by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© March 2023, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.


Today, N-P-K are applied to most or our food. This can include organically grown food. It produces more food. However, it is causing severe problems.

The development method of agriculture. I work with a newer soil analysis and regeneration method called the development method. According to this method, N-P-K wreck a critical mineral ratio in the soil, the sodium/potassium ratio. They also artificially increase the “speed” or oxidation rate of the soil. This is also terrible. This article will explain these problems in more detail.


The standard information about N-P-K is they are fertilizers that feed the plants. We do not agree. We would call N-P-K growth stimulants.

Stimulation can look like nutrition, but it is definitely not the same and food grown with N-P-K is much lower in nutrition. Here is how the N-P-K work.


The usual compound applied to crops is K2O. It is a toxic form of potassium that plants cannot use too well. They must convert it to other forms, which requires the micorrhiza. If there is enough of these organisms around, the potassium becomes a stimulant to growth. However, it is not a natural form of potassium that plants need.

Problems with toxic potassium compounds.

1. It unbalances the sodium/potassium and calcium/potassium ratios in the soil. These are very critical ratios. As a result, the “speed” or oxidation rate of the soil increases and the soil structure and nutrition of the soil become weaker.

2. It tends to increase the salt or sodium content of the soil. This is terrible because it reduces yields. It occurs because the potassium lowers the critical sodium/potassium ratio of the soil. To compensate for this, the soil holds on to more sodium or salts, increasing the amount in the soil.

3. To get rid of the K2O, the plants and soil micro-organisms, in the presence of lots of nitrogen compounds, convert some of it to potassium nitrate. This is a very stimulating chemical. It is actually explosive and is one of the main ingredients in gunpowder.

4. Problems for humans and animals. Some K2O remains in the soil and plants. It then finds its way into our food, especially our fruits. When eaten by humans and animals, K2O is extremely alkaline and extremely pro-inflammatory.

It causes oxidant damage among other problems. It is a severe problem today thanks to N-P-K agriculture and only becoming worse. For details, read The Amigos – Iron, Manganese, Aluminum And Others.


The usual nitrogen compound in N-P-K chemicals are ammonium salts, nitrates and nitric acid. These are all toxic for plants. However, they have a growth-stimulating effect. They combine with certain micro-organisms that use them to build amino acids and other chemicals.

Actually, food grown with N-P-K is usually lower in protein and higher in starch. This might seem like a paradox. For example, the protein content of wheat has declined from over 10% to closer to 5 or 6% today. This occurs because 1) yields have increased so the nitrogen is spread over more plants, and 2) some nitrogen must be used to neutralize toxic potassium and for other purposes.


The usual phosphorus compound in N-P-K chemicals is P2O5. This is a toxic form of phosphorus that plants must convert to use properly. It is a growth stimulant, however. It works by irritating certain structures in plants that result in greater crop production. This is not desirable for animals or humans, even if farmers and food companies like it because it increases yields.

In fact, yields are falling from what they were 50 years ago because the soil is becoming more depleted and sick.


The green revolution. Widespread use of N-P-K agriculture began around 1930 in the United States and a little later in many other nations.

It was literally a new type of agriculture that seemed wonderful because crop yields were greater. Some called it the green revolution of the twentieth century.

However, the crops were weak, sick and nutritionally very inferior. This is well-documented. The green revolution was and is a disaster. It brought many problems including soil erosion (the dust bowls), many new plant diseases, much worse pest infestations, and more. Farmers are still trying to cope with these problems today.


1. More yin and thus more yin-toxic crops.  This may sound esoteric, but it is an important truth. Larger species of wheat, soy, corn, fruits, and everything else today are more yin plants.  The word yin in Chinese means expanded and centrifugal in nature.  This is exactly what happens to these plants under the influence of N-P-K fertilizers.  They grow big, tall and expanded.

