The great nutrient collapse

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admin
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The great nutrient collapse

Post by admin » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:06 pm

So, here is something for the ultra paranoid to worry about. Our food is getting less nutritious, even if increased CO2 levels accelerate volume produced.

http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/20 ... ide-000511

And for those that are wondering about where Chile sits in the global CO2 cloud, here is the CO2 map.

https://www.nasa.gov/jpl/oco2/pia18934

Not bad, relatively speaking, as the oceans seem to be acting as a buffer. Especially for southern Chile. Still, overall, not good.
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Re: The great nutrient collapse

Post by frozen-north » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:45 pm


.....he was in a biology lab when he encountered the puzzle that would change his life. It was in 1998...
Well, he seems focused on CO2 as the explanation. Others seem to think that it could be because of other changes.

In 2004, a landmark study of fruits and vegetables found that everything from protein to calcium, iron and vitamin C had declined significantly across most garden crops since 1950. The researchers concluded this could mostly be explained by the varieties we were choosing to grow.
Davis and his colleagues chalk up this declining nutritional content to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance) other than nutrition.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... tion-loss/


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Re: The great nutrient collapse

Post by admin » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:20 am

frozen-north wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:45 pm

.....he was in a biology lab when he encountered the puzzle that would change his life. It was in 1998...
Well, he seems focused on CO2 as the explanation. Others seem to think that it could be because of other changes.

In 2004, a landmark study of fruits and vegetables found that everything from protein to calcium, iron and vitamin C had declined significantly across most garden crops since 1950. The researchers concluded this could mostly be explained by the varieties we were choosing to grow.
Davis and his colleagues chalk up this declining nutritional content to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance) other than nutrition.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... tion-loss/

Yea, if there is some sort of dispute about the cause of it, it would seem a fairly straight forward set of experiments would settle the debate. You could probably sort it out in a backyard greenhouse experiment. Obviously a more robust experiment with say 10,000 plants under more controlled conditions would be better.

Also, If the CO2 thesis is correct, you should be able to test it against undomesticated plants to eliminate the variable of breeding. I also believe we have old seeds, dating back to the 50's that are still viable. They find corn in various graves in Egypt and such that are still viable. So, there are plenty of ways to test this.

In fact, I would be fairly surprised if there was not some agro school somewhere that has run that experiment.
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Re: The great nutrient collapse

Post by Britkid » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:31 am

Increased CO2 also leads to global warming which leads to climate change which can lead to higher temperatures and lower rainfall in tropical regions which can lead to crop failures and desertification. If the crop has failed entirely, they you are not going to exactly get a lot of good quality nutrients from them.
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Re: The great nutrient collapse

Post by admin » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:33 am

Here is the problem I see with the debate between the two.

The soil conditions thesis, is fairly easily confirmed and fixed.

The CO2 thesis, is a whole different bag of apples.


I can see why the agro industry and lobby is probably pretty happy with the soil being the problem. They get to sell more chemicals, fertilizer and other tech to fix it.

The CO2 problem, well that is just too politically loaded to get the time of day and the research money it might need. If it is the cause, the solution, if there is one, is way too expensive; and lower yielding foods, requiring production of more food, also would make the agro industry pretty happy. It is not the kind of problem that can be fixed easily, and the motives to not fix it are massive.

The CO2 explosion is just getting going. From perma frost melting to the oceans not absorbing as much CO2, it is probably too late; unless we are willing to start growing things in a mars or lunar colony style closed system. That is just really expensive to do.
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Re: The great nutrient collapse

Post by Britkid » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:45 am

And for those that are wondering about where Chile sits in the global CO2 cloud, here is the CO2 map.

https://www.nasa.gov/jpl/oco2/pia18934

Not bad, relatively speaking, as the oceans seem to be acting as a buffer. Especially for southern Chile. Still, overall, not good.
[/quote]

But look at the scale - almost eveywhere in the world is between about 390-400 which is a different of only a few per cent, quite small, almost negligible difference from one plcae to another, compared to the fact that Co2 was at about 300 before we started burning all the fossil fuels and may get to nearer 500 (?) by the time we stop.

You are not escaping the increasing CO2 concentrations in southern Chile or anywhere else.
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Re: The great nutrient collapse

Post by frozen-north » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:03 am

admin wrote:
Here is the problem I see with the debate between the two.

The soil conditions thesis, is fairly easily confirmed and fixed. ....
The first time I heard about the decline in nutritional content on vegetables was sometime in the late '80s or early '90s (Before Google). The person being interviewed on the radio at that time said that their thesis was soil depletion caused by the way vegetables were being produced. He also mentioned that some department of the US government had been keeping data on the nutritional content for many years.

Well, now that we have search engines, I found that the one keeping the data is the USDA, and that somebody already checked the soil thesis, and also seems to confirm that new varieties explain the difference:

Allegations of decline due to agricultural soil mineral depletion are unfounded.

Comparisons with matching archived soil samples show soil mineral content has not declined in locations cultivated intensively with various fertilizer treatments.

Contemporaneous analyses of modern versus old crop varieties grown side-by-side, and archived samples, show lower mineral concentrations in varieties bred for higher yields where increased carbohydrate is not accompanied by proportional increases in minerals

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... 7516302113

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Re: The great nutrient collapse

Post by Britkid » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:53 pm

I just got around to reading the two articles. I think the argument that nutrition of fruit and vegetables is reducing over time looks very solid (although modern fruit and veg are still more nutritious than other foods).

The argument that CO2 is at least partly the cause also looks pretty solid. If you read the first article admin posted they have already done lots of experiments of growing plants in higher CO2 concentrations and measured the reduced calcium, potassium, zinc and iron, amongst other things.
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Re: The great nutrient collapse

Post by JacintoB » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:47 am

Britkid wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:53 pm
I just got around to reading the two articles. I think the argument that nutrition of fruit and vegetables is reducing over time looks very solid (although modern fruit and veg are still more nutritious than other foods).

The argument that CO2 is at least partly the cause also looks pretty solid. If you read the first article admin posted they have already done lots of experiments of growing plants in higher CO2 concentrations and measured the reduced calcium, potassium, zinc and iron, amongst other things.
Yeah I've had the same thoughts when reading the articles. Pretty concerning.

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