The hypothesis that the diversity and abundance of chemical elements contained in ocean water could provide “nature’s perfect nutrient blend for the farm” was tested within the context of innovative farming methods proposed and implemented by Dr. Maynard Murray in the mid-20th century. In his book, Mr. Walters describes the inspirational, scientific and practical evolution and implementation of Dr. Murray’s ideas and the experiments he conducted to revolutionize modern agriculture in terms of providing healthier food for an increasingly unhealthy human population. Dr. Murray had taken his medical training at the University of Cincinnati and spent a decade testing the art and science of his profession. While working many years in Boston hospitals, Dr. Murray became increasingly appalled by the caseloads of patients suffering from various degenerative metabolic disorders including cancer, diabetes and arteriosclerosis. Subsequently, he became convinced that “the human race really was what it ate”. The main problem, he reasoned, was that the quality of the food being consumed by humans “was deteriorating even while achieving cosmetic beauty”. Consequently, he began his life-long quest to understand how to improve the nutritional and disease-fighting qualities of both livestock and human food crops through various unique and innovative ways that use ocean water and ocean solids in farm production systems.
Dr. Murray’s initial link to the potential, almost magical, powers of ocean water’s universal composition of at least 92 mineral elements to cure both unhealthy soils and living organisms, occurred as he relaxed along the fishing docks of Boston. His key observation was that the incidences and kinds of the metabolic diseases he witnessed in Boston hospitals were almost non-existent in marine animals. Charles Walter, the author, describes Dr. Murray’s inspirations occurring while, “A roller comes in. It erases marks on the beach. At some uncertain point, the mind comes to life again. Unburdened thinking time always serves up new connections”. Thus, Dr. Murray became the global champion of the use-application of the fabulous wealth of diversity of trace elements found in ocean water to improve plant and animal nutrient content and their subsequent impact on improving health and stress resistance. He also fully recognized the huge positive impact naturally healthy plant and animal populations would have on reducing the need for the use of fossil fuel-based pesticides. Furthermore, many of Dr. Murray’s early hypotheses were later validated by the emerging sciences of plant and animal biochemistry and genetics.
Mr. Walters, founder and former executive editor of Acres U.S.A., documents the many successes and significant unresolved challenges that Dr. Murray experienced during his 50 plus years applying his intellect and energy towards reshaping the health of the entire planet. Unfortunately, the majority of Dr. Murray’s professional writings were lost, and Mr. Walters relies on much of his information about Dr. Murray’s experiments and results from interviews with his co-workers and colleagues. Additionally, Mr. Walters integrates new discoveries in plant and animal sciences since Dr. Murray’ death – discoveries that continue to create an even stronger nexus to Dr. Murray’s legacy as an agricultural pioneer, even comparable to Thomas Edison’s contributions to our understanding and use of electricity. At the end of his narrative, Mr. Walters states, “While we wait, the ocean abides and ocean-grown grass waits in the wings for those with the wit to use it”.