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President’s Note: The Great Nutrient Collapse

President’s Note: The Great Nutrient Collapse

In 2016 I wrote about a book entitled Eating on the Wild Side, by Jo Robinson, which discussed the issue of nutrient density in food and how plant breeding has resulted in a loss of nutrients compared to the wild plant ancestors.

As it turns out, the answer to this nutrient loss may be a little more complicated. I am providing a link to an article which covers a little-known area of research looking at how changes in the atmosphere may be changing the nutrient levels in plants, and speculation on how this may be affecting humans and other wildlife.

The Great Nutrient Collapse

Within the article is some research being conducted at UDSA looking at changes in the protein content of goldenrod pollen over time, and how those changes may be affecting bee populations. Looking at goldenrod allows a comparison of how a plant not subjected to breeding improvement has been affected by atmospheric changes. The study is showing a 1/3 drop in goldenrod pollen protein levels since the start of the industrial revolution. How is this affecting bees? The suggestion is that lower protein levels may be hurting bees worldwide.

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