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Thread: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

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    Default The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    These study files and charts illustrate the depletion of our soils and the foods grown in them in key macro and trace mineral that are needed to support metabolic and bone health. How this drop in came about from changes in farming practices from 1940 going forward. This came about with the introduction of mechanized farming equipment, along with the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, followed by the introduction of pesticides and herbicides, and in our present century the addition of GMOs and glyphosate herbicides.

    In many other regions of the World the mineral content of cultivated soils have not been found to be as depleted as those of N.A.

    http://www.ecoorganics.com/sick-soil/ (From Save our Sick Soils)

    In 1939 Kohman's' research study in oxalic levels in cultivars also included a number of companion rat experiments that confirmed the non-bioavailability of calcium in ten percentile oxalic acid content leafy greens, using spinach (high in oxalates) to turnip greens (low in oxalates), in groups of rats where these greens were the main source of calcium. The result for the diet with spinach found that nil to no calcium was provided to the body of the rats, most of didn't survive the trial. This compared to the group fed turnip greens as the main source of calcium in their diet, that provided more than adequate amounts of calcium to the rats so that they thrived.

    Other leafy greens included in this same ten percentile oxalate content group have also been reconfirmed in later studies to be extremely high as they were prior found to be in the Lohman study of 1939. These include leafy greens include:: Lambs quarters, Purslane, Sorrels, Garden Orach, Beet leaves, Chard, Amaranth, Cassava root, Pigweed, rhubarb and others. The level of oxalates found in the 1939 to the present day for these sources has not decreased.

    A number of other green vegetable sources in N.A. that were found in have a positive Ca:Ox in the 1939, have been found to decrease in calcium over the decades to the present day. By boiling these sources the oxalate content is reduced significantly in both forms (oxalic acid soluble form & insoluble oxalate form of calcium oxalate) to where they can provide most of the calcium they contain in bioavailable form that the body can utilize. (see chart)

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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances


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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    Studies in oxalates in Fruits & Vegetable sources : 1939 ; 1999 ; 2007 :
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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    Here is a comparison of the various amounts of calcium in common leafy greens, the data noted on this website is from the USDA Nutrient database.

    The highest source of bioavailable calcium is Mustard Spinach. This brassica green is related to the turnip family, not spinach as its name would appear to indicate.

    Mustard spinach boiled factored from 1 cup (284 mg.) calcium, down to 2 Tsp. contains (11.83 mg.) of calcium.
    https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts...roducts/2494/2

    Turnip greens frozen, boiled, drained factored from 1 cup (209 mg.) calcium, down to 2 Tsp. contains (8.7 mg.) of calcium.
    https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts...roducts/2709/2

    Kale, frozen, boiled, drained factored from 1 cup (179 mg.) calcium, down to 2 Tsp. contains 7.45 mg. of calcium.
    https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts...roducts/2464/2

    Chicory greens, raw factored from 1 cup (29 mg.) calcium, down to 2 Tsp. contains (1.2 mg.) of calcium.
    https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts...roducts/2404/2

    In considering which leafy green sources to choose to include in the diet daily, those actually that provide a fair amount of calcium, the main goal for including them, should be a key consideration. This especially for reason all the Brassica vegetables have been bred from one parent plant, the Mustard plant, over a 100 years, which then really isn't a viable factor to base including them in the diet if they are low in calcium content. https://www.businessinsider.com/broc...-plant-2015-11

    Whether they are frozen, then boiled and drained, or consumed raw, has a profound bearing upon the amount of bioavailable calcium they will provide upon their digestion. For freezing and then boiling and draining "unlocks" the calcium anti-nutrient that they contain (oxalates) is reduced, which significantly increases the bioavailability of the calcium in these sources to the body. By comparison, if consumed raw, the high alkalinity these greens promote causes calcium loss into the urine, instead of optimum calcium gain to the body, for it is the 6 range of mean urine ph that is normal for small mammals that best supports digestion, not above 7 that is alkaline (base).

    Boiling also makes leafy greens more digestible and kills bad bacteria they potentially may carry.

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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    Good info....but how does one feed boiled greens to squirrels? I am not being facetious, I'm sincerely asking. My guys never even touch wilted lettuce, let alone cooked, so I'm wondering how we make this higher-calcium food something they will reliably eat?
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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    Quote Originally Posted by island rehabber View Post
    Good info....but how does one feed boiled greens to squirrels? I am not being facetious, I'm sincerely asking. My guys never even touch wilted lettuce, let alone cooked, so I'm wondering how we make this higher-calcium food something they will reliably eat?
    I have the same problem here in CR. My squs absolutely refuse steamed or even wilted greens of any kind.

    What to do ? ? ?

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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    One thing I have seen across the board in squirrels, if they get more than enough nutrition they will ignore the least nutritious source which to them is the greens. In my research diet (research because it is based upon squirrel and rat research), more recently in the diet I began to add in boiled greens, at least 8 years old, ate them like she always liked them. Yet this diet isn't overly high in calories from fats as some diets are, which has helped to support the squirrel to accept the boiled greens. Balance matters, that is what I have aimed at in supporting a healthy diet, which includes a mid to high 6 range mean urine ph. The trick is not to serve up green glop, just to quickly put them in low boiling water for 90 sec. timed and if mature leaves somewhat longer, but not so long to where they begin to disintegrate. No one likes green glop save moos perhaps, and then they eat it raw.

