcome.