This is something I mentioned in my first post. Should I feed myself or my family any tablets and capsules as well as food? Family food doesn’t really sound like the kind of thing you add supplements to, but looking back, we were raised with some vitamin C from the health visitor as small children, and codliver oil was also a favourite (among parents that is – and they weren’t eating it).

Today there is so much around, but do we really need it? I have been reading for the last several years that the food we eat is less well-endowed with vitamins than it used to be, but nothing had really persuaded me. I felt I needed to read more thoroughly, but didn’t do the research.

Earlier this year, a book ‘leapt off the shelf at me’ in my local library. I started to read the book with some skepticism, but became more impressed the more I read. I am now following up books that appeared in that book’s biography. Your local library may have it too: ‘We Want Real Food’ by Graham Harvey.

The author cites examples from around the world, but most from UK and North America. I never thought I could be this interested in a book that is basically about soil – the stuff that feeds our food plants, and everything that eats them.

Vitamin and mineral levels in plant foods and fodders are affected by the fertility of the soil, and looking after soil is quite an art. It has made me look at my garden in a new light, and think about what else I need apart from packets of seeds.

This whole book has led me to re-asses the need for some supplementation, but I need to look further into this. Meanwhile, I inflict codliver oil on my children, just in case…