    I have moreover shared this info for those that want to continue to feed greens at higher levels as boiling concentrates nutrients lowering them from raw, which again aren't available to the body (bioavailable) raw, as they are after being blanched (short-term boiled) as immature brassicas have been found to be low in oxalic acid. Scroll down to see the table that notes the oxalate levels of the leafy greens tested; there is a huge difference in oxalate levels of the Beet leaves, Spinach and Chard leaves compared to the other greens tested that are very low in oxalates. This is why other sources including Lambs quarters, sorrels, purslane, and amaranth leaves that are also leafy greens that belong to the 10 percentile group that spinaches do, should not be included in the diet of tree squirrels, as they suck the calcium out of other foods that they are fed with, and after being absorbed into the bloodstream, their oxalic acid content is so high it continues to bond with free calcium that causes loss of calcium there as well.

    The issue I shared last was that some sources are higher in (bioavailable) calcium which makes including them blanched in the diet a true plus, whereas others aren't worth taking the time to include they are 1 mg. or lower per 2 Tsp. portion, like raw chicory leaf.
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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    I totally understand RM, as most adult squirrels refuse greens; just the way it is for them according to much observation of their kind once they reach adulthood.

    Amongst the best leafy green sources of calcium are those which are significantly higher in Calcium than the calcium robbing anti-nutrients, are the first three noted in post #4. If your squirrels are presently good about eating the block, perhaps try offering them one or more of these leafy greens (blanched) when their stomachs are still empty for their first food in the morning; this prior to feeding them their rodent block. Worth a try; if they should refuse, then you would have a higher calcium meal for yourselves.

    If you can find my post on your thread with the link to the video of a CR squirrel browsing for new leaves on a tree I posted, perhaps you can identify the tree, and from there perhaps find a reference on their oxalic acid content. You never know, your squirrels might like these leaves better than the bitter brassicas. Yet knowing that squirrels prefer those sources higher caloric value, I wouldn't be surprised if they turned them down, save perhaps you also offered them first before the rodent block.

    Considering that your CR squirrel species is primarily a fruit/seed consumer, as long as you offer tree fruits that they will eat which contain natural vitamin C, and other sources which are the fruit portion of plants, like Winter squash (baked) (good source of protein) that provides high source of beta-carotene, and boiled peas and fresh avocado (limited due to high P content), which contain folate and vitamin K1, but also both high in protein, with avocado high in healthy fats; then there will be no deficit from not feeding the greens save for the extra high amount of calcium from these sources being lacking.

    For that you have Calcium citrate, that can be added to provide what the higher calcium greens would provide if they were eaten. I can give you an estimate on the amount if you like for that. This form of calcium also has an added benefit, having been found in rats to lend significant support to both the liver and kidney health as they age.

    ps. if you feed vegetables of any kind, they should be boiled if stalked vegetables or root vegetables, and blanched if immature leaves to address possible bacteria, fungus, etc..

    Here are tools that can help you out with blanching leaves and even seeds to kill bad bacteria on the outside of the shell just prior to feeding them.

    https://www.amazon.com/VAHDAM-Approv.../dp/B074L3R29X

    There is also a round ball shaped similar spring loaded tea infuser that you may you may prefer.

    https://www.amazon.com/Loose-Infuser...kitchen&sr=1-6

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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    It's a shame we can't put a GoPro on a squirrel. Imagine all the info on what they eat that we could get! There are probably so many things we have no idea about, and even if there are many researchers who have managed to get a good bit of info, it's probably just the tip of the iceberg.

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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    True, but close to it. Check this out; just don't take their silly tittle to heart!

    https://www.videoswin.com/squirrels-...ild-bbc-earth/

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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    Diggie, thank you for sharing your extensive knowledge with us.💜🐿☮️

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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    True, but close to it. Check this out; just don't take their silly tittle to heart!

    https://www.videoswin.com/squirrels-...ild-bbc-earth/

    This brings up some things I've been pondering for years now.

    First: We are warned about the evils of peanuts, mostly because of them going bad and becoming toxic. My squirrels will cache peanuts in the manure pile which we find sometimes when shifting/piling the manure. The peanuts are inevitably rotten. I can't believe a squirrel would be stupid enough to eat one, unless it was starving and desperate. It makes me wonder if they eventually learn that peanuts don't keep, or if they can't help themselves and the cache drive is too strong. So that would mean that cached peanuts are either from an inexperienced squirrel that doesn't know s/he should just eat it right away, or one that just couldn't stop itself or maybe thought it would eat that peanut before it went bad. The big question is do they know it's bad when it goes bad? I have to believe they do.