The problem with this is that the world today is very yin already.  To maintain a balance, we do not need more yin crops.  In fact, they make us more ill.  Please read Yin Disease and Yin And Yang Healing on this website to learn why the world is so yin today, and how this damages health.

2. Depletion of the soil trace minerals.  This occurs for at least two reasons:

a) The increased yield of acreage or tonnage of crops means that more trace elements go into the crops, and these trace minerals are then removed from the soil when the crop is harvested.  As a result, the soil needs to be replenished with more trace minerals.  However, farmers have not done this, in general, as it is very costly and in some cases, quite difficult to accomplish. 

b). N-P-K seem to speed up the oxidation rate of the plants, weeds, and the soil microorganisms.  This is a form of stress for the soil, the crops and the soil micro-organisms that leads to harmful changes in the mineral composition of the soil, the crops and the soil micro-organisms themselves.

This reason for trace mineral depletion is so critical and important, it is discussed later in this article in a separate section below.

c) Other damage to the soil micro-organisms.  This is often from pesticides, insecticides, the use of other chemicals, and perhaps damage due to topsoil erosion or other causes.

3. Topsoil erosion. Topsoil erosion may not sound serious, but they are.  Topsoil takes hundreds of years to form, and any loss of it is catastrophic for agriculture.  The reasons for topsoil erosion include reduced soil permeability discussed below, but also changes in the soil flora or micro-organisms that may make the soil dryer and less able to hold together during dust and rain storms.  This creates dust bowls when the wind blows, desertification and other horrors for humanity.

4. Reduced soil permeability. This means that rain water just runs off, instead of being absorbed and held in the soil.  When the water runs off, first it takes with it valuable topsoil.  Some, of course, is deposited downstream, but much is just washed into the oceans where it benefits no one except some fish.

Secondly, it causes far worse flooding problems. 

Thirdly, reduced soil permeability can spell disaster for some crops that require a permeable soil.

Fourth, impermeable or hard-pan soil is much more difficult for farmers to till and cultivate.  So this is another serious problem in some areas.

Today, farmers may add more chemicals to soften the soil and help it to hold more water.  However, adding more chemicals is sometimes dangerous, as the chemicals can be toxic.  Allowing animals to graze on the land is another solution, and there are others that are non-toxic.

5. More flooding around the world.  I list this problem mentioned above separately, as it is so serious.  Many news stories document that flooding is a terrible human and environmental problem today.  Few news stories relate it back to modern chemical agriculture, but that is one of its main causes.  Flooding is the result of reduced soil permeability and loss of topsoil.  When the rains come, the soil cannot absorb the water, so it just forms a torrent and tears through homes and cities.

6. Desertification around the world.  I will list this problem separately, as it, too, is so critical to stop.  Desertification simply means that as the soil loses fertility, fewer weeds and other plants, bushes and trees grow in the area, and after a while the area turns to desert.  This ruins it as an animal habitat, and it cannot be used for farming, ranching, or most other human activities.  This is still happening across Africa and parts of Asia thanks to unwise farming practices.  Fortunately, this problem is being addressed, more than the others, as it is so serious.

7. Insect and other pest infestations due to imbalanced plant chemistry.  Insect infestations have always plagued agriculture.  Lately, some of these problems are becoming worse.  Once again, this rarely makes the news because mankind is resourceful and often finds solutions.  However, the solutions, as with human health problems, are usually more “stimulant or suppressive drugs” for the soil in the form of newer pesticides that themselves are quite toxic and damaging.

8. Poisoning of the soil, plants, animals, humans and the environment with newer toxic pesticides and insecticides.  The answer for the problems listed above, according to the “factory farming movement”, has been to develop more and more new chemicals such as, pesticides, insecticides, and more recently special genetically-modified strains of seeds that contain pesticides such as Roundup Ready Corn and others that can survive the reduced soil fertility, unbalanced soil and increased pest problems.

