Declining nutrient contents in produce over time

One of Greenleaf Communities main concerns is soil health. We understand how important it is to have healthy soils to provide nutritious food. We wish to decrease the impact that poor nutrition has on human health. Our research program, From the Ground Up, focuses on the effect that soil has on our health.

Recently, Psychology Today covered the topic of declining nutrient contents in produce based on research conducted by Dr. Donald Davis. This research compared nutrient levels from 1950 to those in 1999. It discovered a reduction in protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and ascorbic acid in the 1999 testing. This was potentially caused by selective breeding for size, yield or uniformity rather than nutritional levels.
Learn More about Dr. Davis’s study.

Another issue with current conventional farming techniques is tilling the soil, which can negatively impact soil microbes, erosion and loss of organic matter. Healthy soils are important for maintaining productive and healthy crops. No-till agriculture can keep essential plant nutrients in the soil, support growth and aid in producing productive crops. It has other economic benefits for farmers including reducing the amount of labor and the amount of additional fertilizer.
Read more on soil health and other benefits of no-till farming from the NRCS.

Greenleaf is working with Dr. Britt Burton-Freeman and Dr. Janet Hock on the issues of nutrition and human health.

Source:
Psychology Today January/February 2014