    Second: We see the squirrels, as in the video above, burying nuts in very shallow holes. And I always think, there's no way the bugs etc won't get in there and ruin that nut, and yet the squirrel works so hard at it it HAS to be beneficial to the squirrel to do so. The only thing I can figure is the squirrels cut the acorns/nuts from the tree and burying them prevents grubs etc from getting in. In other words the grubs etc get into fallen nuts lying on the surface but not into ones the squirrels have buried when brought directly from the tree. This is the only thing that makes sense.
    This was borne out last year when my niece and I tried to gather acorns for my 8-ish-week-old squirrel. We went to a place where a row of pin? oaks was planted, and every year I see the squirrels there working away gathering. Well we hunted high and low and only found several acorns that had no obvious entry hole from any creature. When we got them home and let the squirrel try them, she was all over them . . . Until she examined them closely. She ate maybe two and rejected the rest. I examined the rejects, and found that if I put pressure on the cap lo and behold there was give. Removing the cap revealed either a pinhole from a grub that had got in or the acorn was starting to rot. We never went back to look for more. So not worth it.

    In recent months here I have read about people's squirrels dying from contaminated acorns. My poor baby that was supposed to be learning what to eat from me took me to school! Thank God for instinct.

    Another anecdote that supports the idea that squirrels only bury what they've picked themselves: Someone in the area told me about a grove of some kind of nut tree, I forget what, that had sort of been forgotten when the farm it was part of got pieced off and sold. He has a business right near where this nut grove was. For a few years some men would come when the nuts were ripe and would put tarps down and knock the nuts down to harvest them. They told him that once a nut hit the ground it was no good, the grubs/whatever got into them that fast. That grove is long gone, but these guys seem to have known what the squirrels know.

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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    Great information Chirps, than you for sharing it!

    There also may be smaller holes that the female weevil makes in the soft green shell of acorns; though sometimes this can be seen with the naked eye, using a magnifying glass to confirm it is a weevil hole can help. It is a much smaller hole made by the mother weevils that drill into the soft green shell of green acorns to lay their eggs. Each nut has a weevil specific to it. You may want to look up online what they look like.

    Another means to sort out bad acorns from good ones, is to place acorns in water, for bad ones will float and the good ones sink to the bottom of bowl. If they float at all I would not include them.

    When it comes to peanuts, corn, they are the number one and two sources that are the most susceptible to aspergillus contamination that produces deadly alfatoxins. Nuts though can contain them on the outside of the shell also. Blanching nuts in the shell for about 90 sec. will destroy the fungus, but not all the spores. Scrubbing the outer shell may help after the first dip, and then put in for a second dip.

    The key to storing the nuts is to do so short term, no more than 3 mo. in a cool dry place, but never in the fridge or freezer; for upon thawing it will promote the growth of the fungus. Storing shelled nut kernels using a vacuum sealer, and placing the nuts in a cool dry place is safer than freezing them longer that also can promote fungal growth from spores that you can't see. It is though the fungus that grows from the spores that is toxic.

    Vacuum sealing is super to use for other foods like fruit, baked squash, that should be stored in the freezer. This is what my diet partner does to support using my whole foods research diet for her squirrel, for this is what makes the diet quick and convenient to feed daily.

    As you share here, the wilds know what is good and what isn't having allot to choose from, they are far more picky than squirrels in captivity that are going to open up each nut. We gave our adult squirrel nuts in the shell, but as a juvenile only shelled nuts. At the time I wasn't aware of fungus toxicity, but then she would discard the nuts that were compromised. whether those she consumed had no fungus at all, I don't know, but she may have. Still she lived past 11 years. No need to give younger juvenile nuts in the shell, save the last couple of weeks prior to release when they are put out in a RC. Juveniles of any age can be given clean small cut dried sections of branches from non toxic trees.

    Ultimately, if you want to make sure there is no fungus, after doing this, and drying the acorn well, opening the acorns prior to feeding adds to the inspecting of the kernel for contamination. A magnifying glass will again be needed to ensure there is none.

    Two good sources that can afford some protection to the liver from toxins are:

    Milk Thistle seed elixir (liquid) from Oregon Wild Harvest (one syringe needle drop every other day)
    https://www.amazon.com/Oregons-Wild-.../dp/B00J9MKEUG

    Pumpkin Seed Oil (food grade) (Foods Alive) 1 drop (1/64) Tsp. daily with meals.
    https://www.amazon.com/Pumpkin-Seed-...07CRPJBYF?th=1

    For more on squirrels and acorns and other foods that they consume by species, I recommend, "North American Tree Squirrels" by John Koprowski, and Michael Steele, in which they have included an entire chapter on caching etc. Also, "The Natural History of Tree Squirrels", by Gurnell as there is allot on why they eat what they eat. I use both of these source regularly as references, as they interface with the knowledge of nutrition. The investment in just these two books is well worth making. I was able to pick up a copy of Gurnell's book on Amazon, it was allot more reasonable and in excellent condition.

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    Default Re: The depletion of minerals in our soils that has led to metabolic imbalances

    I thought to clarify what I wrote, for the nut weevils bore into the acorns when they are still soft and green while still on the tree to lay their eggs in them. Then about the time the nut falls to the ground the grubs then bore their way out, not in. there are though other insects that invade the nuts on the ground like the fungus fly.

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