This movement has brought great profits to a few biotech companies such as Monsanto and others who genetically design the seeds and then license the farmers to use them.  It is all quite despicable, however, as it is not solving the basic problem and it is causing other problems.  These include cross-contamination of seeds, more toxic soils, and the production of even less nutritional crops.

The chemicals themselves are also often costly, and quite harmful to the soil, animals, wildlife and humans who must work around the chemicals and eat their residues.  These toxic chemicals are much worse than some imagine, and they are contaminating the entire planet more each year.

9. Reduced general soil fertility.  This effect is a combination of trace mineral imbalances, reduced soil permeability, toxic soil due to pesticide use, and topsoil erosion.  This serious problem is slowly reducing the wonderful crop yields that N-P-K used to produce.  It may also threaten starvation for millions of people in the future if certain trends are not reversed.

In some parts of the world, reduced soil fertility is already causing starvation in areas which used to support agriculture.

10. Much poorer quality food.  The deterioration in the nutritional quality of our food has been well-documented.  In many cases, the trace mineral content, which is just one measure, has declined by over 1000% in the past hundred years.  In some cases, it is even worse.

In addition to mineral, vitamin and protein losses, the food is starchier, more sugary, and loaded with chemicals, all of which promote disease in livestock, humans and even the bees and other creatures that eat the food.  This is a major contributor to the “diseases of civilization” that now ravage America, Europe and even parts of Asia, which is quickly adopting the N-P-K mentality out of what they believe is sheer economic necessity.

11. More toxic metals in the soil.  As is the case with human beings, the soil takes up and utilizes many more toxic metals when there is a shortage of vital trace minerals.  This is a final problem that has repercussions throughout the food chain, and at every level of agriculture and human nutrition.  The food supply has not only become depleted of certain trace minerals, but it has become more toxic with the heavy metals, as well.

12. Accumulation of the “amigos” or the irritants or oxides in the soil, and thus the food.  This is an interesting problem that I first noticed in human beings.  Since then, I have found the identical problem in livestock animals, domesticated animal species, and in the soil.

The amigos refers to biounavailable or less bioavailable forms of certain minerals including iron, manganese, aluminum, copper, nickel, boron, molybdenum, chromium, selenium, vanadium, cobalt, lithium and others.  Even calcium and magnesium can form these less available compounds.

What appears to occur is that as the soil or the plant and animal bodies become weaker, certain forms of minerals start to accumulate.  The soil micro-organisms and the bodies can make these compounds.  They have a stimulating effect, so they compensate for certain weaknesses in the soil, the plants, the animals and in human beings and in this way keep the soil and living organisms balanced to a degree.  However, they are not healthy at all.  To learn more about them in human beings, an in general, read The Amigos - Iron, Manganese and Aluminum on this website.


This has been touched upon, and much more could be written about it.  In general, the health of the livestock today is far worse than in the past.  The animals are stressed, infected with viri, and their digestion, immune responses, reproduction, energy level and much more is out of balance and weak.  Also, their flesh and milk contain pesticide residues, hormone residues and other toxic chemicals.

Many of the livestock, especially dairy cows and beef cattle, are not nearly as healthful today because they are genetic hybrids.  The hybrids can survive on the depleted and toxic feed, but they require antibiotics, hormones, vaccines and other toxic drugs to survive.  They are like many people today who are so ill that some seem to need half a dozen drugs and several operations just to survive.


Wildlife are often decimated by eating the crops in the fields produced with N-P-K.  This is because the wildlife is not accustomed to the stimulation of poor quality, low trace-element food and they suffer diseases and death as a result.  The wildlife are also often poisoned by the pesticide residues that find their way into the water supplies and the air everywhere on planet earth.  They are also decimated by the drying up of their habitats as a result of the soil’s inability to absorb and hold as much water as it did previously.  It is a total loss for the wildlife on the planet with few exceptions.


The green revolution of the twentieth century has seen a great increase in the amount of food that can be grown per acre of arable land. This has been a blessing for life on earth.

