The following article was posted online on November 2, 2015; Healthy Diets Save Lives But the US Isn’t Biting.

Basically, we know what is causing poor health and early death, but we’re not doing what’s necessary to make things better – mostly eating better. While I agree, there is another aspect to the issue and that is whether it’s even possible to eat better.

Doctors have long stated that dietary supplements are unnecessary as long as we eat a good balanced diet. Yet, supplement sales remain strong in all sectors.

Americans, in particular, appear to eat poorly and take supplements of vitamins and minerals. Why not just accept the old saw and eat better?

Well, we can’t, even when we make the effort.

What passes for food in the United States is usually deficient in nutrients. Fruits and vegetables are picked before they’re ripe and shipped long distances before they hit our tables.

Livestock are fed the cheapest grains (they naturally prefer grass, but grain is far cheaper than pasturing animals). The meat supply – and most dairy as well – is further tainted with hormones and antibiotics. Grass fed meat is better than most store bought cuts, but costs more and isn’t all that easy to find.

Grains are ubiquitous – heck, they’re everywhere – and so are sugars. Grains and sugars are inflammatory and directly associated with chronic health problems; diabetes type II being one of the primary villains.

To make all matters worse, the environment itself is becoming more toxic every day; dumped chemicals and drugs, pesticides, plasticizers, herbicides, home lawn products, and even the chemicals we clean our homes with – and the products we slather on our skin.

All of those chinks in the armor of our diets diet make it all but impossible to eat well and stay healthy. This is where the other part of the original dilemma comes in – the robust sale and use of dietary supplements, including herbs. All of them would be unnecessary if we could easily obtain good, clean food. That food isn’t available, so the only alternative is supplements.

Those of us who demand better health know we must use supplements every day to counteract the damage caused by our present systems. Everyone needs some dietary help. For one thing, we all ought to be using a daily regimen of probiotics. This would be foolish if we weren’t destroying our own gut flora with the junk we toss down our throats. Our consumption destroys good bacteria, which must be viable if we expect to have a strong digestive system and immune system.

Probiotics are a great step one, but we also need a multivitamin every day – maybe two or three. B Vitamins are pretty much “cooked” out of our processed-food menus and we need to supplement. The same is true for all the other vitamins as well.

Minerals don’t get cooked out, but neglect of the soil brings on minimal amounts for our crops. Yes, the plants look green and healthy, but they cannot deliver the full spectrum of minerals if we’re only putting phosphorous and nitrogen back into the used soil. We need magnesium, sodium, selenium, molybdenum, calcium, and so on. Failure to change crops means failure to deliver healthy soil. Poor soil means poor nutrition.

We need supplementation to survive and thrive.