Monday, 29 September 2014

A Less Nutritious Future?

I recently read an article in the Soil Association magazine about the affect excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is having on the nutritional content of our food.

It's something I'd not really considered before. I have a half plot allotment and patio garden that I tend to haphazardly so grow and eat a fair amount of my own fruit and vegetables. I get a great deal of satisfaction from this and some peace of mind knowing that it's not been sprayed with anything. However it seems that is only partially improving the quality of my food.

There is more CO2 in the air than ever before, in our lifetimes. This is due in part to our ongoing mistreatment of the soil. As the proportion of organic matter in our soil drops due to intense agriculture, so does it's ability to absorb CO2. A new study has found that crops grown in higher concentrations of CO2 have reduced levels of essential nutrients such as zinc, iron and protein by 9%, 5% and 6% respectively.

As some one who is deficient in iron and is on a constant mission to improve the protein content of her diet, this concerns me. This affects us all and as I am part of a wider community of people who care about their health, it felt appropriate to write about it here.

What can we do? A small step would be to support organic farming, grow a little of your own food, and generally take more of an interest.

You can read a version of the article here.

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