However, there has been a price to pay, and we are now reaping some of the adverse effects of the green revolution.  The trace mineral content, protein content and other nutrients in the food are much lower than 100 years ago.  While some diseases have been conquered, other diseases have taken their place and the human lifespan has basically stagnated for the past 20 or 30 years.  Commentators should mention this fact when people defend the medical system as being so wonderful.  It is not.

Imbalances and deficiencies and toxicity related to our agricultural methods contribute to all the major diseases of our day.

NOTE: Fortunately as this website documents, much of the effects can be offset or at least modified if a person will eat a diet of at least 70% cooked vegetables.  A different kind of malnutrition is ravaging our planet. It is not a lack of food, but rather a food supply that is depleted and toxic. 



The oxidation rate is a general term that has to do with the metabolic rate or rate of oxygen burning or usage in a plant, animal or human being. 

The concept of stress is used often in relation to human health.  However, soils are often stressed as well.  They can be stressed by lack of moisture, by insect infestation, or by other factors.  N-P-K exert a stress that speeds up the metabolic rate of all life in the soil.

Interestingly, this stress is very similar to how some of our food habits may speed up the oxidation rate in human beings.  Here are some of the human equivalents of N-P-K fertilization:

NITROGEN STRESS. This can come from eating too much meat, cheese, eggs, or even too many dried beans or legumes.  Overeating on these foods, which is standard in many Western people’s diets, gives the body too much nitrogen compounds, which are found in protein foods.

PHOSPHORUS STRESS. This comes from drinking some cola drinks or soda pop.  Slightly toxic phosphorus compounds are also rich in all grains.  Some colas contain toxic forms of phosphorus such as phosphoric acid.  The grains contain phytates and other phosphorus compounds, which can also be easily overdone. These phosphorus compounds combine with and bind calcium and zinc, among other minerals, and remove them from the body. This is a very serious problem. However, lowering calcium temporarily makes one feel better.

POTASSIUM STRESS. This comes from eating almost any food today, especially fruits and “vegetables” that are really fruits such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and all peppers.Even organically grown fruit contains a lot of toxic potassium.

Vegetables do not pick up as much of it, so they are safer, especially if they are cooked.  This may be because vegetables are much more yang in Chinese medical terms than fruits.  Yang will not attract or pick up as much of yin toxins, of which the potassium used in N-P-K fertilizers is one.

Most everyone, we find, needs to be eating far more cooked vegetables, most likely to counteract the stimulating or unbalanced effect of eating some other foods. 

Eating many cooked vegetables also contain “antidotes” for the stimulant foods, every day also provides plenty of “antidotes” for some of the unbalancing effects of other foods.  These protective chemicals include plenty of folic acid, TMGor trimethylglycine, many trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, healthful fiber, and other balancing nutrients.

Humans and some animals try to speed up their metabolism with other stimulants, as well, such as sugars, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, fear, worry and other methods. People may use these stimulants to combat the fatigue and malaise they feel from consuming the N-P-K food today.

However, the food-based stimulants above are actually among the main metabolic stimulants used by human beings today around the world! The same chemicals that stimulate the soil and animal species also stimulate the human oxidation rate – and with the same harmful consequences.

A fight-or-flight response. Soil stimulants, including N-P-K fertilizers, essentially cause a fight-or-flight response in the soil micro-organisms.

According to the stress theory of disease proposed by Dr. Hans Selye, MD, a fight-or-flight reaction always causes the depletion of particular trace minerals, and an overabundance of others.  For example, this particular type of stress depletes calcium, magnesium, and zinc quickly and early.  Later on, it causes depletion of other trace minerals such as selenium, silicon, manganese, boron and bioavailable forms of copper.

The following is an article by Dr. Mercola from his email newsletter, July 1, 2013:


By Dr. Mercola

Environmental pollution is a significant problem. But while most of the focus is placed on polluting industries, toxins like mercury and small particle traffic pollution, a major source of environmental devastation is caused by modern food production. Far from being life sustaining, our modern chemical-dependent farming methods:

•                               Strip soil of nutrients

•                               Destroy critical soil microbes

•                               Contribute to desertification

•                               Saturate farmlands with toxic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that then migrate into ground water, rivers, lakes and oceans.

