Biofortification: A Solution to Nutrient Loss in Vegetables and Global Hunger?

The climate crisis has only accelerated concerns about crops’ nutritional value. That’s prompted the emergence of a process called biofortification,
a strategy to replenish lost nutrients or foods that were never had in the first place.

In 2004, researchers at the University of Texas, led by Donald Davis, unveiled a concerning trend: a significant decline in the nutritional content of 43 different food items, predominantly vegetables, observed from the mid to the late 20th century. Their findings highlighted notable reductions, such as a drop in calcium levels in green beans from 65 to 37mg and a nearly 50% decrease in the Vitamin A content of asparagus. Iron in broccoli stalks also diminished.

This issue of nutrient depletion has persisted, with subsequent studies linking the phenomenon to elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). For instance, a 2018 investigation into the effects of increased CO2 on rice revealed diminished levels of protein, iron, and zinc, underscoring the ongoing challenge of declining food nutrient values. Read More

News Credit: The Guardian

Picture Credit: Oscar Wong/Getty Images

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