Is your diet less nutritious because of the global warming trend? According to a recent TED talk, that might actually be the case. Rising CO2 is pushing climate change along and while this is placing certain crops at risk from issues such as flooding and drought, the quality of our food may also be falling.
According to research cited during the TED Talks from Kristie Ebi, an epidemiologist, those rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will also have significant implications for the nutrition in the food we’ll have available to us. This, said Ebi, will greatly impact the future of agriculture and as a result, public health, too.
What’s Happening to the Nutrients in Your Food?
The phenomenon is beginning with a reduction in protein and nutrients within crops of plants. From there, this falling nutrient level rises up the food chain. This means that the nutrients you need from food are suffering regardless of whether you’re eating a fully vegan diet or whether you eat lots of meat.
The idea is that carbon dioxide is a form of necessary fuel for the types of plants we grow to eat. This makes it sound as though the nutrients in your food should be getting better since carbon dioxide levels are rising. However, researchers have discovered that when there is too much carbon dioxide, many of our major crops, such as rice and wheat, actually suffer.
Field studies have shown that when carbon dioxide levels reach the predicted concentrations mid-century, rice crops that feed the majority of the planet will contain 10 percent less protein. They will also contain 30 percent less folate and 15 percent less each of vitamin B1 and vitamin B2.
This is Big
Keep in mind that the nutrients in your food won’t just suddenly drop off mid-century. Instead, as carbon dioxide levels rise, nutrition will fall. Therefore, with each passing year that we fail to take action that will control our contribution to the rising carbon dioxide levels, we will be eating foods that benefit us less.
This will be harmful worldwide. It will have the largest impact on the poorest countries, but wealthier nations will not be protected from this trend. Moreover, anyone thinking that they can simply take supplements to make up for the missing nutrition will need to read up on other research recently presented, which showed that many vitamin supplements don’t do anything at all to promote better health or longevity. Those researchers recommend that we receive our nutrition exclusively through food.
The nutrients in your food and on the plates of every person in the planet are falling, and it’s happening fast. Researchers recommend contacting local, state and federal reps to voice your concerns.