If you are seeking better nutrition, you might also be aware that the nutrient density of our food is in decline. Just how much, is a big debate. That’s because there are huge variations in the level of nutrition of our foods.
The Bionutrient Food Association has just released some research data on the nutritional content of carrots and spinach. Data partners in 7 states submitted samples of spinach and carrots from those states, including 50 unique stores and 68 farms/gardens.
The results are stunning:
The highest quality carrots contained 200 times the polyphenols as carrots of the lowest quality. The ratio of antioxidants was 90:1.
As for spinach, there was a similar ratio for antioxidants of 90:1, and 75:1 in polyphenols.
So, what does it all mean? It means that one plate of high-quality spinach could provide the same nutrition as 75-90 plates of poor quality spinach. It means that a household receiving poor quality spinach would have to consume 75-90 times as much of it to get the same nutrients as the household with the highest quality spinach. If we knew the actual nutrient density of our foods, we would see when purchasing the cheaper option actually costs us far more money in the long run. But for most of us, there is no way to know that at all.
Nature Towns has long seen evidence of this problem, although not with such accurate numbers. It has become quite obvious to us as we watch the annual export of our nation’s fertile topsoil down the Mississippi: If that high-quality soil is headed to the ocean, then what are we using to produce our food?
It is for that reason that Nature Towns are designed to produce nutrient-dense foods in the green infrastructure around the towns. We spend up to $5,000 per household to improve the soil quality using compost and minerals, and our land stewardship partner, Microbial Earth Farms, uses the compost and minerals to build soil quality by focusing on the work of the microbes, and how the microbes are fed. The homeowners get their money back again through exclusive discounts on the nutrient-dense foods.
The vision of Nature Towns is to nourish the plants with high-quality soil. This in turn nourishes the animal kingdom that feeds upon the plants. Peak nutrition for all of us will help us better weather the stresses of climate change.