This is an extract from Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 2015, so 3 years ago and it’s not getting any better.
“There is a very direct link between soil health and human health as 95% of the food we consume comes from soils. Micronutrient malnutrition is a major factor affecting the health and wellbeing of people throughout the world, especially in developing countries. Over two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, in particular vitamin A, iodine, iron and zinc, among others. Current food systems are being increasingly challenged to provide adequate, safe, diversified and nutrient-rich food for all, that contribute to healthy diets.
Food grown on nutrient-impoverished soils contributes to systemic human (protein-energy) malnutrition because of the lack of important micronutrients in the human diet such as iron, lithium, magnesium, zinc, copper and iodine. Soil health and its fertility have a direct influence on the nutrient content of food crops. The available levels of micronutrients in soils are a primary factor in determining micronutrient content of crops. If the necessary micronutrients are not present in the soil, this impacts directly on the food system by failing to deliver adequate amounts of micronutrients to meet human requirements. This is especially true for trace elements that are essential nutrients for humans but are not known to be essential for plant growth, such as selenium and iodine. There is evidence about the relation between deficiencies of zinc, selenium and iodine in humans and related deficiencies of those microelements in soils.”
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