For example, many areas of Minnesota, which is prime farmland, now face the problem of having dangerously elevated levels of nitrogen in their drinking water.

The conversion of grasslands and pastures into chemical-driven, industrial crop land has eliminated much of the natural filtering of ground water that such native landscapes typically provide. Health risks of nitrogen include a potential connection to cancer, as well as thyroid and reproductive problems in both humans and livestock.

Nitrogen Overuse Threatens the Environment

Going back to where we started, the overuse of nitrogen in farming is causing far more environmental devastation than many currently comprehend. A recent National Geographic article6 addresses this issue:

'Runaway nitrogen is suffocating wildlife in lakes and estuaries, contaminating groundwater, and even warming the globe’s climate. As a hungry world looks ahead to billions more mouths needing nitrogen-rich protein, how much clean water and air will survive our demand for fertile fields?'

China, the world’s largest producer of synthetic nitrogen, has hundreds of nitrogen factories, and the country’s farmers apply vast amounts of nitrogen to their fields. One rice farmer reports spreading no less than 530 pounds of urea, a dry form of nitrogen, on each acre. Vegetable farmers use even more than that. According to the featured article,7 some use upwards of two tons of nitrogen each hectare (2.47 acres).

'Few of them think they’re doing anything harmful. No, no pollution,' says Song, when asked about the environmental effects of fertilizer,' the article states. "Scientists tell a different story. 'Nitrogen fertilizer is overused by 30 to 60 percent' in intensively managed fields, says Xiaotang Ju, of the China Agricultural University in Beijing. 'It’s misuse!' Once spread on fields, nitrogen compounds cascade through the environment, altering our world, often in unwelcome ways. Some of the nitrogen washes directly from fields into streams or escapes into the air. Some is eaten, in the form of grain, by either humans or farm animals, but is then released back into the environment as sewage or manure from the world’s growing number of pig and chicken farms.”

Water pollution, as mentioned earlier, is one of the side effects of such overuse. In a matter of decades, rivers that used to run crystal clear though Chinese provinces are now cloudy from overgrowth of phytoplankton, fed by fertilizer runoff from the fields. According to National Geographic:

A recent national survey of 40 lakes in China found that more than half of them suffered from too much nitrogen or phosphorus. (Fertilizer containing phosphorus is often to blame for algal growth in lakes.)

The best known case is Lake Tai, China’s third largest freshwater lake, which regularly experiences huge blooms of toxic cyanobacteria. A spreading bloom in 2007 contaminated water supplies for two million people in the nearby city of Wuxi. Excess nutrients are damaging fisheries in China’s coastal areas in the same way that fertilizer runoff flowing down the Mississippi has destroyed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico: by creating dead zones in which algae and phytoplankton bloom, die, and decompose, using up oxygen and suffocating fish.”


Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Farmers' Markets -- A national listing of farmers' markets.

Local Harvest -- This Web site will help you find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.

Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals -- The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) -- CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.

FoodRoutes -- The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.

(end of article)


Pioneers in organic agriculture such as Andre Voisin, William Albrecht, and even as far back as George Carver and other great scientists warned about the consequences of using N-P-K. Their warning went unheeded because the increase in crop yield was so amazing and lucrative.

Only now are more agricultural scientists wondering what we have lost or created as a result of the green revolution of the 20th century on earth.

This is completely analogous to the questioning that is now occurring concerning the wholesale use of medical drugs that mainly stimulate, suppress and alter the body at symptomatic levels, while intoxicating the person and causing “side effects”, in too many cases.

The excitement over drugs is similar to the excitement over N-P-K, and the financial gain for drug companies is similar to the financial gain for some large agricultural firms.

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