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Rising CO2 levels reduce plant nutrition  RSS feed

 
Posts: 31
Location: Central Texas
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This is something I found out today reading an article on grass fed cows and how declining nutrition in prairie grasses threaten the livelihood of both the cows and the farms. So I dug a little deeper, and the first thing I found was this alarming article: https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/13/food-nutrients-carbon-dioxide-000511.

It even links the declines in bee populations to reduced nutrition in wild plants. This is scary. As a holistic nutritionist, I'm shocked and despondent.
 
pollinator
Posts: 187
Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
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There has been some discussion about this topic already, but it's interesting enough to revisit.

https://permies.com/t/70557/nutrient-collapse
https://permies.com/t/70537/Potential-decrease-plant-nutrition-due

Having reread those topics just now, it seems the replies hint that the experiment has some flaws in it.

 
gardener
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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I’ve read this article and I’m not buying it. I don’t believe one guy making one report makes anything true. To me, this guys research is being used to distract people from the real reason food crops have less nutrition, and two of those factors are poor soil conditions crops are grown in and selective over breeding of crops in which the goal of increased yields often results in less nutritional value.

This guy is a mathematician, not a biologist. People can find connections in data sampling which doesn’t necessarily mean they’re relevant. I could take data sampling on water, saying that the 360,000 people that die from drowning globally each year (WHO data), and claim water is dangerous, and we need to remove open bodies of water to keep people safe, with no reference to the aspect that water is required for life. This article seems to imply that reducing atmospheric CO2 levels will magically make food more nutritious again. I’d like to see this gentleman look at industrial chemical farming practices and crop nutrient density with the same sort of scrutiny as this so-called CO2-crop nutrition link.

I’m just very skeptical, especially about this article which the scientist points to CO2 as the cause of poor crop nutritional value with no regard to other factors. The article speaks of findings of decreased levels of iron and zinc in crops and I didn’t see in the article where they also measured and compared not only the amount of iron & zinc from soil samples spanning the same decades like their CO2 data, but also measuring the soil microbial life which makes this iron & zinc available for plants to use.

I invite this mathematician to come sample crops of his choice from the healthy, biologically abundant, remineralized soil from my garden, and compare his findings. The one constant in the equation is my garden is exposed to the same increased atmospheric CO2 levels as the crops he sampled.
 
Posts: 530
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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no need to be shocked and despondent. Commercial growers put CO2 into their greenhouses in concentrations as high as 5000 PPM.

The photosynthesis reaction needs three things - water, CO2 and energy (sunlight). Even if CO2 cant be throttled, one or both of the other two factors can.
 
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