Is our food becoming less nutritious? Many people claim that the nutrient content in our food has been decreasing over the decades. But is that really true, and should we be worried?
In 2004 a study was published that checked out 43 different common garden crops, and they way nutritional value had changed between 1950 and 1999. Now, what they found was that on the average, the protein content of these plants decreased by about 6%, Vitamin C decreased 15%, and vitamin B2 by a whopping 38 percent. They also noticed declines in minerals like iron and calcium. Now, it could be debated that how well could we actually have measured those nutrients back in 1950? ,Nevertheless there are still concerns about the food we’re eating today which might be less nutritious then the same vegetables 50 years ago. Several other recent studies also proves a pattern is emerging. So if we’re witnessing a nutrient collapse, then what’s causing it?
Depletion of Soil
One contributing factor that many people point to for our food becoming less nutritious is the depletion of the soils. Given that plants draw their nutrients up from the soil, intense farming practices were thought to be the explanation for of nutrient depletion. If you look at micronutrients, things like minerals, well, there are decreasing levels in plants. But, farmers have always put tons of effort into maintaining their soils and using fertilizers to ensure that the plants have all the nutrients they need, which makes that argument less convincing. Also, we’re still getting the same or as a matter of fact we are getting even bigger and more prolific plants than what we it used to get back, so surely they wouldn’t grow that well if they didn’t have the nutrients they need in the soil. So what else might be the cause for nutrients to be declining?
Another possibility is plants’ selective breeding. If you look at crop plant like corn today, they’re barely the same -size-wise when you compare them to their ancestors, the wild corn from which these were bred. Basically, since the advancements in the field of agriculture, we have been breeding our food crops for higher yields, for resistance to pests and changes in the climate. And, by and large, we’ve been successful. Crops are now bigger and grow faster than ever before. But are they more nutritious? Maybe we’ve accidentally been outcasted the nutrition out of our foods in pursuit of other objectives. It’s tough to actually assess how big of a contributor to the cause of our food becoming less nutritious selective breeding is, because we can’t easily compare this product to the same produce a hundred years ago or a thousand years ago. So we need something else to be able to determine whether it’s selective breeding causing this decrease or something else. What would be really helpful in assessment of the factor would be a plant that has never been selectively bred. Where would you find one like that? Well, this is where weeds come in handy. In North America, there’s a wildflower called goldenrod which is an important source of protein for bees, but not humans that’s why it has remained wild, and untouched Through selective breeding, but how would you know what goldenrod was like 100 or 200 years ago? The Smithsonian Institute has been keeping hundreds of samples of goldenrod dating all the way back to 1842. Using these samples and samples collected in 2014, scientists were able to compare modern goldenrod with goldenrod from over a hundred years ago, and the results were astounding. They found that there was a 30% decrease in the amount of protein in the goldenrod pollen over that period of time. So If it’s not selective breeding, what else has caused goldenrod to become less nutritious over the last 150 years or so?
Too Much Carbon
The last rather surprising idea was that carbon dioxide could play a vital role. In cross-section, air with its gas particles of carbon dioxide mixed, enters the plant and makes its way into every living cell. For plants CO2 is like food in the air. It basically increases the growth of all plants. Over the last couple of centuries, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased a lot, from about 280 parts per million to over 400 parts per million. Now, that might not sound like a lot, but if you’re thinking of it as plant food, we’re talking about an increase by almost 50%, and we the impact can be seen by space generated images. It is called the greening of the planet. Scientists have been tracking the impact and effects of CO2 on plants via experiments called FACE, which stands for Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment. Their experiments are executed by injecting more CO2 into the area where plant crops are grown, and they find that wheat, barley, rice, and potatoes; will grow faster if there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere. But here’s the thing. They don’t necessarily become more nutritious, they simply increase in the amount of carbs. In Japan and China scientists conducted other studies by pumping carbon dioxide into rice crops to simulate the kind of CO2 concentrations expected in 50 years’ time. On the average, protein levels fell by 10 percent iron by 8 percent and zinc by 5 percent, But a lower concentration of nutrients doesn’t necessarily correlate with a decline in the plant’s nutrient contents. It is called the dilution effect. So what does all this mean for us? Well, in three decades ahead, scientists estimate that up to a hundred and fifty million people in the developing world may be on the verge of protein deficiency, due to the decreasing levels of protein in their staple foods. So does that mean we should always be taking vitamins and adding supplements to our diets? No Well, . At least, not yet. Because the nutrient declines are small enough that you should still be able to get everything you need from a well-balanced diet, including wide range of fruits, veggies.
Side-Effects of the excess amount of Carbon in Food
The increasing levels of CO2 in our food and the dilution effect may be exacerbating the obesity epidemic. The thinking goes like this: We feel full, and satiated when we’ve consumed a certain amount of protein. So if the protein levels are going down We may have to eat more food, more carbohydrates, and more fats to achieve the same level of protein to make our stomach feel full. And that may make us fatter. While this is still a debated theory what is becoming increasingly clear is that the changing atmosphere, specifically the rising level of CO2, is changing the food we eat.
The Sources about researches and studies mentioned above on how our is Food Becoming becoming less Nutritious” is down below. https://www.fiverr.com/share/oQ3ZLL
- I produce content worth your time. I put hours, days in research, drafting, and compilation to provide you best reading material -useful, informative, and overall instructive-.
- The least you can do to help me in my journey is to become a patron of my work. Special attribution will be given to those patrons on my website.
- Support me on patreon: Patreon/AliHaidar