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Bad News for Food Chain - Excessive CO2 Decreases Nutritional Value of Plants

21. října 2019, 14:59
Článek přečten: 3 krát.

Bad News for the Food Chain - Excessive CO2 Decreases the Nutritional Value of Plants!!

Of all the insults climate change hurls at our food supply—from more severe droughts and floods in key agriculture regions to declining yields of staple crops—the most insidious may involve a steady decline in the quality of all the plants we eat.

That’s the startling message of a growing weight of research led by Irakli Loladze, a mathematical biologist with joint appointments at the Bryan College of Public Health in Nebraska and Arizona State University. On the latest episode of Bite—the introduction to our new series, “Eating in Climate Chaos“—I caught up with Loladze to learn more about this slow-motion nutritional train wreck and what we can do about it.

Plants are very flexible in their chemical composition, Loladze explained. When the air that surrounds them is richer in CO2, they use it to synthesize more carbohydrates, including starches and sugars, which are then stored in plant cells. Essentially, more carbon in the air means more carbs in plants, and these carbs then dilute the other beneficial chemicals taken up and/or synthesized by the plants.

Loladze asked me to consider my breakfast on the morning of our interview, which was centered on a piece of toast. Citing a 2004 study led by Lewis Ziska, then a US Department of Agriculture researcher, now a professor at Columbia University, Loladze said that the wheat I consumed that day contained lower levels of a wide variety of nutrients than the wheat that people were consuming decades ago. It had less protein, and also fewer of “nearly all the essential minerals—calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, and copper,” he said.

And what’s true for humans is also true for all the herbivorous and omnivorous animals that rely on wild plants for nutrients. They’re getting less of them now, too, he said, and the deficit moves up the food chain, from the rabbit nibbling on weeds to the bobcat that eats that rabbit. The effect has already shown up in cows, which are gobbling up grasses with lower levels of vital nutrients, which has forced the beef industry to add mineral supplements to cattle rations.

Interestingly, the drop in these chemicals has no effect on the plants themselves. “It’s not like plants are hurting” from the extra CO2, he said. “They have mechanisms to be flexible, and they just store more” carbohydrates. “Plants aren’t the least concerned about the quality of our nutrition...

Humans are spewing Two or Three Million Pounds of CO2 per second into atmosphere which is supposedly good for plant life and how does that plant life repay us? By slowly starving us! If you are, and you are wondering why you are, overweight, there you have it, the food you are eating has less nutritional value and more carbohydrates than the food of yesteryear.

Maybe as Global Warming progresses it will help sweat that extra weight off? Číst celý článek >>> Přeložit do en

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