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A New Approach to Food and Farming

by Martin Lane(more info)

listed in environmental, originally published in issue 222 - May 2015

I have written several articles for Positive Health PH Online over the last two years.  Their common theme has been the steady deterioration in the nutritional quality of food since World War 2 and the need for a new scientific approach to remedy a situation which has given rise to an exponential increase in chronic, nutrition-related disorders.

Eighteen months ago we (Field Science) started working with a company whose new technology promises to radically shake up the fertiliser industry and simultaneously improve the environment and the nutritional quality of food produced in this country.  These have been our aims since we set up this business fifteen years ago; I knew we needed to get involved, because by marrying up our technologies, we could produce a very broad spectrum fertiliser / soil restorer.


Martin Lane Food and Farming


Until recently the public were happy to go along with the idea that, above all, so long as it was cheap, it did not really matter where food came from or how it was produced. Since then, no one factor has occurred to change the public’s attitude, but slowly the realization has dawned that all is not well with our modern lifestyle and much of the problem concerns the poor nutritional quality of the food we eat.

There have been some significant pointers along the way.  BSE, Scrapie, the Foot and Mouth outbreaks, Bovine TB and many other diseases have all occurred in recent years; the first two were in all probability man-made, the remainder made more prevalent by poor quality diet and/or poor bio-security. Ruminant animals are designed to eat grass and herbage, not cereals, but when animal feed of any description does not contain all the requisite mineral nutrients, poor health, fertility and disease resistance results - and that deficiency is passed on to the human population. In turn, we have turned increasingly to high calorie, low nutrient diets, we eat fruit and vegetables which look good, but are poor in nutrient quality and often poor in taste, because they have been grown using fertilisers containing only three out of the at least twenty five or so mineral nutrients essential for health.  

The damaging effects are there for all to see with ever-increasing levels of cancer, type 2 diabetes, asthma, infertility, autism, IBS, Crohn’s disease, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance and allergies once unheard of.  Some of these can be explained by exposure to other aspects of modern life, but much is due to poor diet. We may be living longer, but many suffer from diet-related chronic ailments in later life.  

Happily, things are changing.  The public is no longer prepared to buy food with no provenance.  Not surprisingly, consumers want to know where it came from and what standards were applied to its production.  They would rather not eat horsemeat, legitimately labelled in Romania, sold to France only to re-appear in UK as “beef”.  They do not want to buy foreign food of no-known origin, re-packaged in the UK and sold as “British”.

Into this changing scenario comes a brand new technology, invented and developed by Elemental Digest Systems (EDS) Ltd., in Devon, England. It creates a rich, multi-mineral fertilizer from the waste products that arise in abattoirs from the slaughter of livestock animals.  For many decades past, blood and bonemeal from abattoirs was regarded as an excellent fertilizer and was used extensively on crops destined for human consumption.  In many ways it was a far better fertilizer than the simplistic, nutritionally-inadequate fertilisers which currently dominate the market. BSE put a stop to most use of blood and bonemeal because of an inherent lack of bio-security. Nowadays it is only legal to use it on gardens, not on commercial growing ground; so much valuable nutrient is lost to landfill, rather than being recycled.

The new technology takes all the Categories 2 & 3 waste materials from abattoirs (Category 1 high risk items are still incinerated as legislation will need to change before Cat 1 can also be subjected to this process, but it has already been proven to be totally capable of dealing with this category).  The EDS process ‘deconstructs’ wastes, breaking them down from organic materials to inorganic, slow release, multi-nutrient fertilisers of immense value to the soil, crops, livestock animals and the human population. The end product contains no pathogens, no organic material and can be used by anyone on any land with no restrictions.* 

The potential benefits to UK Plc are many. There is the potential to produce very significant quantities of this benign product, which unlike conventional fertilizers will not volatize greenhouse gases, pollute water courses with carcinogenic nitrate and algal blooms from phosphate run-off and will not acidify the soil, remove soil carbon or destroy soil organisms.  Soils restored to health are better able to absorb water, which reduces run-off and flash flooding. The financial benefit to farmers will accrue from less need for mineral supplements and pesticides, because crops and livestock will be less disease-prone. Water companies will benefit from spending less on the removal of nitrates and phosphates from water, and it will be possible to export the technology abroad, where countries are already showing great interest.  Currently most fertiliser used in the UK is imported; yet another contributor to the balance of trade deficit, but in future much of this imported fertiliser could be replaced by a superior, home-grown product.

We live in a world where finite resources such as fossil fuels and phosphates are being consumed in vast quantities to make fertilizers.  It is clearly an unsustainable, linear system, whereas this technology gives us the opportunity to re-cycle nutrients, creating a ‘grass-to-grass’ virtuous circle and massively extending the life of our soils, without which we would all die.

* Yet to be permitted in Organic farming.


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About Martin Lane

Martin Lane Technical Director of Field Science Ltd has had a lifelong interest in farming. After leaving the RAF, where he did Cold War service flying in the UK and Germany, he developed an interest in the declining standard of plant, animal and human health resulting from industrialized chemical agriculture ( 40-60% of the essential mineral content of our food has disappeared since 1940, to be replaced by an average of 200 chemical residues). Martin worked with a pioneer in the improvement of livestock health via optimal nutrition and then formed a family-owned company specializing in the improvement of plant, livestock and human health through re-mineralizing soils after many decades of synthetic fertiliser and chemical abuse.

Martin still does a lot of work with livestock, dairy and arable farmers to improve the nutritional quality of crops and livestock and also works with a major retailer to provide meat, fruit and vegetables of much improved nutritional quality. He also re-mineralizes sports and amenity land to improve quality and provide a natural resistance to disease. Martin believes that the best way to improve human health is to re-create healthy soil. Healthy soil produces healthy plants for the consumption of healthy animals and humans alike. We should never forget that 47% of the NHS budget is spent treating diseases and conditions which are the direct and indirect results of poor quality nutrition. Martin may be contacted on Tel: 01935 873933;

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