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"The Great Nutrient Collapse" link raises specter of atmospheric changes decreasing crop nutrition

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Location: Nashville TN & Kindred ND
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This was a very interesting read. I haven't heard anything about this before. Any permaculture solutions?


"The biologists had an idea of what was going on: The increased light was making the algae grow faster, but they ended up containing fewer of the nutrients the zooplankton needed to thrive. By speeding up their growth, the researchers had essentially turned the algae into junk food. The zooplankton had plenty to eat, but their food was less nutritious, and so they were starving."

“Every leaf and every grass blade on earth makes more and more sugars as CO2 levels keep rising,” Loladze said. “We are witnessing the greatest injection of carbohydrates into the biosphere in human history―[an] injection that dilutes other nutrients in our food supply.”
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There's a brief discussion on this article in the Potential decrease in plant nutrition due to increased atmospheric CO2 thread. I see the article as published misdirection so folks will blame CO2 and climate change for poor nutritional quality of todays crops instead of a more concrete underlying cause like poor soil found on farms that practice conventional chemical agriculture.
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I actually posted the same article in the science and research forum, and you can get the gist of my thoughts there, another commenter linked it above. I think "nutrient collapse" is a fairly alarmist way of phrasing it, but from my reading of the data it does indeed look like increased atmospheric CO2 is responsible for a decrease in nutrient density independent of the already deleterious effects on nutrient profiles we see with industrial ag due to decreased soil quality, commercial fertilizers, short-sighted trends in plant breeding and genetic manipulation, etc. and moreover, CO2 is the factor least addressible by homescale permaculturists, sadly. And for those dependent on large scale industrial ag for their food supply, it only makes a bad situation worse.
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This is a great example of pseudo science being represented as a valid study to jerk people's consciousness into recognition of an issue.

In the article there is little mention of the fact that this was a marine science investigation, one part of one sentence I believe, mentions that it was a zooplankton study that was being done.

Soil is different that an ocean or a lake where the minerals needed are only available in solution, there is also a disconnect since zooplankton feed on more that just algae in the wild.

Over all the message of lack of nutrition in the grocery store is approached very back door giving the illusion that what they started talking about is directly related to this.

There are many inter related things happening that are causing the lack of nutritional value in our foods CO2 is not a big part of this, but it is easier to measure and it grabs people's attention, sadly it is only a part of the problem, not the major significant issue the article leans you towards.

People need to understand how soil works and how minerals, water, sunlight and heat all interact to bring about good microbiological life in the soil.
Once you grasp this, then you are in a place to extrapolate that knowledge to begin to understand the microbiological life and interrelations in the worlds oceans.

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I can see this as being true only because in my experience, it is just common sense.

I grew upon a dairy farm and were hardly vegans, That meant that when we did get beef, it was from the nasty old dairy cows that were about to die anyway. Hey, if they were healthy enough to make milk that is what they would be left to do. So having grown up on cows that are dying or in ill health, I can say that when we did get some nice healthy cows to butcher, the best tasting beef was always the healthiest animals.

Why would not this be the case with plants; derived from soil or our vast oceans?

In my honest opinion, whether talking about humans, or zooplankton, we have not even begun to understand the full effect of stress on a living organism. To me, the opposite would be true as well. Stress would effect everything negatively.
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